Jerry D. Sanders, Sr.
November 5, 1934 – November 21, 2020
Jerry was born November 5, 1934 in Hastings, NE.
On July 12, 1952 he married his sweetheart Beverly. They had three children: Jerry Jr., Terry and Jody. Jerry has six grandchildren: Jerry Sanders III (Shelby), Bill Sanders (Erin), Liz Caspers (Dave), Kelly Kabler (Jason), Katelyn Lehigh and Makayla Lehigh. He also has five great-grandchildren: Austin, Braden, Jackie, Colson, and Creighton.
Jerry worked in the food sales business from 1949-1992 at Safeway and H.J. Heinz.
As a child he enjoyed baseball and hockey. Naturally, these two sports would play a major role throughout his life. Jerry loved to dance. He learned dancing from his two sisters at a young age. He and Bev enjoyed dancing and would dance at local venues throughout town.
He was involved in many activities. Bowling, hockey, baseball, softball, shuffle-board and golfing. He was a pitcher in a men’s fastpitch softball league that played their home games at Boyd Park. Golf was his game in the summer. He had two hole-in-ones in his playing career. Some of his playing partners were Norm, Ken, Terry, and Bill. Jerry bowled right up to the day he became sick, participating in two different leagues during the fall 2020 season.
Jerry coached baseball and softball for his kids and enjoyed watching his grandchildren and great-grandchildren play. You could always find him on the sidelines watching the game, keeping score, and/or arguing with the umpires.
During the holidays, he played Santa Clause for many years for the grandchildren and would make them laugh.
He knew Las Vegas like the back of his hand. He, Bev, and Connie Claussen made annual trips for over 30 years. He knew “The Strip” and the best places to gamble and eat. His favorite place to eat was Peppermill where they became friends with the manager, Peggy. Bev and Jerry have every trip to Vegas documented in the house.
While Bev made her annual trips to Minnesota for a lady’s vacation, Jerry would golf with his buddies, go out for dinner with his kids or turning into “Tidy Tilly” and get the house cleaned so Bev would not notice. He and Terry would take their time on trip way up to Minnesota by stopping to play golf 2-3 times along the way. Once they finally made it to the cabin, Jerry enjoyed fishing, but Bev always caught the biggest one.
Jerry was involved in many activities at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He was acknowledged for his contributions to the Lady Mavs program and the hockey team. He was on the inaugural board for the Blue Line Club. He and Bev cut out every Maverick Hockey article printed in the Omaha World Herald and made a scrap book for player’s parents and the coaching staff to share with their families.
He served as an off-ice official for the UNO hockey program from the very first game until this past winter. He was responsible for tallying the shots on goal and manning the video replay monitor at the scorer’s table. He volunteered his time for the annual golf outings the hockey team and enjoyed the chatting with the hockey players and their families. Each year former players, coaches, and staff would recognize his face and unique personality. He enjoyed the players when they would come over to the house for hockey dinners.
If you found him drinking a beer, Miller Lite was his favorite with a tall glass of ice. Every bowling center and bar that he regularly patronized knew this and would have both his beer and Bev’s 7/7 Tall ready for them when they walked in the door.
Jerry enjoyed the Nebraska football games in Lincoln. Years ago, he would take the train to some games or a red convertible a friend of his owned. In more recent years, he and Bev would enjoy the games on television. He had the perfect key chain for the games. When the Huskers would score, he would play their fight song after every score.
He and Bev enjoyed the backyard of their home. As we write this, you can see bowling balls, bird baths, birds and squirrels running in the backyard looking for food. They even had to budget for all the animals they fed in the back yard.
When the phone rang at home, he would answer “Sanders”. His trait was never to say “Good-Bye” to anyone when he would hang up.
Jerry never met a stranger and treated everyone that entered his home like family. Whether you called him “Dad”, “Grandpa”, “Papa”, “Papa J”, or simply “Jerry”, his entire family adored him and will miss him.
If you could have a perfect husband, father, grandpa and great grandpa with dear friends, Jerry was that person.
Heaven has extra laughs and smiles and a special person to be around. Everyone has a precious guardian angel looking over them.
Survived by his wife of 68 years, Beverly; children: Jerry Sanders Jr, Terry Sanders (Barb) and Jody Lehigh (Todd); grandchildren: Jerry Sanders III (Shelby), Bill Sanders (Erin), Liz Caspers (Dave), Kelly Kabler (Jason), Katelyn Lehigh, and Makayla Lehigh; 5 great-grandchildren: Austin, Braden, Jackie, Colson, and Creighton; various cousins, nieces, nephews and special friend, Connie Claussen.
VISITATION following CDC guidelines: Sunday, November 29th from 2pm to 4pm, at the West Center Chapel. Memorials may be directed to the family.