Family owned & family focused since 1952

 Dr. Walter “Wally” Sanders


            Dr. Walter “Wally” Sanders of Sun Lakes, Arizona, and formerly of Mattoon, Illinois, died January 9 at his home. He was 94. He was a retired chiropractor who practiced in Mattoon between February 6, 1950, and July 3, 1990, when he closed his practice. A 1943 graduate of Benton Township High School, he attended Missouri College of Chiropractic before graduating in 1949 from the National College of Chiropractic in Chicago with a Doctor of Chiropractic degree.

During the 64 years that he lived in Mattoon, Wally was active in numerous civic, religious, fraternal, youth and educational organizations. He served as president of Toastmaster International, Columbian School Parent Teacher Association, Baptist Kindergarten Parent Teacher Association, and Kickapoo Rock and Mineral Club. He served as a director of the Lions Club and was exalted ruler of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Lodge 495 of Mattoon between 1955 and 1956. Wally was a member of the Elks ritual team that won the 1955-1956 state championship when he was named championship squire of Illinois. A commissioner of the Hickory District of Lincoln Trails Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Wally also served as cubmaster of Pack 54 at Columbian School. Other organizations to which he belonged included the Freemasonry, where he was involved in the High Twelve, Low Twelve, Shriners and Scottish Rite.

He served in the U.S. Navy between 1943 and 1946 and held the rank of signalman second class. During his time in the Navy, Wally served in the Navy Armed Guard Service, which protected U.S. and allied merchant ships during World War II. He was stationed on ships in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters during the war. A member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Wally also was a member of the U.S.N. Armed Guard World War II Veterans Association and, while living in Arizona, the Desert Navy. In Mattoon he was a longtime member of the First United Methodist Church and later a member of Broadway Christian Church. He was a member of the Mattoon Country Club and the Charleston Country Club.

In his spare time he enjoyed playing golf, woodworking and making jewelry. For many years he would take a two week-vacation in August and travel with his family to various historic sites and national parks in the Eastern and Western United States. Wally, an avid fan of the Chicago Cubs, realized a lifelong dream in 2016 when the Cubs won the World Series. He also liked to follow University of Illinois athletic teams. For many of his years in professional practice, Wally was part of a group of Mattoon professional men who had lunch on weekdays at the former Dinner Bell restaurant and, after it closed, Knowles Cafeteria.

Born October 6, 1925, in West City, Illinois, he was the son of Alonzo and Ora Belle (Davis) Sanders. He married Marilyn Jane Schreiber on November 12, 1949, in St. Louis. She died October 10, 1979. He later married Betty Hyland on April 30, 1983. She died February 20, 2013. Wally is survived by a brother, Sylvester, of Plano, Texas; a son, Craig (Mary Ann Whitley) of Indianapolis; a daughter, Denise Fleshner (Mark) of Sun Lakes, Arizona; one granddaughter, Kathryn Fleshner (Katlyn) of Gilbert, Arizona; and three great-grandchildren, Izabella, Arizona and Hadley. He was preceded in death by three brothers, Lawrence, Roy and Granville; and two sisters, Thelma and Pauline.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. on Jan. 29 in the chapel at Sun Lakes Community Church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Shriners Hospitals for Children-St. Louis at 4400 Clayton Avenue, St. Louis MO 63110.


  • Judy Thompson Posted January 25, 2020 7:52 AM

    Denise and Family;
    After reading the 94 outstanding years of life that your father enjoyed, you now have so many years of memories to live with and stories to share with your beautiful grandchildren. Memories don’t fade as long as you keeping sharing them. – Love, Fred & Judy Thompson

  • Nancy & George Heberling Posted January 25, 2020 8:43 AM

    What a wonderful life your Father had. You will have years of memories to treasure.

  • Ann and Frank Gavin Posted January 25, 2020 9:42 AM

    Dear Denise and Family, I was very saddened to learn of your father’s passing. You can take comfort in knowing what a full life he lived! Your memories of him will endure. Love, Ann and Frank

  • Deb & Tim Burns Posted January 25, 2020 10:26 AM

    Denise, Mark and Family. What a great life your father made for himself. I always enjoyed hearing of his escapades with all his friends at The Renaissance. As much as he will be missed it is wonderful to have so many lasting memories.

  • Dave and Sandy Krediet Posted January 26, 2020 8:08 AM

    Denise and Mark, What an interesting life your father lived. I am sorry I never had a chance to meet him. He definitely embraced life and we should all learn from that. You have been a great daughter over the years. Take comfort knowing you were there for him. Dave and I are here for you. Hugs and prayers.

  • Karen Groth Posted January 26, 2020 10:45 AM

    So sorry for your loss.. Sounds like your father made the most of his 94 years; may God bless your family.

  • Terry & Christine Ward Posted January 27, 2020 5:27 AM

    We are sorry to see of Wally’s passing and your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  • Judy (Harrington) Towle, Mattoon, Illinois Posted January 27, 2020 8:31 AM

    Dr Sanders meant the world to our family. He took care of my dad for many years, and became a friend of our family. He even did some gardening at our home.
    He had comforting words when my father passed away. Dr Sanders was just a wonderful man.
    You have our deepest sympathy.

  • Debbie Pierce Posted January 27, 2020 1:39 PM

    Craig and Denise: We lived next door to y’all when we were kids (remember digging to China??). Mom, Suzie, and I were so sorry to hear of your dad’s passing. He was one of the good guys and seemed to enjoy every one of his 94 years. I’d missed seeing him walking at the Mall and didn’t realize he’d relocated to Arizona. God bless you and comfort you and your families during this challenging time. With deep sympathy, Debbie, Suzie, and Shorty Pierce

  • Elaine Ralls Posted January 28, 2020 1:39 PM

    You and your family are so blessed to have had this wonderful man in your life and loving you. My prayers go out to you all for many wonderful times reliving the impact he has on everything he did…..President of Toastmasters!! Sounds like he and I would be best friends. All my love to you and the family.

  • Leland and Kathy Warren Posted January 29, 2020 7:59 PM

    We’re very sorry to hear about Wally’s passing. We remember him well from our Sunday School class at Broadway Christian Church in Mattoon. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  • Monica Powers Mattoon, IL Posted May 6, 2020 9:45 AM

    I was so sorry to hear about Wally. He was a great person and left quite a legacy. You and your family have so much to be proud of him. I enjoyed his friendship and sense of humor. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you. May God continue to comfort you in all ways. I knew him and Betty as I’d cleaned their house for them before he moved.

Comments are closed.