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In Memoriam: NAD President Emeritus Robert G. Sanderson

In Memoriam: NAD President Emeritus Robert G. Sanderson

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) mourns the passing of
NAD President Emeritus Robert G. Sanderson of Roy, Utah who passed away
on February 25, 2012, just 5 days after his 92nd birthday.
Affectionately known as “Sandie”, he served a total of 14 of years on
the NAD Board of Directors (1960-1974) and dedicated his entire life to
the advancement of the American deaf community nationally as well as in
his home state of Utah.

Considered gutsy at the time, Sandie successfully challenged the
18-year reign of Byron B. Burnes to become the 17th NAD president in
1964 and was re-elected in 1966. His presidency led to the appointment
of Frederick C. Schreiber, the first NAD executive director. This
ultimately set the NAD on a new course that shepherded its explosive
growth as a federation of affiliated organizations, including moving
the NAD Home Office from its base in Berkeley, California
to Washington, DC and the creation of youth programs (Junior NAD, Miss
Deaf America and Youth Leadership Camp). When asked his thoughts a few
years ago about the present-day NAD by Past President Lawrence R.
Newman and author of the NAD publication, Sands of Time: NAD Past
Presidents, Sandie said, “Today I believe the NAD is much stronger. The
changes are positive. Our dream of having a permanent, stable Home
Office came true. The NAD is financially viable.”

NAD President Bobbie Beth Scoggins said, “NAD President Emeritus
Robert G. ‘Sandie’ Sanderson was a true giant who humbly walked
alongside anyone who shared his passion for hard work, volunteerism,
and dedication to the betterment of our lives. Those who review his
career and civic endeavors would be amazed at how much he truly
accomplished, and we thank the state of Utah for allowing us to share
in his legacy of tireless advocacy on behalf of the American deaf and
hard of hearing community.”

Sandie earned his B.A. in chemistry from Gallaudet College, M.A in
educational leadership from California State University, and Ed.D. in
educational administration from Brigham Young University. In 1965,
Sanderson became a vocational rehabilitation counselor for the Utah
Division of Rehabilitation Services; by 1985 he was the director of all
state programs serving deaf people. In recognition of his exemplary
service to the state’s deaf community, in 2003 the State of Utah named
its statewide deaf services center in West Taylorsville the Robert G.
Sanderson Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. In 2009, he received
an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree from
Gallaudet University.

Sandie enjoyed 62 years of marriage with the love of his life, Mary
Margaret Antonietti before she passed away in 2008. They had two sons,
Gary R. Sanderson of Pasadena, California who passed away in 2011 and
Barry J. Sanderson (Teresa) of Layton, Utah. He is also survived by
grandchildren Robert B. Sanderson (Nicole) and McKalle P. Sanderson.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 am on March 31, 2012 at the
Robert G. Sanderson Community Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
in Taylorsville, Utah. In keeping with his life long passion of serving
others, his body was donated to the University of Utah so that medical
students may learn from him.



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