MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Obituaries

November 30, 2013

Thomas Dexter “Tom” Sanders

1940 - 2013

Thomas Dexter “Tom” Sanders, 73, of Muskogee, passed away Thursday surrounded by his family. Tom was born June 13, 1940 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma to William Dexter Sanders and Fern (Harris) Sanders. He grew up and attended elementary schools in Tahlequah and graduated from Muskogee’s Central High School with the class of 1958. During his high school years, Tom worked as a Newspaper Pressman for the Muskogee Daily Phoenix.

He enlisted in the U.S. Navy shortly after graduation and was honorably discharged in 1961, serving as an Electrician Mate Third Class. He served on the vessel, U.S.S. Savage in Pearl Harbor with the ranking of Lt. of the U.S. Navy as an Executive Officer. After his discharge from the U.S. Navy, Tom moved to Denver, Colorado and enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1966. He served as a Commanding Officer of the 279th Infantry and the 45th Infantry Divisions during battle times.  Tom also served in the 82nd Infantry Airborne Division of North Carolina as a prestigious flyer for the Army. He also served in Viet Nam as a Commanding Officer in the 502nd Airborne Infantry of the Second Brigade of the 101st “Screaming Eagles” Division. It was during this time that he also served as a Green Beret. Tom was the recipient of many prestigious metals and badges including the National Defense Service Medal, the Parachute Badge, the Viet Nam Service Medal, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Viet Nam Campaign Medal with Device and the Bronze Star Medal for heroism during the Viet Nam War as was directed by the President in 1968. When receiving the Bronze Star Medal it was noted for his Meritorious Achievement in Ground Operations against Hostile Forces in the Republic of Viet Nam. Tom was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in 1969.

After his honorable discharge from the Armed Forces of the United States, Tom moved back to Northeastern Oklahoma, where he met the love of his life, Myrna Allen. They were married at her mother’s home in Muskogee on August 2, 1974. They celebrated over 38 years of marriage together.

Tom began his civilian career working at Cablevision and then O. G. & E. for almost 20 years. He worked at the power plant when he retired from O. G. & E. in 1996. He enjoyed being an electrician.

Tom’s hobbies included fishing, tennis, coaching softball and spending time with his family. His most enjoyable hobby was watching the Denver Broncos.  His family knew that they dare not disturb him while he was watching the Broncos in play. Tom also adored his cat, Katie Lynn.  They enjoyed each other’s company for many years.

Tom was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Myrna, his brothers and his son-in-law, Hank Glass and niece, Destrie Frazier Winters.

He is survived by his daughters, Vanessa Glass of Muskogee, Kristina Hight (Randy Reeve) of Muskogee; his grandchildren, Branson Glass, Hunter Glass, Jimmy Hight and Tyler Hight all of Muskogee; his sister, Deanna Beaty and husband Mike of Tulsa; his niece, Dawn Miller of Broken Arrow; his great nephew, Julian Rom of Broken Arrow; several other nieces and nephews and other family members including his sister-in-law and brother-in-law Debby and Jerry Frazier.

Graveside Funeral Services will be Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. at Greenhill Cemetery with Reverend Tom Shelton officiating. Full military honors will be presented.

Funeral Services are under the direction of Cornerstone Funeral Home, 1830 North York Street, Muskogee, Oklahoma. Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.cornerstoneofmuskogee.com

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