Frederick "Fred" Paul Sanderson

June 18, 1954October 22, 2018

Frederick Paul “Fred” Sanderson, passed away Monday, October 22, 2018 at the VA Hospital in Ann Arbor. Fred was born in Detroit, on June 18, 1954, to Elmer F. & Katherine A. (Herpel) Sanderson. Fred is survived by his daughter, Laura Elizabeth Sanderson; sisters, Betty (Tom) Richard, Anne (Stephen Purcell) Sanderson, Karen (Jeff) LeMarbe; and several nephews and nieces. Very dear friends Gerry and Marsha Garavaglia, Steve and Anne Mashigan as well as Jason Meininger also survive. In addition to his parents, Fred was pre-deceased by his brothers, Bob, Bill and Ed. Fred’s family thanks the staff of the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System for their dedicated and compassionate care. A committal service is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on Monday, November 12, 2018 at Great Lakes National Cemetery - 4200 Belford Road, Holly, Michigan 48442. Immediately following the service family and friends can gather for fellowship to remember Fred at the Holly Hills Clubhouse, 16181 Lancaster Way, Holly, Michigan 48442. Please share a memory of Fred at his online guestbook.


  • Committal Service Monday, November 12, 2018
  • A Gathering of Family and Friends Monday, November 12, 2018

Frederick "Fred" Paul Sanderson

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Denise Lane

December 8, 2018

Fred had an enlightening way of taking the dullest moments and steering them into more positive directions. I was so shocked to learn he had passed and will miss him and our conversations. He often talked about his daughter with so much pride and love. Truely the most nicest person I have known. Rest in peace my friend.

Mike Russell

November 12, 2018

Fred had one great love in his life, his daughter. The hours we spent on the phone in the last several years talking about her, were some of the best times I spent with him. Fred would light up and with an excited voice tell me all of her recent accomplishments,her dreams,her goals and her beauty. Fred knew she was going to be successful in anything she did, but he knew he wouldn’t be there to see how it all turned out. The “Pope” of northwest Detroit is the way I always greeted Fred. Gone is the man, who could remember every story of neighborhood families,musicians, army buddies,classmates and anything that happened in his beloved Detroit. I have known him since elementary school,spent the better part of my life with him weaving in and out of it; the army, the board of education, the Gilchrist Gang, the Thatcher Thugs, the Earl Klugh years, plymouth guitar and our bi weekly hours long phone conversations, right up to the end. Steve Mashigan said it right,there was no better story teller. We all enjoyed Freddy making us laugh,telling us the truth ( whether we wanted to hear it or not), and being the glue that could hold us all together. Fred made each one of us feel that we were the most important person in the world, when we were around him. I know my wife Holly and I will miss him.See ya soon Fred, in that great big concert in heaven.......Mr.Miserable

Steve Mashigan

November 9, 2018

Fred was the walking, talking, encyclopedia of people, places, and things. My first introduction into Fred's world was 50 years ago, in the 7th grade. I, being a recent grad of Newton Elementary School, a public school in Detroit. Fred, on the other hand, was a catholic school student, up to this point. We were both new to the school, Winship Junior High. Many of my fellow grads from Newton, moved on to Winship, as well. Fred, as far as I remember, didn't know anyone at all. It was the first day of classes, many of the other students in the room were very familiar with this school. It had served as their elementary school. Newton kids on one side, established Winship kids on the other. Fred, I noticed, was sitting by himself, not looking comfortable at all. The 1st hour class was Science, The teacher, Mr. Gee, a well dressed, older fella, with dark rimmed, thick lens glasses .He had an unusual, distinctive voice, perfect for the subject he was teaching. After making eye contact several times with Fred,when the opportunity presented itself, I approached him. After introducing myself, it was time to invite him over to sit with us. Immediately there was a connection, an attraction to this guy! Many of you, certainly, have experienced this! He would take you on a journey, an adventure of sorts. I compare it to The Moody Blues, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, or even Jethro Tull music. It allowed your mind wander off, usually for many hours at a time. This special gift, drew your interest and attention. A vast knowledge of history, facts, and events. Also, the names he could drop! But you know, I stopped being doubtful or skeptical after doing follow up homework. He was the master story teller, a fascinating man! There is a huge void in my life, at his passing. Fred, my friend, I miss you dearly! R.I.P.
Steve Mashigan
P.S. The Mashigan's send our condolences to the entire Sanderson family.

Cathy Motycka

November 6, 2018

Fred and I knew eachother from the days when he was Earl Klugh's road manager. We recently reconnected and shared many fond memories of those days and growing up on the northwest side of Detroit. Fred always had a fascinating story to tell about the music industry, the musicians, those in high society, and the myriad of colorful characters he met along his many travels around the globe. But mostly, he never held back when it came to talking about the love of his life, his daughter, and the pride he carried for her in his heart. It was palpable. Fred had a memory to beat the band and a wit that kept you chuckling all along the way. He was a person more interested in others than he was in himself. He had a genuinely kind heart, and once referred to feeling as though he had the demeanor unlike that of a Keebler elf. I think he was spot on. We talked of my interest in collaborating, to compile in book form, the many colorful recollections of his past, as many could attest they were undoubtedly worthy of adding to the historical record. Unfortunately we did not have the opportunity as his health worsened. Whatever stories he shared are left only in the memory of those he shared them with and the rest are sadly gone forever. I will cherish our many conversations and just knowing that I was lucky enough to have known such a man so full of life, who was larger than life himself. Forgive me if at times I did not measure up.
Godspeed, my dear friend. You will be sorely missed. May you rest in the arms of the Lord forever.

Jason Meininger

October 30, 2018

In 1994, I was a newspaper delivery boy for the Plymouth Observer. That summer, I read an article about a man who was returning to Plymouth to open a guitar shop. He was bringing the lessons of his music career in managing artists and guarding Check Point Charlie in the Army, back to his hometown to give the gift of music to children. The next day I met Fred and as his first student on the books at Plymouth Guitar Gallery, I can proudly say Fred properly introduced me to music at the age of 12.

Fred was more than a teacher, he was a mentor and friend who kept me out of trouble during adolescence by giving me a job cleaning guitars and helping produce the inaugural Friday night “Music in the Air” Concerts on main street, which Fred began with the Plymouth Downtown Development Authority. He would be happy to have just 20 people on the sidewalk in front of Compari’s (formerly Little Professor on the Park). Now thousands attend in Kellogg Park.

Fred would commonly say, “Man, look as those kids dance.” “Fred, I am a kid” to which he’d just say, “well then get out there!” If I were playing guitar in his store, he would say, “You’re doing it wrong… but don’t stop, try again and keep going until you get it right.” It didn’t bother him how many times I would have to repeat Stairway to Heaven. For 24 years, Fred and I shared music, laughed along the way and encouraged each other to “keep going.” Two months ago, he told me was sick and did not have long – and still, Fred made me laugh harder than I have in years.

Although Fred passed away, his legacy lives through his gift of music to children and their families Friday nights in the concerts now serving as a staple of the Plymouth Community. Remember Fred, remember to "get out there" and dance.

My prayers for strength are with you all. God bless.

Patrice Russell

October 27, 2018

Fred was one of the smartest people I have ever met and the best story teller I have ever known. He entertained me for hours with stories about everything under the sun. Fred could make me laugh but in the end he made me cry. I will always cherish the time we had together. Also, he loved his daughter Laura more than anything or anyone else. RIP, Freddie.

Kristy Sherrill

October 26, 2018

Fred was my neighbor and friend. He always looked out for me and my daughter. He always had a funny story to share. I’m sorry that he is gone. I know he is pain free now. God bless him and his family. He will be missed! Gods speed my friend!

Michael Karadjoff

October 25, 2018

So sorry to hear about the passing of my old friend. From our coming of age during the cultural upheaval that was the late 1960's and 1970's to our bond through music, I will have to catch up with you then, on the other side bro.

Mary Pat Haroney

October 25, 2018

Fred was a guy who was part of my growing up in the 313 in the awesome 70’s! I was shocked to hear of his passing- prayers to his daughter who he loved so much and his family.

Geralyn Retzel

October 25, 2018

Way back in the mid 1970's there was a group of us who would "hang out" on the corner of Gilchrist and Clarita. The guys would park their cars on that street with the music blasting. Some would be repairing their cars, others installing stereo systems, while others were slapping Bondo to seal a hole and sanding it down. Fred was among them. We had fun talking about the bands and musicians a lot. Several of us would pile into a car and head to downtown Detroit to attend concerts for less than $10 a ticket, (more like $4-6) to see the Allmann Brothers, Rush, Dave Mason, The Doobie Brothers and others at the Palace, Cobo Hall, Masonic Temple and other places. We went on week day nights and weekends. It was a great neighborhood group to me. I remember when Fred went into the Army and we all talked about when he'd be back on the corner. We'd write letters back and forth and share them with others there. Fred was a really nice guy. I remember he played guitar and I mentioned how I could only play the basic chords (G-A-D-C) and he kindly let me now that almost all the good songs are with basic chords. Although I have not been in that area for 40 years, I still hold great memories of my teen years in that group with Fred, and I am sad his time had come so soon. May his family and friends find peace and joy in their hearts for their time shared with Fred Sanderson.