At the end of our time on Earth we become stories told and memories cherished by those who remain to tell them. Stories that motivate and unite and comfort the people we touched with our words and actions. Keith lives on in the stories of people and communities near and far: stories of leadership, commitment, love, hard work, and family.
In 1949, at the age of 25, Keith took over his father’s farm in Shanty Bay. In the following decades, Keith raised various crops and had many heavy draft show horses, all while milking a prize herd of Holstein cattle. After retiring from full-time farming, Keith went to work at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie for a number of years, as well as tending to a herd of Dorset sheep, all before retiring to the Leacock community in Orillia at the age of 80. And like his father before him, he worked hard on and off the farm. Forming himself into a leader across Simcoe County, he held numerous presidencies, directorships and stewardships in agricultural societies, hockey leagues, and the church. He wore overalls in the barn, slacks day-to-day, and a nice suit to church on Sundays. That man looked good in a suit.
Keith and Myrna’s home was full of the wonderful things that proved their gentle nature: licorice hidden in the sock drawer, decorative soaps in the bathroom, Keith’s cologne lingering after a warm hug or slap on the back, a hutch of china teacups, charcoal for a family barbeque, the family crest by the front door, and photo frames all around the house filled with snapshots of their family and friends. After 75 years by her side, Keith missed Myrna every day since she passed in 2017. As quick as Keith was to shed a tear of affection and pride, so too would he tear up when he spoke of her.
The things Keith carries with him into his next life are the same things he leaves with us: the warmth in a sincere greeting, the comfort in a family’s love, the strength in a community, and the peace given and received by a virtuous life well lived. His stories will be cherished for the rest of our lives.
Keith Albert Sanderson, born April 16, 1924 (Barrie, Ontario). Passed away at Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital in Orillia on May 25, 2020 in his 97th year.
Predeceased by wife Myrna Mae Slessor, daughter Myrna “Joy” Simpson and his seven siblings.
Survived by son Garry Sanderson (Krissann Regan), grandchildren Rob Sanderson (Katie), Krista (Dan Leigh), Kimberly (Logan Amos), Kerry Simpson, Todd Simpson and Trevor Simpson (Alyssa), and great grandchildren Owen, Miller, Harper, Makenna, Hunter, Norah and Seneca, and son-in-law Brian Simpson and special extended family members Joan and Les Fairbarn.
Interment was held privately for the family on June 1, 2020 at Guthrie United Church.
As an expression of sympathy, memorial donations may be made to the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre Foundation
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