In Memory of Louis Saunders: Celebration of Life for Former Buildings and Grounds Employee

By Elijah McGuire-Berk

Elm Staff Writer


Louis Edward Saunders, also known by his nickname “Lou,” was a Buildings and Grounds worker at Washington College from 1964-2010.  For 46 years he performed various jobs all around the College. Lecturer in Drama and  Technical Director of the Gibson Center for the Arts Larry Stahl said, “He did just about every job B&G had in that time and did most of them very well.”

On Feb. 11,  Louis Edward Saunders died at the age of 77. His supervisor, Reid Raudenbush, the director of the physical plant, described Saunders as “a kind and gentle man,” who, “never had an ill word to speak about anyone… You were glad to have known him.” Stahl said, “He was simply incapable of being unfriendly.”

On Saturday a service was held for Saunders in Decker Theater and followed by a dinner in Hodson Hall.  Even though it was a service in memory of Saunders, it wasn’t just a memorial service.  Both the content of the service and the pamphlet described it as a “Celebration of Life.”

The event was held at the College in recognition of Saunders’ extraordinary dedication and loyalty to his work there.   During his time at the College, Saunders was the first recipient of the President’s Distinguished Service Award.

Speakers included neighbors, clergy, members of his church, former WC President Baird Tipson, and Saunders’ many grandchildren. The various short speeches were full of anecdotes, humor, words of praise, and prayer.

A live band was present and the sad hymns contributed to the somber atmosphere. The mood shifted during the service to hopeful as sad hymns were swapped out with hopeful melodies praising God and celebrating the deep connection Saunders had to his church. Saunders’ obituary is printed below.



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