Readers' Memories of LeRoy Saunders
It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of LeRoy Saunders.
LeRoy was one of those ACB stalwarts who I could always turn to for advice on a wide variety of blindness-related issues. He served for several years on the Committee for Purchase for the Blind and Visually Impaired, which works closely with National Industries for the Blind in its procurement of federal contracts.
I was fortunate to have been in attendance a few years back when LeRoy was honored with the Migel Medal at the Josephine L. Taylor Leadership Institute. He had fallen earlier that morning and was in some discomfort, but was at the luncheon to accept his award and the accolades of those in attendance who had known and worked with him for so long.
Rest well, dear colleague.
-- Mitch Pomerantz
It was sad to hear of the passing of LeRoy Saunders. I, like so many others, had LeRoy as a mentor when I became involved with ACB on the national level. LeRoy was convention committee chair in 2000 when Paul Edwards appointed me to the convention committee, and I enjoyed the years I worked with him on that committee. Not only was LeRoy great to work with, he was a very special and beautiful person. He knew what he wanted, and he made those who worked with him feel as though their part was just as important as his.
One of the highlights of convention week for Alison and me was to have a night set aside for dinner with Pat and LeRoy. LeRoy would always call us about a month or two before convention and say, "Set aside a night for us to go eat dinner," and we always did. Those were some of my best memories of the ACB convention week.
LeRoy was more than a mentor in ACB; he was a dear friend who cared about everyone he knew. Another thing that we liked about LeRoy was that he loved his Pat. All of us in ACB will miss that strong, kind and loving man who cared about everybody he came in contact with.
Pat, our thoughts and prayers are with you in the loss of your husband and best friend. LeRoy always thought of you first. That's the kind of man he was.
Rest in peace, friend.
-- Mike Smitherman
LeRoy provided me with a great deal of guidance when I was first elected president of the Connecticut Council of the Blind. LeRoy was a truly kind and thoughtful gentleman. Once, I was having a terrible time locating some room at the national convention, and LeRoy dropped everything and walked with me to my destination. That's the kind of man he was. I will miss you, LeRoy!
-- Marcia Dresser
It is a real shock to hear that LeRoy has suddenly left us. I echo the thoughts expressed by others on the list of how LeRoy was a kind and gentle person. Even though he was president and had a lot on his plate, he found the time for the individual members when they needed him.
I served on the board under his leadership and remember him as a real fine manager. He was president when ACB was going through real financial hard times and guided us through recovery.
-- Richard Villa
I want to add my voice to all of those who send greetings of sympathy and prayers of hope to Pat. I am one of those who became active in ACB during LeRoy's presidency. I still remember his calm voice and that genteel Virginia accent. What struck me most about LeRoy was his compassion and caring attitude. When I was a very new member of ACB from a tiny affiliate that was just beginning to make its mark, LeRoy always knew who I was and always took the time to speak to me and ask questions that let me know that he knew exactly who I was and what we were endeavoring to accomplish in the great state of Maryland.
I remember the calm yet authoritative manner in which he presided, fair to all, honoring respectful debate while keeping us all on course. Much of what little I personally know about presiding over a meeting and best practices of leadership I learned from LeRoy.
Early on, I noticed that both Durward and LeRoy invested themselves in meaningful ways in those beginning their ACB and affiliate journeys.
Go with God, LeRoy.
Pat, I know that you will continue to walk worthy of the husband whom you loved and who loved you so much. I know that walking this path isn't easy; but it is very doable because of the life example of our husbands.
-- Debbie Grubb
The loss of LeRoy Saunders is truly painful for all of us. LeRoy was president of ACB when I joined in 1992 and, as Debbie said, he always recognized and encouraged me. He was a really kind man who cared deeply for the organization, as well as all of us. I remember a conversation when he told me how much it meant to him to be able to help folks and that it was getting harder as he was aging. I know he was the first low-vision president for ACB, and that meant a lot to me as a later life low-vision joiner.
I will never forget how kind and supportive both LeRoy and Durward were to me.
LeRoy has left a legacy of loving, gentle leadership.
God bless LeRoy and Pat.
-- Teddie-Joy Remhild
LeRoy Saunders was one of the most decent and caring people I and all of ACB have had the privilege to call a true friend.
-- Terry Pacheco