Richard Jackson Saunders, 64, passed away on February 9, 2020 at his home in Rockford, IL. He was born in Mesa, Arizona, on January 22, 1956 and he was the son of Landon Earl and Jim Faye. He graduated salutatorian from Creede High School in 1974; where he played basketball, sang in choir, was in the Letterman’s Club, and was voted the “Student with the Most School Spirit”. He attended Wayland Baptist College in 1975. Rich was a man of many skills and over the course of his life had been employed as a miner, truck driver, worked in the drug/rehabilitation program for the Salvation Army, pest control specialist, an office manager with Faull and Sons, and most recently as a telephone banker with Alorica.
He attended Harvest Bible Chapel of Rockford. He enjoyed studying God’s Word, playing guitar, writing music, and reading books with his grandchildren. He will be remembered for the way he easily got along with everyone in any situation; his ease of laughter and [dad] jokes; the many hours he spent playing music and jamming with whoever might be willing to join him; and most importantly, his love for discussing what the Lord had mercifully and graciously done his life, and how the gospel applies to all of us.
He would easily say that the most meaningful day of his life was when he turned his life over to the Lord at the age of 38. A customer from work invited him to visit First Baptist of West Houston and it was there that he felt an overwhelming call from the Lord. He struggled with this feeling for several days, until he prayed a prayer of surrender and forgiveness. From that point on, Rich pursued Christ likeness and learned as much as he could about His Lord and Savior and what God’s calling for him meant.
As he drew nearer to the Lord, his desire grew to serve and use the gifts God had given him. Over the years, he spent time doing missions work in Honduras; he helped with a Nursing Home ministry; served the homeless with Maywood Evangelical Free Church; as an Elder for Cross Point Bible Fellowship in Ohio; and led worship at First Baptist of West Houston, Maywood Evangelical Free, and Cross Point Bible Fellowship. Rich was known for his selflessness, gentleness, and giving nature.
He is remembered by his sisters, Polly Morgan (Jerry), Becky Hardin (Jay), and Maggie Faull (Ted); his sons, Lance Saunders (Samantha) and Keith Saunders (Emily); his grandchildren, Evelyn, Elise, and River Saunders; as well countless nieces, and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Landon and Jim Saunders, brother Paul Saunders, and brother-in-law Jay Hardin. Rich was a devoted and loving father, brother, uncle and grandfather.
The funeral service will be held on February 22, 2020 at 4pm, at Harvest Bible Chapel, 5501 Windsor Rd, Loves Park, IL. 61111. There will be a reception immediately following the service, all are welcome to come and share a meal in celebration of Rich’s life.
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