Jeffery Mason Sanders lived in Mayview, Missouri, all his life with generations of family. He was born on March 31, 1962, to Ella and Samuel Sanders. Jeff had two siblings, Eleanor Lockhart and John Sanders. He graduated from Odessa High School in 1980 with honors.
He was a self-employed farmer, worked for the Mayview Special Road District, and was a Mayview firefighter. He was a member of the Mayview Lions Club, where he served as vice president, president, and on many committees. He was involved with Fortyville 4-H, Odessa FFA, and was always involved with his community.
On June 19, 1984, he asked Connie Howerton to marry him. They were married on August 5 that same year at Zion UCC in Mayview. On September 4, 1985, their daughter, Samantha, joined the family. Ten years later, on July 5, 1995, God blessed them with a son, Tyler. After 13 years of dating David Burroughs, Sammi was escorted down the aisle by Jeff on May 17, 2013, when she and David were married. On March 3, 2015, Jeff saw his first grandchild, Samuel Mason Burroughs, who became the light in Jeff’s world.
In winter 1985, a fire occurred at Jeff’s home. Everyone was OK, and the damage was minor, but thoughts of what could have happened sparked Jeff and his best friend, Roger Vorwark (LODD, Odessa Fire Protection, March 14, 2009), to join the Mayview firefighters the next week. Jeff served in every way he could for 32 years. He served as Mayview Fire Board president for many years. He was involved in building the new fire station. One of the things he enjoyed most was training new firefighters.
On June 19, 2017, 33 years to the day after he asked Connie to marry him, Jeff was finishing up a fire call when a tragic accident caused a chain of events that ended Jeff’s time with us on earth. Thankfully, the young firefighter with him, though badly injured, survived and is healthy today. Jeff would not have wanted it any other way.
Jeff was a quiet, strong man with a giving heart. He had a sixth sense for showing up just when someone needed help. We continue to hear stories of people he helped in their time of need that he never spoke of to anyone. He had a strong faith in God and always believed God would take care of us. A young friend of Jeff’s, in trying to sum up what Jeff meant to his community, said, “He was loved by all.”