Theodore (Ted) John Saunders

Theodore John Saunders

Theodore (Ted) John Saunders, 74, died peacefully in his sleep on May 30th, 2017 at 1:55pm at Evergreen Hospice in Kirkland, WA.

He had a 7-year battle with multiple myeloma, a very painful form of cancer. We were very blessed by all the medical staff we encountered along his journey who helped in so many ways. But cancer was just the last in a series of battles he endured through his life. He endured severe hearing loss at age five. He had to train his brain to deal with sounds in ways that are automatic for most people, and crowded settings were extremely challenging.

He grew up on a farm in Montana where he learned the importance of hard work. His hearing impairment did not stop him from working hard through college or achieving a long-time career with the Washington State Highway of Transportation as a Civil Engineer. He tested his comfort zone when he joined Toastmasters and it developed into another way for him to communicate with others. He excelled and was awarded the Distinguished Toastmasters award (DTM) by the Toastmasters International for his excellent/thoughtful speeches and his consistent work with the members. He also became more prominent in initiating, moderating, and participating in various bible forums/reading groups online. He proved to be a very patient and encouraging help to those communities.

In part because of his hearing loss he was less social than most, but he managed to find his perfect match in his wife of 47 years Joanne Saunders. Her outgoing personality complemented his less outgoing personality in a way that reached people. They continued to uplift and inspire others.

We are thankful for his second family, the awesome employees of Valley Medical Center. He and my mom where there for one reason or another almost daily until she passed away. Everyone knew them because the light of God’s love they emitted.

Ted was preceded in death by his wife of 47 years, Joanne Saunders, his parents, John and Theresa Saunders, and sister Betty Saunders.

He is survived by his eldest daughter nan Saunders and fiancé Titus Mutuma Ringera, his daughter Katey Welch and adored grandsons Christopher Saunders and Justin Welch. He is also survived by his brother Don and sister-in-law Vivianne Saunders. His brother Roger, wife Sheryle and their children Kathryn and Nathan Saunders.

We take comfort in all of the lives that Ted touched and his devotion to God and his service to others. Ted played an important part of his grandsons’ development into caring thoughtful adults themselves.

A private graveside burial will take place at Hillside Burial Park in Kent Washington on June 12th.

A celebration of life reception will be held on June 12, 2017 from 5 -8 pm at:

2908 South 216th St Des Moines WA 98198

Please RSVP to Katey Welch via Facebook if you plan to attend.

8 Responses to “Theodore (Ted) John Saunders”

  • Kelly Irvin says:

    This obituary is a touching tribute to a man who was a seeker of truth. I look forward to meeting him in person in God’s Kingdom.

  • Debbie Nones says:

    Sorry for your loss. Condolences to your entire family.

  • Mike Hayden says:

    What a good man. I’m comforted to know that you will never be in pain again. Ted was a reliable friend, my best walking partner, former boss, Toastmaster home club member and mentor. He will live on in my heart. I will always cherish his memory.

  • Jenny Hanahan says:

    Ted was a good man, who truly was a seeker of truth. I had the pleasure to get to know him through almost two decades of being on many of the same online Bible discussion forums. I know Ted loved God, sought deeper understandings and cherished his wife, children, grandchildren, friends and family. He will be missed in so many people’s daily lives. You’re all in my and my husband’s prayers for peace and comfort.
    Colossians 4:6
    Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

  • Larry Hardison says:

    Ted was always pleasant and personable in the 20+ years we had known one another. We met in church after my wife and I moved into the area. We used to kid about the congregation being the “mobile church of God” since we had to relocate so many times.

    Circumstances within and without unfortunately put time and distance between us. Yet toward the end we had more in common than in our earlier days of friendship. I have and will miss Ted; yet have living hope that we shall renew our friendship in the resurrection.

  • Peggy Dean says:

    Theo will be missed by many as he was on a journey seeking truth and inspired many (myself included) to think more deeply in our thoughts and views. I enjoyed our chats and enjoyed seeing his pictures he posted on FB of what he saw on his morning walks. Joanne and I wrote to each other and I prize things she sent along as well as her notes. My condolences to family and friends and know you are in thoughts and prayers.

  • Shirley Senay says:

    What a dear sweet man who loved God and others. He will be missed. Rest in peace. May God’s love, comfort and peace surround his family during this time of grief.

  • Gary Lathrop says:

    I was here in my clinic (I was Ted’s Ear man) and I thought of him. I tried last December 2018 to reach him but had no luck. Today I looked him up and found this. I was looking for Ted because I missed him, I still do. He was a really good guy, we would talk for an hour in the clinic and I would hear of his growing up, the home made sled they used that was pulled around in the car. He was also a man of exception, to do what he did for a living, even with his hearing Loss. He was a friend, I will miss him.

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