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Craig L. Saunders – Manchester

Craig Lyle Saunders, 66, of Manchester, Iowa, passed away on Wednesday, September 29, 2021, at the Buchanan County Health Center in Independence. He was born on October 21, 1954, in Manchester, the son of Lyle and Gayle (Gearhart) Saunders.  Craig was raised and educated in the Manchester area and was a 1973 graduate of West Delaware High School. He then attended Iowa Automotive and Diesel Institute in Cedar Rapids.

On September 11, 1976, Craig was united in marriage to Brenda Glawe at Hope Lutheran Church in Littleport. Two daughters were born to this union. Craig worked for Houlihan Ag, during which time he was presented the “Star Agribusiness Man” award at the National FFA Convention in 1975. He worked construction at Great Plains several years, and then began a 30-year career as a material handler at Exide Technologies until retiring in 2017. Craig spent his retirement years doing what he loved – helping his nephew at Winthrop Sales & Service repairing equipment and shooting the breeze with everyone. Farming was his passion, so he continued to ‘farm on the side’ while working all other jobs.

Craig was a longtime member of First Lutheran Church in Manchester. He was a “fixer” who could repair just about anything. Craig restored many John Deere tractors and was always on the lookout for his next project.  As for tractors, it had to be John Deere (unless the red ones were OLD enough); vehicles, Dodge, no discussion. He loved his family and especially enjoyed trips to Colorado spending time with the grandkids. Camping at Lazy T Campground with friends brought him much happiness. He had a special skill of enjoying a nap anywhere. He was most comfortable at farm auctions, driving around the countryside checking out crops, or morning coffee with the boys. With a little arm-twisting, he ventured on trips to Alaska, Hawaii, and Cancun with family.

Survivors include his wife of 45 years, Brenda Saunders of Manchester; his two daughters, April McIntire (friend, Sean McClay) of Aurora, Colorado and Sara (Mark) Reeder of Castle Rock, Colorado; three grandchildren, Caiden McIntire, Grayson Reeder, and Rocklyn Reeder; his father, Lyle Saunders of Manchester; his six siblings. Krista (Denny) Meyer of Manchester, Kerri (Rick) Linderwell of Dundee, Scott (Sandy) Saunders of Marion, Kevin (Lisa) Saunders of Winthrop, Kenda (Art) Gourley of Earlville, and Karla (Gary) Francois of Manchester; 20 nieces and nephews; and uncles and cousins.

Craig was preceded in death by his mother, Gayle Saunders, and a brother-in-law, David Ager.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials.

Online condolences may be sent to

Funeral Service: 10:30 a.m., on Monday, October 4, 2021, at First Lutheran Church in Manchester, with Rev. Tony Ede officiating.

Visitation: 2:00 to 7:00 p.m., on Sunday, October 3, 2021, at Leonard-Muller Funeral Home in Manchester.  Friends may also call one hour before the service at the church on Monday.

Interment:  Coffins Grove Cemetery – Manchester, Iowa

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