Robert Grant Sanders

October 25, 1932June 9, 2013

Robert Grant Sanders was born to Estella Augusta Keys and Henry Clay Sanders on October 25, 1932 in Milwaukie, Oregon. He lived in the Beaverton-Progress area as a boy, helping with his family’s garden from a young age. He raised rabbits in high school and was active in 4-H. He graduated from Beaverton High School in 1950. While attending Beaverton High School, he met Ilene Donnell Boge whom he would later marry. When he wanted to date her, she told him he could come to Sunday dinner if he would attend Church with her first. He became active in the youth group, attending camp at Wi-Ne-Ma that summer, accepting Christ as his Savior and was baptized at the Beaverton Christian Church. While president of the youth group he invited and filled his 1940 Oldsmobile with kids from all around the area. The youth group at Beaverton entered a national contest and won for being one of the fastest growing groups in the country. The prize for winning this contest was an all expense paid trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan to attend a national Christian Endeavor Convention. This became a turning point in his life. He sat at a table with Billy Graham at this conference who challenged him to ministry. It was there that Bob felt the call of God in his life for ministry. He had been studying at Vanport College to be a mechanical engineer. But after feeling challenged to ministry he enrolled in the new school in Seattle, Puget Sound College of the Bible. Bob and Ilene were married August 7, 1953 at Beaverton Christian Church. After Bob graduated from Puget Sound College of the Bible, he was ordained by the elders at Beaverton Christian Church on June 26th, 1955. He received 2 further degrees from the school in 1963. As a Christian minister and new church planter, he ministered to congregations in Alberta, Canada, Washington, and Oregon. He served at Grande Prairie Church of Christ, Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada from 1955-1960. During that time, his children Christine, Bruce, and Sheryl were born. He served at the Kingston Christian Church in Kingston, Washington from 1960-1962. He served the Parkland Christian Church, now known as Rainier View Christian Church from 1962 to 1971. During their time in Parkland, they became foster parents to 5 boys and adopted daughter Linda. In 1971 he founded Somerset Christian Church in Portland, OR working with the NWCEA. He was Senior Minister there until 1999 when he became the Associate Minister, working with the seniors until 2012. He was a trustee for Puget Sound College of the Bible, Washington Christian Evangelistic Assoc, and Northwest Christian Evangelistic Assoc, and served on committees for Ole Christian Mission, Fukuoka Christian Mission, Northwest School of Missions, and Wi-ne-ma Christian Camp. Bob was devoted to Jesus, he adored his family and he thoroughly enjoyed gardening and farming. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Ilene Sanders, sisters Gladyas Swenson of Beaverton, OR and Elsie Sears, of Moreno Valley, Ca, Daughters Chris Harvey of Canby, OR, Sheryl Fenton of Marysville, WA, Linda McDonald of Hillsboro, OR, and son Bruce Sanders of Olympia, WA, 16 grandchildren, and 11 great grandchildren.

Donations may be given to NWCEA to the Bob and Ilene Sanders Church Planting Fund. Donations can be sent to Northwest Christian Evangelistic Association at 444 N. Holly St., Canby, Oregon 97013

A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Saturday, June 15th, 2013 at Beaverton Christian Church at 11:00am


  • Memorial Service Saturday, June 15, 2013

Robert Grant Sanders

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Peg Thompson

June 16, 2013

God be with you at this time - my Dad - Leon Dunn thought the world of Bob - praise God they probably are both trying to out talk each other - what a home comming.

Sharon Denham Kallenberger

June 16, 2013

During the year of remodeling by adding on the upstairs, it was doing the typical spring rains and one Sunday Bob was preaching when rain came down where he was standing. He looked up at the water, smiled and moved over and continued preaching. That is how I will always remember Bob as a person who moves over and continues the journey without complaining or griping. Another Bob "ism" Bruce???

Irene Durkin

June 15, 2013

Dear Sanders family, thinking about you all and praying that you may you find comfort in Jesus. With the comfort that ONLY HE can give you. May you find joy and laughter with the memories of him. Rejoice because of where he is today, and may you be filled with even greater faith and hope in eternal life with Jesus!

Mark Stevens

June 15, 2013

I met Bob & Ilene at WiNeMa just a few years ago. They immediately made me feel like family. Bob's laughs were infectious and his ability to live out the love of Christ inspiring. I'll really miss seeing him...

Lillian Susbauer

June 15, 2013

Just a small note that I met Bob while attending Summerset Christian church after he had already retired. He was always fun to talk to and had good stories to tell to make you laugh. Rest with God Bob and know you will always be remembered. Lillian Susbauer

Chuck Tipton

June 14, 2013

I only know Robert through Pastor Bruce, who is one of the finest people I know. The legacy that Robert has left can be seen in the the passion, compassion, generosity, and work ethic of Bruce, who, without question, loves God with all his heart. How fitting that his celebration service is on Father's Day weekend. I know Robert must have been a spiritual giant in the Kingdom of God.

June 14, 2013

I appreciated Bob's faithful leadership in summer camp at Pleasant Valley and at WiNeMa. His witness continues to be far-reaching. Scott Caulley

Mary Ellen Pereira

June 14, 2013

Ilene and family, thank you for sharing Bob with us throughout the years. He left Christ-shaped impressions in our lives through his loving friendship and leadership. First met him when I began teaching at Puget Sound Christian College and have treasured knowing such a valiant and humble servant of the Lord.

anita rankin

June 14, 2013

I am so sorry for your family My heart goes out to you all God bless you and keep you strong I love you

Glennie Tanner

June 14, 2013

Clark and I are so sorry to hear of Bob's death. He was a wonderful man of God and will be missed. Ilene, our love to you and your family.