Vernon Charles Sanders – Obituary

Vernon Charles Sanders

With great sadness, the family of Vernon Charles Sanders announces his passing on Jan. 10 at age 89.
Born on March 21, 1930, in Ventura, Vernon was adopted by Gertrude and the Rev. Charles Sanders, a Baptist minister. Along with sister Betty, they settled in Venice, California.
A smart, precocious child and teen, Vern tells the tale of riding his motorcycle through the halls of Venice High School, only to escape to the beach to play volleyball with his buddies.
He attended Santa Monica City College and USC, and enlisted in the Navy in 1949, serving aboard the USS Springfield and USS Gen. H.W. Butner until his honorable discharge in 1952.
A definite highlight for Vern, a motorcycle racer in his 20s, was being a part of the pit crew for Bill Johnson in his Joe Dudek-streamlined Triumph to set the world speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in 1962.
Vern’s professional career began as an engineer at North American Aviation and continued at Hydro-Aire/Crane Co. He assisted in creating the anti-skid and brake-control systems for the commercial aircraft industry until his retirement in 2000. Vern attended UCLA in the evening and earned a Graduate School of Management degree.
In 1955, Vern married Janet Ann Tietz in Santa Monica, and they made Westchester their home. Soon, they welcomed children Steve, Scott and Stephanie, and the family enjoyed summer camping trips to Lake Cachuma, car trips to Oregon, and working on Vern’s many classic cars and motorcycles.
They moved to La Cañada Flintridge in 1973, and Vern and Jan became active members of the Rose Bowl Bruins UCLA alumni group and would take their grandchildren to the Bruin Woods Alumni Camp in Lake Arrowhead in the summers. They also enjoyed car shows and road trips with their many friends in their T-Bird classic car group.
He is survived by his sister, Betty Sturdivant of Oregon; his daughter, Stephanie Thorne (John) of Pasadena; his six grandchildren: Cheyanna (John), Danyelle (Michael), Graner (Mallory), Annie (Mac), Kate (Stuart) and Bennett; as well as six great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents, Gertrude and Charles, his wife Janet, and sons Steve and Scott.
Vern was buried in a family graveside service on Jan. 27 at Forest Lawn Glendale, with the Naval Honor Guard in attendance.

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