Joseph (Joe) George Saunders, 85 of Fayetteville, NC passed away Sunday, February 7, 2021.
Joseph was born December 31, 1935 in Pitcairn, PA to Mary Saunders. Joseph was preceded in death by his loving wife, Adelina, his mother, Mary and beloved granddaughter, Tracy Saunders.
Joseph is survived by his four children, Wanda Saunders Coleman of Fayetteville, Thelma Saunders Vest of Hope Mills, David Saunders and wife, Sheila of Fayetteville and Evette Saunders Lane and husband Jack of Jacksonville, NC, His brother Mike Saunders of Monroeville, PA sisters Delores Burik of Monroeville, PA and Ruth Marston of Pitcairn, PA, 4 grandchildren, 8 great grandchildren and 4 great-great grandchildren as well as many nieces and nephews.
Joseph joined the army in 1954. He served 2 tours of duty in Vietnam.
He earned many military awards and recognitions. Some of his decorations & medals include: National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Master Parachutist Badge, Vietnam Service Medal/ Air Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Bronze Star Medal Presidential Unit Citation, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, Cambodian Jump Wings, Army Commendation Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal Silver Clasp w/ 3 Loops, Legion of Merit, Sharpshooter Badge, Army Service Ribbon, NCO Professional Development Ribbon.
The highlight of his career was being a member of the Golden Knights Parachute Team where he served from 1969- 1972 and 1974 - 1977. He divided his duties between demonstration jumping where he performed countless breathtaking cut-aways and his duties as supply sergeant for the Golden Knights. He retired in 1984 as Sergeant Major after 30 years in the service.
After retiring from the Army he moved to Florida and opened G I Joes Upholstery Shop. He soon went to work as a VA coordinator at Seminole Community College where he took much delight in helping veterans procure financial aid for college. After retiring from his second career he moved back to Fayetteville, NC to be closer to his children.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 1pm at Jernigan-Warren Chapel with Father Kelly, officiating. Entombment will follow at the Lafayette Memorial Park Mausoleum with military honors. The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 12-1:00 pm on Thursday. Masks and Social Distancing will be encouraged. A livestream of the service and committal can be viewed at the Jernigan-Warren Facebook page at this link. http://www.facebook.com/JerniganWarren/
In lieu of flowers memorials can be made to the Alzheimer's Association or a charity of your choice.
Online condolences may be sent to www.jerniganwarren.com
Arrangements by Jernigan-Warren Funeral Home, 545 Ramsey St. Fayetteville, NC 28301
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joseph G. Saunders, please visit our floral store.
Alzheimer's Association of NC
5171 Glenwood Ave. #101, Raleigh NC 27612