Gaylen Edward Sanders, 80, of Poplar Bluff completed his earthly journey Friday, July 3, 2020 at his home surrounded by his loving wife and family.
Gaylen, the son of the late Chester and Aleene Bridgman Sanders, was born Sept. 30, 1939, in Poplar Bluff. He married Pamela Farris on June 16, 1995, in Poplar Bluff.
He graduated from Poplar Bluff High School and attended Memphis State. He was a member of Fellowship General Baptist Church. Gaylen held a Master Electrician License for 50 years and owned and operated the Radio Shack at Mansion Mall Shopping Center in Poplar Bluff for 8 years. While at Mansion Mall he also co-owned and operated the Sports Shack with his brother Steve. He served as City Councilman - Mayor Tem and Mayor of Poplar Bluff in 1978. He was elected County Commissioner of Eastern Butler County in 1990, where he was instrumental in improving many roads and building several bridges. He was also instrumental in forming the Pike Creek Sewer District and served on the Board of Directors for several years. Gaylen served 15 years on the University of Missouri Extension Council and worked in Ag Expo for 22 years. He was an avid pilot and owned several airplanes. Over the years Gaylen tested and was qualified to fly 13 different types of planes. He served on the Poplar Bluff Airport Advisory Board for 18 years. He also served as co-chairman of the Air Explorer Post and was instrumental in teaching several young people to fly. Gaylen completed the Missouri State Sheriff's academy and held a deputy sheriff's commission under Sheriff Bill Heaton. He served eight years in the Army National Guard as a Medic in the 315th Field Artillery Company in Memphis, TN.
Gaylen was a motorcycle enthusiast and was in his element while riding and traveling on his Goldwing Motorcycle. He belonged to the Goldwing Road Riders and the Christian Motorcycle Association. He liked to drag race corvettes and participate in hill climbing events. He raced go-karts and rode in motocross races in the Memphis and Mississippi areas. Over the years he completed over 500,000 miles by motorcycle, traveling to all 48 states as well as Nova Scotia, Prince Edwards Island and all Provinces of Canada. His love of travel took him to Peru where he spent a week on the Amazon River. He also took a seven-day trip on the Colorado River thru the Grand Canyon.
Gaylen was the grandmaster of the Poplar Bluff ROMEO Club, (Retired Old Men Eating Out) and was co-founder with long-time friend Howard Vinson of the “Table of Truth and Knowledge” at Burger King. He will be missed!
Survivors include his wife Pam; son Jeffrey Lynn Sanders of Forsyth, MO; two grandsons, Jackson Sanders and Josh Sanders; two brothers, Glen Alan Sanders and his wife Dorothy of St. Louis and Steven L. Sanders; a sister Judith Sanders Parker, both of Poplar Bluff; two nieces; a nephew; and a host of friends.
A gathering of family and friends will begin at noon Wednesday at Fellowship General Baptist Church in Poplar Bluff with a Celebration of Life following at 2 pm. Rev. Byron Beck will officiate with Rev. Bill Orr assisting. Gaylen’s last ride will take place on a beloved Goldwing motorcycle as his urn is carried to Black Creek Cemetery for a graveside committal service.
Memorial donations may be made to United Cancer Assistance Network (UCAN), 1899 N Westwood, PMB #172, Poplar Bluff, MO 63901.
Cotrell Funeral Service is honored to serve the family of Gaylen E. Sanders.
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United Cancer Assistance Network (UCAN)
1899 N. Westwood Suite C, PMB# 172, Poplar Bluff MO 63901