Larry “Lefty” Sanders

August 13, 1942 ‒ June 20, 2020

Pataskala, Ohio
Formerly of Marion, Ohio

Larry “Lefty” Sanders, age 77 of Pataskala and formerly of Marion, passed away at his home on Saturday, June 20, 2020.

Lefty was born August 13, 1942 in Ironton, one of 3 sons to Arthur Edward and Florence Louise (Rogers) Sanders.

Growing up, baseball was a passion and in the 1960’s, undoubtedly, he was Marion’s best pitcher and had several no hitters. He was left handed and during that time is when he got his nickname, “Lefty”. He was a well-read man, a gift that would serve him well in life. Lefty enjoyed being out on the road, traveling the country and for a few years drove bus for the Marion Cadets. Racing was in his blood, more specifically drag-racing. He loved the sport and all the friends he made along the way at the track. Always active, he was a golfer as well and enjoyed playing many rounds with friends, after which beers at the Knights of Columbus was a must. The sounds of jazz, bluegrass and drum corps music often filled the house and his dogs were always faithfully by his side.

Lefty’s impressive career spanned decades. He was a true firefighter through and through. His career began with the Marion City Fire Department in 1965 and continued through 1980. From 1967-1980 he served as the Local Union President IAFF 379; from 1974-1981 he was the 1st Vice President of Marion AFL-CIO under Bill Burga; He served as District Vice President of the Ohio Association of Professional Fire Fighters from 1974 to 1981 and President of the Ohio Association of Professional Fire Fighters 1981-1982; in 1983 he was one of the prime advocates and author of the Collective Bargaining Bill. From 1980-1987 Lefty was appointed Safety Director under Mayor Ron Malone and in 1987 he was the Union Representative for F.O.P./O.L.C. with Steve Young and served that post for 5 years. He retired to Florida in 1992 but in 1995 returned to Ohio and once again, teamed up with Bill Burga and worked for the Ohio AFL-CIO until his final retirement in 2003. Lefty will always be remembered as a fierce advocate and champion for Professional Fire Fighters, Organized Labor and all working people everywhere.

He is survived by his devoted wife of 27 years, Cheryl (Williamson) Sanders; children: Mark (Diane) Sanders, Matt Sanders and Mary Beth Caldwell; step-son: Matthew (Lynn) Kegley; grandchildren: Adrianne (Terry) Fleckenstein, Larry (Sarah) Sanders, Kayla Sanders, Korbin Sanders, K. Matthew Wishon, Tabatha Kegley, Jacob Kegley and Jenna Kegley; great-grandchildren: Olivia, Sophia, Evan, Sam, Slayde, Kain, Lisa, Leyla, Stella and Lumi and brother, Ed Sanders.

Lefty is preceded in death by his parents; son-in-law, Dave Caldwell; step-daughter, Lisa Kegley and brother, Lee Sanders.

Visitation will be Friday, June 26, 2020 at Snyder Funeral Homes, GUNDER/HALL Chapel, 347 West Center St., Marion from 3PM to 6PM; Lefty would want everyone that comes to be in casual attire, preferably a Hawaiian shirt! The family understands some may wish not to come in person but express their condolences from afar during this time of social distancing, condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting www.SnyderFuneralHomes.com

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the International Association of Firefighters, www. https://foundation.iaff.org/

The Snyder Funeral Homes, Gunder/Hall Chapel is honored to be serving Lefty’s family.

  • Lefty could always make me laugh and smile. He was always there to help me with advice when I had a smoke/carbon monoxide detector issue. He always brought me something for Christmas. He helped with leaving my dog Jax out when he was a puppy. Jax loves Lefty and Cheryl so much. I will miss his smile, laugh, and infinite wisdom.

  • I was so very sorry to hear of Lefty’s passing. He was such a wonderful man. Many laughs I will always remember. Now he and Steve are together again. My thoughts and prayers are with you Cheryl and family. May all the wonderful memories help ease your pain. Much love.

  • PRAYING that the family is comforted during this time of loss. Lefty was a good union leader and a strong advocate for Ohio workers. Rest in Peace Brother.

  • Prayers to all his family and friends. I met Lefty in the mid seventies when he helped a raw rookie union negotiator for the Fremont Fire Department. I will always remember his guidance and tenacity when it came to fighting for better working conditions. Any time I traveled south near Marion I always thought about him. His legacy will always be remembered as a dedicated server to the fire service.

  • Very sorry for the family’s loss. Prayers and condolences to family and friends. Lefty helped pave the way for many of the benefits we enjoy in the present day fire service. May he Rest In Peace and his contributions always be remembered.

  • My condolences to all of Lefty’s family and friends. What a legend in his own right! They don’t make them like Lefty anymore! He was a great labor leader and all around great guy! He always had a smile for everyone! He left a legacy in the union movement for others to follow!

  • Lefty , back in the late seventy when I first met my union brother Lefty . He was always there when I needed some direction in my goal to be a union leader , then came the day Lefty and Ron says to me , Ivan you should run for city council ,man you talking about knocking me off my feet . I was so proud that they honored me with that and there support . Lefty a great union man that I will never forget ,rest in peace my union brother .

  • Although I was not within Lefty’s circle of friends as long as many others were, he always made me feel as though I was. He was a fierce advocate for Ohio workers and social justice. All of Ohio will miss him tremendously. Out thoughts and prayers are with the family. Rest In Peace my friend.

  • I sincerely regret being out of state and unable to attend the visitation. Lefty was an amazing man. My father held him in very high regard and he was always around during my childhood. I’ll always remember him being at Kennedy Field watching the Cadets practice. He was an avid Drum Corp fan and was always at our shows whenever possible. We shared the same love for Senior Drum and Bugle Corps, especially the Hawthorn Caballeros. He was a very important part of my childhood I will always cherish. He will be sorely missed.

  • Lefty was a great friend and co-worker with my Dad! He was always there for us Cook kids through drum corp, fire dept, Marion catholic etc! He was just a great friend and passionate person! My heart aches at the loss we all will feel with his passing! Prayers to Mary Beth, Matt, and Mark and all of his family and friends!

  • So very sorry to hear of Lefty’s passing.. a fun.. good guy and a good friend of my husband Warty.. he will be missed by many… I will be out of town and unable to attend service but will be thinking of you.. love, Charlene Dutton 😪

  • One of our great friends and allies. A man of high principals and dedication to his brothers. It is with great sadness that I read about his passing. I will always remember his help and guidance in the fight on behalf of our memberships. It is a struggle that the organizations should always remember.

  • My condolences to Lefty’s family. My parents befriended Lefty and his young bride in the early sixties. He had not yet decided on a career path so whenever he came over to get his haircut I think much wisdom was shared. Some was taken and some maybe not. What did I know I was eight. He was always there for my family and his honesty and infectious sense of humor will be missed.

  • As a former member of the Marion Cadets, I wish to extend condolences to the family of Lefty Sanders, who was such a vital citizen of Marion, Ohio, and was a great bus driver and supporter of Ohio’s greatest drum and bugle corps, the Marion Cadets. Like so many of our parents who supported the corps and contributed in so many great ways to our competitive success, I’d like to say that Lefty, you are remembered fondly and will be missed by the Marion Cadet family. Rest in peace.

  • Cheryl,Mark, Matt, and Mary I am saddened by your loss and for all of you and your Uncle Ed. I am so glad that Ed and your cousin Jill are going to the funeral. Your dad and Ed were closer than any 2 brothers could be. After losing my brother less than a month ago I know how hard it is going to be on him. They talk everyday sometimes more than once and have had a lot of good times together through racing and visits to Florida. I know Ed is thankful for these times and will cherish them. My condolences to you all.

  • Lefty was fun,good hearted and very insightful . A day at the races or a visit to Pat and Andy’s won’t be the same without Lefty.

  • My family and I are so fortunate to call Lefty and family our friends. A Lefty Sanders comes along but once in a lifetime. I was older than my brother when our mom brought home Lefty and bride. Our mom was HR at S. S. Kresge when Lefty showed up as a management trainee. They would come over for dinner and conversation and sometime a haircut. I always looked forward to that. From those afternoon’s and others my definition of what a good, honest, caring, dedicated man is. It is Lefty. Many people owe Lefty a lot and don’t even know it. You will be missed my friend. My condolences to Mark, Matt, Mary Beth and family.

  • My condolences go out to the entire family during this very difficult time. Stay strong and remember the good times!

  • On behalf of my family, I offer my sincere condolences to the Sanders family. Lefty’s son, Mark, was best man at my wedding in 1990, and we’ve been in touch for over 30 years. I have very fond memories of Lefty growing up. He was a young father and very active in his children’s lives. Lefty definitely had a positive impact on my life and many others. Cheers to Lefty!
    Jerry Kraschinsky

  • My condolences to the family. Lefty called me about 3 months ago when I was in Florida, just to talk about old times. Needless to say my battery went dead before the conversation could end. Wish I could get to your viewing, but unfortunately I am quarantine until Monday. RIP old buddy, your will be sadly missed.

  • I am so sorry for your loss. I did not know Lefty, but he was a good friend of my dad’s. I know my dad treasured Lefty’s friendship. I hope Lefty’s memory can be a blessing for you all.

  • I am so very sorry to hear of Lefty’s passing. He was a wonderful man and I am thankful of the time and laughter I got to share with him over the years. My sympathy to you Cheryl and the rest of your family. He will certainly be missed. Rest in peace my friend.

  • To Mary Mark and Matt Pam and I were so sorry to hear of your dads passing .You were all good neighbors on Marion Ave. and of course the years that Lefty was safety director and I was on city council are good memories.\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Please accept our sincere condolences. Due to covid-19 we will be unable to attend the calling hours

  • Prayers and love. What an amazing person. I know he went to heaven. Always helping someone. Family was just as amazing. Much love. Peanuts