2017-02-16 / Obituaries

George Saunders

George John Saunders, a longtime resident of Mariposa, passed away at the age of 89 on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 in Oakhurst, Calif.

George was born March 29, 1927 in Brooklyn, N.Y. to Herbert L. Saunders and Grace M. (McLaughlin) Saunders. He served in World War II as a clerk in the U.S. Army from May 1945 to November 1946 at Fort Monroe, Va.

Upon discharge from the Army he returned home to begin his banking career in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he met and married Dorothy Rhatigan on Sept. 1, 1951. They moved to Long Island, N.Y., where they began their family with three of their daughters, Kathleen, Joan and Judith.

In 1959 they moved west to the Los Angeles area where they had their fourth daughter, Michele. After his retirement from banking in 1979, George, Dottie and Michele moved to Mariposa.

After World War II he went to night school for artists to expand his creativity. During the day he worked at the bank and at night continued his painting. After moving to Mariposa he had more time for painting. He then became a member of the Sierra Artist, painting with famous artists like the late William Devine.

George did portraits of notable Mariposa locals, as well as the scenery around town. Some of these paintings were award-winning and seen in the Mariposa Gallery.

George was a parishioner of St Joseph’s Catholic Church of Mariposa, where he was a founding member of the Knights of Columbus.

George was preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Helen Christiansen, and his brother, Herbert.

George is survived by Dorothy, his wife of 65 years and his four daughters: Kathleen Webb, her husband Grant (Bandon, Oregon) and their sons Timothy (Aurora, Ill.) and Kevin (Bandon); Joan Lee, her husband John (Chatsworth, Calif.); Judith Thordarson, her husband Dan (Santa Clarita, Calif.) and their sons Trevor, his wife Mandi (Saugus, Calif.); and Kyle, his wife Idelis and their son Silas (Big Bear, Calf.); Michele Asbury, her husband Howard (Mariposa), son Christopher (Seattle, Wash.), daughter Elizabeth Gerszewski, her husband David and their daughter Chloe (Cambria, Calif.), sons Stephen and Thomas, and daughter Maria (Mariposa).

A visitation will be held from 3-6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 at Mariposa Funeral Home, 9th & Bullion in Mariposa. Funeral services for George will be held at St Joseph’s Catholic Church on Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 beginning with the Rosary at 9:30 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass at 10 a.m.

Arrangements are under the direction of Mariposa Funeral Home — www.Mariposafuneralhome.com.

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