James "Jim" Leroy Sanderson

January 6, 1933March 3, 2014
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James Leroy Sanderson was born on January 6th, 1933.

He, along with his Brother Donald, and Sister Mary enjoyed the childhood that small town life provides.

After Graduating High School in 1951, and attending One year at Western State College in Gunnison, CO; he left for Parks AFB in California on his 20th Birthday. From there, he attended Electronics school at Scott AFB in Illinois. Next, he moved on to Bergstrom AFB in Texas; where he immediately volunteered for overseas duty and left for Japan in January of 1954.

In Japan he was stationed at both Itazuke and Ashiya AFB, on the Island of Kyushu. While there he worked with the Air Police and then became an Air Operations Specialist at Itazuke; working as Air Traffic Control for flights throughout Japan. He also operated an Air to Ground Bombing and Gunnery Range at Ashiya AFB. From there he returned to Itazuke; where he operated and maintained a radio transmitter site.

James returned to The United States in February of 1956 and was stationed at Ellsworth AFB in Rapid City, South Dakota. He was put in charge of a Radio and Transmitter site. It was here that he met the Love of his Life and future Wife Kathryn; when she was dragged to a disreputable dancehall by her good friend, Arlene Svoboda.

He Married Kathryn Ann Dvorak in Iona, South Dakota November 18th, 1956. They moved to his home town of Dove Creek, Colorado shortly thereafter. He went to work at Mountain Propane Company while in Dove Creek. Soon, the happy couple's first son, Dean Leroy Sanderson was born on May 9th, 1958. Shortly thereafter on April 18, 1960, a second son; Allan Lee Sanderson was born.

On April 2, 1961, James reported to school for employment with the Colorado State Patrol. Upon completion of school; a long and remarkable career with the Colorado State Patrol began. His first assignment was with the Denver division, and the family moved to Commerce City. While living there, they welcomed a young lady to the family; Daughter Sheryl Ann Sanderson on June 25th, 1963.

In December of 1964 He was transferred again; and the family this time moved to Montrose, Colorado; where they would remain until October of 1972 when they would move to Colorado Springs where he was promoted to Sergeant.

In 1979 James was promoted to Lieutenant and Commander of Troop 3-C. With that promotion came another transfer, this time to Fort Collins, Colorado. During the winter quarter of 1979 he would attend Central Missouri State University; where he studied Police Administration.

James retired from the Colorado State Patrol in 1985 Thereafter he and Kathryn moved to Custer, SD, where they spent 20 years of retired life before returning to Colorado; settling in Milliken.

James and Kathryn were blessed many times over, becoming Grandparents, and later Great-Grandparents.

In 1978, Dean married Carla Mendenhall. They welcomed their Son, Matthew James on March 5th, 1981. Their Daughter Melissa Renee followed on May 9th, 1984. They both grew into impressive adults. Matthew graduated from The University of Colorado in Boulder, and served his country in the United States Army, where he left with the rank of Captain. He is currently in law enforcement with the Boulder County Sherriff's Department. Melissa Graduated from the UCHSC with a PharmD. She is currently in practice as a Pediatric Pharmacist at Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs. Melissa is married to Paul Johnson, and they have graced James and Kathryn with a wonderful and precocious Great-Grandson; Wyatt James.

In 1980, Allan married Judith Kay Lockett. They Welcomed their first Son, Steven Dean on March 30th, 1981. Their second Son, David Levoid was welcomed October 17th, 1983. Third son Cameron Dale was born on July 26th, 2001. Steven and Jamie Harris blessed James and Kathryn with two beautiful Great-Grandchildren. Tamara Lillianna, and Charlie Allan. David is serving in the Navy AME1 and studying at Brandman University.

In 1982 Sheryl married Merle "Casey" Hankins(deceased). On August 3rd, 1983, they welcomed their Daughter, Shannon Nicole. James was fond of calling her "Shanny Poo" and was the only person ever permitted to do so. He was her Hero, she Loves him more than anything.

James died on Monday, March 3, 2014 at North Colorado Medical Center, Hospice unit in Greeley.

James is survived by Wife Kathryn of 57 years, Mother Bertha, Uncle J.C. Sanderson, Sister Mary and Husband Norman Hensley, Sister in-law Sandy Sanderson, Sister in-law Marjie and Husband Bill Straight, Brother in-law Bill Dvorak, Son Dean Sanderson and Wife Carla Sanderson, Son Allan Sanderson and Judy Sanderson, Daughter Sheryl Hankins, Niece Donetta Hegwood, Niece Marti Long and Husband Bob, Nephew Kurt Sanderson, Nephew Bob Dvorak. Niece Carmen and Husband Pete Dyar, Grandson Matthew Sanderson, Grandson Steven Sanderson, Granddaughter Shannon Hankins, Grandson David Sanderson, Granddaughter Melissa and Husband Paul Johnson, Grandson Cameron Sanderson, Great Niece Alyssa Belt and Husband Kelly, Great Nephew Rylan Sanderson Great-Granddaughter Tamara Sanderson, Great-Grandson Charlie Sanderson, Great-Grandson Wyatt Johnson.

James was preceded by His Father James Sanderson, Mother and Father in-laws Adolph and Beryl Dvorak, Brother Donald Sanderson, Nephew in-law Gary Hegwood.


  • Celebration of Life Gathering Friday, March 7, 2014
  • Graveside Service Friday, March 7, 2014

James "Jim" Leroy Sanderson

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Linda O'Brien

March 13, 2014

One of the greatest gifts in life is to have children you can be proud of. It is evident that Officer Sanderson and his wife loved and nurtured both children and grandchildren who will leave a great legacy for them. May the family find comfort in remembering his work and values.

Doreen Canova

March 13, 2014

I am so sorry for your loss. I can only imagine what a special man Jim was, he raised an amazing son. My thoughts are with you and your family during this time.

Linda Kennedy

March 12, 2014

Dean, I am so sorry for your loss. He raised an amazing son and you are a wonderful legacy.

Grace Merkle

March 7, 2014

Dear Dean and family,

I send my sincere sympathy upon the loss of your father.

With prayers for God's comfort and peace,
Grace Merkle

March 7, 2014

I met Jim when I worked for the Larimer County Road and Bridge Department. Jim was a very special man and a very good and special friend. My
thoughts and prayers are with Kathy and family. Jim Espelund, Cheboygan, Michigan

March 6, 2014

Reading about Jim brings back memories in Custer and all of your families. You are in our prayers, May the Lord give you His peace and strength for the days ahead. Our love goes out to you all. This was a beautiful obituary! Our prayers for all of you, Al and Susan Svoboda

Robert & Jane Dobbs

March 5, 2014

Reading these wonderful memories of Jim proves he lived a full and exciting life. A wonderful man with a wonderful family. We are so thankful that we were blessed with the opprotunity to have him in our lives.He will be greatly missed.May the Lord bless and comfort all his loved ones.


March 5, 2014

Uncle Jim was a man who lived honorably, loved fiercely, devoted and generous to family and friends. I will always carry him in my heart as a tall, dark knight in shining squad car. May his soul soar and settle upon our memories.

Sharon Martens

March 5, 2014

I met Jim when I transferred to the Fort Collins State Patrol office in July 1979. He was a great boss and trained me to be an outstanding Administrative Assistant. He filled the role of father, boss, dutch uncle, and dear friend. He grew me up during his time as my supervisor and I am forever grateful for his leadership in my life and the friendship of both him and Kathy. He was my dear friend and remained in contact via phone, email, and visits over coffee and pie when he and Kathy would visit Colorado. He encouraged me repeatedly to contact our other CSP friend Dar Martens, and when I finally did, Dar and I married. He was our cupid, our dear friend, and I could see he was pleased with himself when we told him. I know he will still be watching over me and will give me a hand over when it's my time. Rest in peace friend.

March 5, 2014

I am so sorry we have to loose our cousin. I wish we could come but we are just not able, hope you understand.. Would love to meet all of your family. I will surely miss his emails etc. Our love and sympathy to all of your family and hope they can be near you Kathy, Love Bud and Rose