Leo Lester “Mike” Saunders, 86, of Ryan, Iowa, died at his home on Saturday, November 9, 2013.
He was born on October 30, 1927, at Pequot Lakes, Minnesota, the son of Ray Lusley and Pearl Marie (Trulson) Saunders. Mike was raised and educated in Rice, Minnesota, and graduated from high school at the age of 16. After graduation, he enlisted in the Merchant Marines at the age of 17. He also served honorably in the Navy during World War II. After he was discharged, he joined his parents on the farm that they purchased by Hopkinton.
On February 3, 1952, Mike was united in marriage to Arlene “Jeanette” Houston at the Buck Creek Church. Together they farmed near Hopkinton and in 1954 they bought a farm in rural Ryan. They retired to Ryan in 1990.
Mike was a lifelong member of Golden Church. He loved his family especially his grandchildren, the land, and fishing.
Survivors include his wife, Jeanette of Ryan; two daughters, Bonnie A. (Mark) McKibbin of Marion, and Connie R. Lendt of Lehigh Acres, Florida; one son, Alan L. (Debra) Saunders of Ryan; nine grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and two brothers, Lyle (Gayle) Saunders of Manchester, and Chet (Maureen) Saunders of Eden Prairie, Minnesota.
Mike was preceded in death by his parents; four brothers, Johnny, Sid, Paul and Roy Saunders; and two sisters, Gladys Schultz and Ellen Pritchard.
Online condolences may be sent to www.leonard-mullerfh.com.
Visitation. 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 12, 2013, at Leonard-Muller Funeral Home in Manchester and one hour before the service at the church on Wednesday.
Funeral Service: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, November 13, 2013, at Golden Congregational Church rural Ryan, Iowa. Pastor Mary C. Taylor, Officiating
Interment with Military Rites: Golden Congregational Cemetery, rural Ryan, Iowa
Casket Bearers: Matthew Nissen Adam Lendt Michael Saunders Erik Lendt
Honorary Bearers: Kenneth Eike Robert Garner Craig Arjes
Music: Shirley Helmrichs