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Robert Warren "Bob" Sanders

Died: Sunday, October 13, 2013
Age: 89
Robert Warren “Bob” Sanders, Lake Geneva, died Oct. 13, 2013. He was born in Tuscumbia, Ala., on July 31, 1924, the youngest of five children of Thomas Jefferson Sanders and Ann Mae Sanders. He liked to joke that Tuscumbia had two prominent citizens, Hellen Keller and Bob Sanders.

His father was an itinerant carpenter going where there was work, so when his mother died when Bob was less than 2 years old, he went to live with P.L. and Ansell Braden, who raised him with love and care. Bob attended Deshler High School and the University of Alabama. In 1942, he was drafted into the Army and served in Gen. Patton’s Army. During their march through France and into Germany, he became ill with pleurisy and was sent to a hospital in Shreveport, La., to recover. During a conversation with another patient about what they were going to do now that they were going back to civilian life, his friend said, “You like to talk, why don’t you go on the radio.”

He took that to heart, went back to the university and majored in radio arts. He also strutted his stuff as a drum major with the Million Dollar Band and played the bass fiddle in a dance band. His radio career began at a small station in Florence, Ala., and over the span of some 50 years he worked on radio stations in Brimingham, Kansas City, St. Louis, Wichita, Chicago, New York and Milwaukee.

While in St. Louis at KSD and KSD-TV, he met the love of his life, Betty Kwitzky. She was a freelance performer, and when they met at the TV station they found that they had many of the same career ambitions. They married on May 15, 1954, seven months to the day after they met. Their journey took them and their two children, Clarke and Lisa, to Kansas City and then on to Wichita where Bob and Betty developed a style of delivering commercial which worked for them.

When the family arrived in Chicago and the opportunity for Bob and Betty to work as a team on WBBM Radio came along they realized that the chemistry they had between them came through to their audience and they had not only a rapport between themselves, but with their audience as well. Even though they went to New York and Milwaukee after Chicago, they always felt that Chicago was where they enjoyed their greatest success.

Bob always said, “I never worked a day in my life, I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”

In recent years Bob became a prolific writer and his column “It Seems to Me” was featured in the Lake Geneva Regional News.

Bob is survived by his wife of 59 years, Betty; a son, Clarke (Lillian) Sanders; a daughter, Lisa Sanders (Dominique) Finas; and grandchildren, Miles Sanders, Emily Sanders and Gina Sanders (Rusty) Lueger.

Services are Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, at 11 a.m. at Linn Presbyterian Church, W3335 Willow Rd., Lake Geneva. Burial will follow in Spring Grove Cemetery in Delavan. Visitation will be Thursday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the chapel of the Derrick Funeral Home in Lake Geneva. In lieu of other expressions of sympathy memorials are requested in Bob’s name to: the Salvation Army. To sign the online guest registry please go to: www.derrickfuneralhome.com.

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Born October 30th
1839: Alfred Sisley, landscape painter.
1857: Gertrude Atherton, novelist.
1871: Paul Valery, poet and essayist.
1882: William F. Bull Halsey, Jr., American admiral who played an instrumental role in the defeat of Japan during World War II. The Japanese surrender was signed on his flagship, the USS Missouri.
1885: Ezra Pound, American poet who promoted Imagism, a poetic movement stressing free phrase rather than forced metric. He was imprisoned for his pro-Fascist radio broadcasts.
October 30th
in history
1925: Scotsman John L. Baird performs first TV broadcast of moving objects.
1938: H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds is broadcast over the radio by Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre. Many panic believing it is an actual newscast about a Martian invasion.
1941: The U.S. destroyer Reuben James, on convoy duty off Iceland, is sunk by a German U-boat with the loss of 96 Americans. Captain Johnnie Walker was the Royal Navy's most effective weapon against the German U-boat menace.
1950: The First Marine Division is ordered to replace the entire South Korean I Corps at the Chosin Reservoir area.In 1950, as U.S. Marines tried to fight their way out of a Chinese trap, Korea suffered its worst winter of the century. The men who struggled there suffered accordingly.
1991: BET Holdings Inc., becomes the first African-American company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.