John Delmar “Del” Sanders, 80, Leavenworth, Kansas, died Saturday, May 9, 2020, at his home. He was born April 11, 1940, in Riverside, California, the son of Floyd Sanders and Leora “Lay” Sanders.
On Sept. 2, 1962, he married Audrey Arent in Kimberly, Idaho. She survives at the home. He is also survived by his children, Melanie Meier and Priscilla Brooks (and her husband Keith Brooks) and a granddaughter, Isabella Brooks. Del was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Bernell and sister, Betty. He joined the Idaho National Guard in 1958 and began his active duty in the U.S. Army in 1964 after graduating from Idaho State University with a degree in business administration. Del served in Germany twice, and in 1968, while serving in Vietnam, he earned the Combat Infantry Badge, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry and the Bronze Star. Del was very proud of his service in Vietnam, where he led a team of advisors to a South Vietnamese unit. He earned a M.S. in counseling from Boston University and retired at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1984. Del and Audrey started their own business and his second career of 22 years as financial planners, brokers and income-tax preparers in Leavenworth. Attracted by the city’s rich history, Del and Audrey held two of the original 10 charter memberships of the Leavenworth Historical Museum Association (LHMA) where, as its most recent president, Del worked tirelessly to grow the First City Museum, C.W. Parker Carousel Museum and National Fred Harvey Museum. Del loved to find bargains and search for treasures. He collected antique trains, Structo toys, wind-up toys and battery-operated toys. His latest hobby/passion was restoring Kaiser cars. He traveled the Midwest in search of parts and fellow collectors in spite of cancer treatments, which had been ongoing since his diagnosis in 2017. Del was very proud of his community and had an open heart for anyone who needed help. He was an active member of the Catholic church and the Leavenworth Lions Club. Even after retirement from the Army, he continued to serve his nation for 30 years as a member of the World Class OPFOR during training exercises. Recently, when asked what his advice would be for future generations, he said, “Work hard, love your family, and be honest.”Services are pending. Del would be proud to have any memorials go to First City Museum at 743 Delaware St., Leavenworth, KS 66048.