Major Charles Sanders joined his wife in eternity on April 27, 2023. Although he was born in South Carolina, Charles spent much of his early life at Fort Sill, Oklahoma as a military “brat”. He joined the Army in 1959 as a recruit E-1 Airborne Volunteer and subsequently attended airborne training as a member of the 1st Airborne Battle Group, 506th Infantry Currahees, 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, KY. During his military career, Major Sanders served with not only the 101st but the 82nd Airborne Division, 5th Special Forces, and the XVIII Airborne Corps among his many varied assignments. Like most career military personnel, he was able to visit many wonderful locations and enjoy the experience of a wide variety of duties from carrying ammunition to battery commander and, after a branch transfer, from the 82nd Airborne Division Artillery signal officer to Chief of Plans and Operations, STRATCOM, Okinawa.
After military retirement in 1979, Charles accepted a position with IIT Research Institute, a contractor for the Department of Defense Electromagnetic Compatibility Analysis Center at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. In 1985 his wife and best friend Chris waged a successful battle against cancer and they both decided to leave the workforce for good.
Doing much of the design and work themselves, they built a retirement home on the water in Virginia on a tributary of their beloved Chesapeake Bay where they had sailed extensively while living in Maryland. After a few years and as the property required more and more time and effort to maintain, with health problems looming again, they decided to relocate again. In 1991 Charles and his beloved Chris became residents of Niceville, FL.
Charles was a dedicated soldier, a loving husband, and a loyal friend who will be missed by all who knew him.
He is predeceased by his parents, Charles E. and Virginia Sanders of Midwest City, OK, and his wife of 37 years, Christina F. Sanders. He is survived by four children from a previous marriage, his current wife, Vlasta Sanders, and a sister and brother-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. James Gallegly of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
At Mr. Sanders’ request, and in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, TN, or Covenant Hospice of Niceville, FL. Memorial Service will be at McLaughlin Mortuary Chapel at 10:00 AM on May 9, 2023, followed by the Burial with full military honors at Barrancas National Cemetery, Pensacola, FL at 1:00 PM.
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