In Memory

Arden Walter Sanderson (Industrial Arts Teacher)

Arden Walter Sanderson (Industrial Arts Teacher)

Arden Walter Sanderson

29 Sep 1923 in Hutchinson, Kansas - 6 Nov 2023 in Kearney, Nebraska

KEARNEY — Arden Walter Sanderson, age 100 years, 1 month, and 8 days old, died surrounded by family on Monday, Nov. 6, 2023 at Good Samaritan Society — St. John’s in Kearney due to (very!) old age. Funeral services will be at 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 11 at Horner Lieske McBride and Kuhl Funeral and Cremation Services with Pastor Greg Swinney officiating. Visitation will be prior to services from 1 to 2 PM on November 11, 2023 at the funeral home. Graveside services with military rites will be 11:00 AM on Monday, November 27, 2023 at Hilltop Cemetery near Raymond, Kansas.

Arden was born on Saturday, September 29th, 1923 in Hutchinson, Kansas to Walter and Florence (Wesseler) Sanderson. He squawked so loudly on arrival that when the nurses took him to the nursery his mom told them to ‘just bring him back and put him on my chest’ since she could hear him crying anyway. Arden worked hard as a child in the Arkansas Valley Grain Elevator alongside his father. As a child, he enjoyed being the only boy sandwiched between his beloved sisters, Verda and Elva. He excelled in athletics at Bentley High School, and set state sprint records (on borrowed track shoes) that weren’t broken until the late 1990’s. He received his diploma from Bentley High School in May of 1942 and took off to Kansas State University in Manhattan to play football.

He was drafted in January of 1943, after only one semester in college. Initially, he thought he’d join the Army, but changed his mind and picked the Navy because he ‘knew he’d have a bed to sleep in every night.’ He completed training as a Water Tender First Class and started serving on the USS Nashville on March 24th, 1943. Highlights during his time on the ship included hosting Douglas MacArthur twice; serving as an escort ship to the USS Hornet, the aircraft carrier that launched Doolittle’s Raiders; surviving a few Kamikaze attacks; and finding his cousin from Kansas docked next to him in the middle of the South Pacific. He was discharged on March 21st, 1946 for a total active duty service of 3 years and 4 days. He never forgot to include the 4 days! He then served in the Army Reserves during the Korean War. The crew of the USS Nashville held regular reunions, and he was proud that he never missed a single one. He had planned to be the Grand Marshal of the November 11th Veterans Day Parade in Kearney this year.

He returned home after the war to work with his father and at Boeing Factory in Wichita. While visiting a new baby in the Hutchinson hospital, he met a nurse named Rosalie. She told him to leave because visiting hours were over. He followed her rules, but returned the next day, visited the baby, picked up her phone number, and ended up marrying her on Christmas Day of 1947 in Hutchinson, Kansas. Arden and Rosalie made their home in Hutchinson, and their son Ken was born in January of 1950. Roxanne was born in August of 1954, and Bruce followed closely after in December of 1955. He received a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology from Pittsburg State University in 1953. While his children were young, he worked as a traveling salesman for City Service, and also opened a Rambler dealership in Pittsburg. During this time in his life, he worked hard to make sure his kids were loved and provided for, was an extremely fun uncle, and did a dutiful job of caring for his widowed mother.

Eventually, Arden pursued a career change and was grandfathered into the Wichita Public School system as an auto mechanics teacher at West High. He taught there from 1967 until he retired in 1987. He enjoyed the work and students, but mostly enjoyed chumming around with his colleagues and keeping the teacher’s lounge well-stocked with snacks. One summer, Arden and his pal Charlie decided they wanted to make a bit more money, so they moved down to Pittsburg and Arden obtained his master’s degree in Automotive Technology.

After retiring in 1987, he and Rosalie enjoyed traveling. He also stayed busy driving the Red Cross blood mobile, attending Lions Club meetings, and serving as volunteer maintenance man at West Heights United Methodist Church. Arden took his role as a family man seriously and made it to most every family event, attended athletic activities, came to babysit at the drop of a hat, and shuttled grandkids and his mother-in-law wherever they wanted to go.

Rosalie died on March 21st, 1999. He was devastated, but kept his head held high and continued to stay busy. He remarried a good family friend, Carolyn Comfort, on January 8th, 2000 and moved to Claremore, Oklahoma, where they had many fun and happy years together. Carolyn died on July 12th, 2023. He spent a total of 75 years as a married man and was a loyal and dedicated husband.

In the fall of 2021, Arden moved from Oklahoma to Nebraska to be closer to family, and had the time of his life for the last 2 years. He kept his candy bowl well-stocked for when family visited, was the crowd favorite at family events, and mostly enjoyed watching his great-grandkids play and marveling at their youth and energy.

Arden loved (in no particular order): using his senior citizen discount wherever he could, being assigned to hold a baby, practical jokes, hard manual labor, knowing where every chocolate factory was in the Midwest, proudly displaying his grandparent pass at the Sedgwick County zoo, hearing the words ‘could you run an errand for me?’, eating at Furr’s buffet on Friday night, laughing until he cried, remote keyless entry (hitting the alarm made it so easy to find his car!), telling a good story and having the perfect pause before the punchline, candy and ice cream, driving at all hours of the day and night, working hard enough to put all 3 of his children through college, being available to take his grandkids to the Peterson elementary playground anytime they asked, loitering in Sam’s Club all day on sample Saturday, rarely having to use a map, belting out the Doxology at church, reading the Wichita Eagle Beacon over burnt toast slathered in butter and peanut butter, road trips, eating meals with family and friends, and keeping his garage clean as whistle to keep his wife happy.

Arden did not love (in no particular order): frivolous purchases, cars made anywhere other than the USA, gambling, letting his grass get too long, cold toes, letting his hair touch his collar, and ‘hippie music.’

Arden didn’t let life shake him, didn’t worry about the next day, and didn’t worry about what might have been. Any job that needed done, he knew he was the man to get it done. If he had 9 lives, he used 30,000 of them, and used them pretty darn well. He was easy to love and hard to let go.

Left with a permanent Arden-sized hole in their hearts are his pride and joy children, Ken and Jayne Sanderson of Spring Hill, KS, Roxanne and George Bascom of Kearney, NE, and Bruce and Cathy Sanderson of Wichita, KS. He is also survived by his grandchildren Matt (the PhD Sociologist) and Molly Sanderson of Manhattan, KS, Josh (the electrical whiz) and Chasity Sanderson of Spring Hill, KS, Abby (the undertaker) and Lance Shurtz of Caddo Mills, TX, Ali (the hearing lady) and Austin McKeown of Wichita, KS, Donna (the druggist) and Chris Eirich of Hickman, NE, Sally (the personal nurse) and Morgan Farquhar of Holdrege, NE and Sam (the baby of the family) Bascom of Kearney, NE. He is also survived by rambunctious great-grandchildren Millie and Meade Sanderson, Dylan, Camden, Madelynn, and London Sanderson, Will Ciaramitaro, Laney Kay Shurtz, Alivia McKeown and brother due in February, Paige and Jack Eirich, and Jay, Carolyn and Lillian Farquhar. Nieces and nephews he adored include John Walter Eadie, Clark and Carla Eadie, Beth Ann Eadie, Ron and Madonna Androes, Marlene Androes, Dale and Karen Williamson, Keith and Valerie Williamson, and Glenna Williamson, He is also survived by those of Carolyn’s family who loved him dearly — Bill and Margaret Henley, John Bolin and Tim Hunt, Chris Comfort, Candi Comfort, CarriAnn Comfort, Bill and Heather Comfort, Jim and Shellie Comfort, and John and Sonny Comfort.

Arden was preceded in death by his first wife Rosalie, his second wife Carolyn; his parents Florence and Walter and sisters Verda Eadie and Elva Androes; his in laws Chuck Eadie, Ervin Androes, Betty and Charles Williamson, and Bob and Leona Williamson; his nieces and nephews Linda Williamson, Gary Williamson, Curtis Eadie, Stephen Androes, and Bobby Williamson.

Memorials are suggested to the Hilltop Cemetery in Raymond. Please visit to leave a tribute or message of condolence. Horner Lieske McBride & Kuhl Funeral and Cremation Services are in charge of arrangements.


Link to Library of Congress Video