Local Deaths

Melvin Russell Sanderson

April 6, 1924 - Jan. 13, 2009

Our beloved Mel passed peacefully away on Jan. 13, 2009, with his loving wife of 64 1/2 years, Betty, by his side. Mel was born in Oakland and a few days later brought to Alameda where he resided the rest of his 84 years. After a short illness he passed at the Alameda Care Center who provided him with the very best of care.

He is survived by his four children, of whom he was extremely proud. Russell (Bente) Sanderson, Kathie (Loren) DeShon, Stanton (Ann) Sanderson and Stewart (Judy) Sanderson. His adored grandchildren Cheryl (Bill) Kringle, Daniel (Jennifer) DeShon, Katrine (Jason) Miller, Thor Sanderson and Tyler Sanderson. Also his great-grandchildren, Schyler and David Kringle, Merrit and Elliott DeShon and Maia Miller.

Mel was a graduate of Alameda High School in the class of 1942. He and his wife, Betty, were married on Sept. 3, 1944.

All who knew Mel would agree that Alameda lost a very special man. Mel embraced life and lived it to the fullest.

He often said, "I'm the richest man in the world, maybe not wealthy but I have all that really matters." A man who not only dearly loved his family, but his friends as well.

Mel went to work for Carnation Milk Company in Oakland and there he stayed for 42 years. Starting as a home delivery milkman, he worked his way to management. He was a dedicated employee and often said he couldn't remember a day he didn't look forward to going to work. To his customers and fellow workers he was known as "Mr. Carnation."

From the beginning he started reaching out to others, working on various committees that contributed to helping others. He was on so many boards it would be impossible to name all of them. Most notably however was Alameda City Planning Board (11 years), Alameda Hospital Board of Directors (9 years), Alameda Hospital Foundation, Meals on Wheels and Clara Barton to name a few. He took special pride in being an over 50 year member of the Alameda Elks Lodge. Alameda Commuters Golf Tournament, long time chairman of the Old Alamedans Annual Luncheon. He was also an active member of Christ Episcopal Church. If Alameda seems to be popping up a lot it's only because Mel loved our city so much.

His pleasures were golfing with his three buddies, traveling extensively, Rockerfeller weekends, river rafting with his friends, Family Fun Days, attending Alameda Elks Lodge, 20-30, and Grocer's Conventions, family reunion vacations, University of California football but mostly just being with people.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that you make a donation to your favorite charity or church.

Freinds and family are invited to a memorial service in tribute to his life 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009, at Christ Episcopal Church, 1700 Santa Clara Ave., Alameda. A reception will follow at the Alameda Elks Lodge, 2255 Santa Clara Ave., Alameda.

Arrangements by Greer Family Mortuary, 865-3755.


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