Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday January 17, 2009 at the Cool Springs Baptist Church for Mr. Ben Allen Sanders, Sr. 68 Gainesville. The Rev. Ricky Stone, the Rev. Dean Bryant and Rev. Franklin Grant will officiate. Interment will follow in the Siloam Baptist Church Cemetery in Lumpkin County.
The family will receive friends at the Mason & Ward Funeral Home Friday January 16, 2008 from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.and 6:00 p.m until 9:00 p.m.
Ben Sanders was born in Oxford, MS December 1, 1940 to Catherine Allen and Ben Ward Sanders. He grew up in Piedmont, Alabama and Dahlonega, Ga. where his father was a professor of biology at North Georgia College. He attended Lumpkin County High School, Young Harris College and the University of Georgia. He joined the Navy serving on Guam and in Long Beach, CA. He was stationed aboard a destroyer which served as an escort for a carrier in the Gulf of Tonkin. These ships were fired on and this action is recognized as the beginning of the U.S. involvement in the war in Vietnam. After his discharge, Ben returned to the University of Georgia and received his degree in forestry. He was employed by the U.S. Forest Service and was assigned to national forests in Tuscaloosa, AL, Ocala, FL and Asheville, NC before joining the Georgia staff as a wildlife biologist at their office in Gainesville, GA. He was retired from the U.S. Forest Service.
Ben was married to Mary Lee Sanders, who preceded him in death on January 8, 2009. He is survived by his children; Ben A. and Lisa Sanders of Cumming, GA, their children, Colin, Eric and Megan; his daughter Leigh Ann and Brandon Hobgood of McDonough, GA. Stepsons, Scott Armour and fiance Debra Robinson of Tallahassee, FL, Benjamin (Denny) and Diane Armour of Gainesville, GA. Stepgrandchildren are Latasha Armour, Bailey Armour, Trent Armour and Sierra Hobgood. Several other relatives also survive.
Those wishing to send online condolences may do so at masonandwardfuneralhomeandcremation.com