Passed away on January 7, 2014
Tom Saunders passed away January 7, 2014 at his home in Rimrock, AZ. He was 68. Tom retired from the Army in 1996. He served in Both Vietnam and Desert Storm, where he earned the Bronze Star. After Tom’s military retirement, he worked for the State of Washington, Dept. of Social and Health Services, for 14 years. Tom and his wife, Zora, formerly of Tumwater, WA, moved to Arizona in 2010 to enjoy the sun, hiking, and travel. He is survived by his wife, Zora; three daughters, Shirley Saunders, Euclid, OH; Natalie VandeBogart, Olympia, WA; and Summer Saunders, N Hollywood, CA; his mother, Catherine Pushard; step-father, Frank Pushard; brother, Robert Lane; sisters, Shirley Medieros, Lisa Pushard, and Kathy Covington; three grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. A graveside service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, April 5, 2014 at Mills & Mills Memorial Gardens in Tumwater.
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Gail Beimler Adams
April 6, 2014
I was sorry to hear the sad news of cousin Tom's passing.My deepest sympathy. It is especially difficult to lose someone close to you that you love. My we all find comfort in the memories that are ours to cherish.RIP
April 4, 2014
Such wonderful memories of Uncle Tom. He was always so happy and his laugh was contagious! He will be missed dearly by many who knew and loved him. My thoughts and prayers are with you all, Aunt Zora, Summer, Natalie, and your families. May you find peace and comfort in your heart during this difficult time.
April 4, 2014
A lifetime of memories. His love of life, of people, and especially family. I dearly miss my brother every day. For Z, Nat and Summer,
we love you, we are thinking of you and know that Tom is still watching over you.
April 3, 2014
I have too many memories to share. He was funny, compassionate, and loyal. I will never forget his laugh or his love. He was the best brother ever! I love and miss him terribly.
April 2, 2014
SGM Tom Saunders saved my life on Desert Storm, literally and figuratively. And in peace time, he saved my career many times over. As my official right hand man, SGM Saunders was in reality my sounding board, my “make it happen” guy, and my mentor. I had the pleasure of working with him in three different capacities, and in each, he was superb. He always put the soldiers and the mission first. He was such a great leader, the soldiers always understood from him to put the mission first; thus, he took care of both. He kept me corralled and quiet when necessary, and was able to rev me up and point me in the right direction when needed. He was an expert at “What the Colonel meant to say was….” He was good at everything he did. He was knowledgeable in a vast array of topics, from hand grenades to Sidpers. Most importantly, he was always a gentleman. I have so many stories and fond memories to share, but I will only share this one: I was having trouble sleeping on Desert Storm because I was so cold. My feet were like ice so if I turned over in the sleeping bag, my feet would awaken me. Lack of sleep was affecting my mood, my ability to function. One day, SGM Saunders appeared at the tent flap and tossed me two blankets that were supposed to have been reserved for Enemy Prisoners of War. I never asked how or where he got them—and being a good sergeant he would have never told anyway—but I slept well that night snuggled up with one blanket inside my sleeping bag for my body, and the extra one just on my feet. Because I was able to sleep now, I was able to do a better job and that benefited everyone. I still have that extra blanket and it is one of my most treasured possessions. I will never forget Tom Saunders and all the wonderful things he did for me and for everyone who was fortunate enough to serve with him.