WILLIAMSBURG—William Arold “Bill” Saunders, 85, died peacefully on Saturday, February 12, 2022.
Born on August 21, 1936, in Fairport, Virginia, Bill was son of the late Howell Neal Saunders and Clara Katherine Saunders and devoted husband of 64 years to the late Grace Ellen Saunders. He was a loving father and grandfather who was quiet, gentle, patient and wise. He will be dearly missed.
Bill was preceded in death by his wife, parents, and his siblings, Loretta Madeline Hinton, Jeanette Virginia Robbins, Gilbert Neal, James Thomas and Albert Saunders.
Known to his community as the beloved Mr. Bill, he was a veteran of the U.S. Navy, engineer, restaurant owner, supervisor and coach. He graduated from Northumberland High School in 1954 where he played baseball, basketball and was chairman of the S.C.A.
After graduation Bill worked at the Standards Product Fish Plant in Fairport until it burned down. He enlisted and served with the U.S. Navy as an Electrician’s Mate on board the USS Newport News (CA-148) from 1956-1959, traveling the world and serving our country. After being honorably discharged, Bill moved his family to Washington, D.C., and worked at G.C. Murphy Company as an engineer (1961-1972).
In 1965, he moved his family to Maryland. He owned and operated two restaurants named The Super Bowl Carry-Out in Washington, D.C., (1969-1976). He worked for the National Park Service as an engineer and supervisor (1976-2000) at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Wolf Trap Farm Park, Jamestown Island and Colonial National Historical Park in Yorktown.
In 1981, he moved his family to Williamsburg. He supported his wife as she ran her business, Miss Ellen’s Daycare, providing childcare for over 40 years in addition to raising five children. Bill and Ellen were both remarkable people and an exceptionally remarkable pair. His children are so grateful that God decided to bless them by making them as their parents. They both worked hard to care for those they called family, loving and enjoying the time they had together.
Bill is survived by his children, Demetra Saunders (Brian), Kim Enroughty (Chris), Kathy Looney (Michael), Peggy Wahlstrom (Kevin), and William Saunders Jr. (Jan); his grandchildren, Amy, Joe and Adam Saunders, Matthew and Michael Enroughty, Cole Sanderson, Hunter, Drew, Ginger and Jacob Looney and Nancy King.
The family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, February 24, at Nelsen Funeral Home, 3785 Strawberry Plains Road, Williamsburg. Bill’s final resting place will be with his late wife at Williamsburg Memorial Park in Williamsburg. A private service will be held with his family and posted on the Nelsen Williamsburg Facebook Page for family and friends to view.
The family would like to give a special thanks to Spring Arbor and its staff for their supportive care.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made online to the Hospice House of Williamsburg (www.williamsburghospice.org/donate) in memory of William A. Saunders Sr. Condolences may be shared at www.nelsenwilliamsburg.com.