Ernest's Story

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ONEONTA - Ernest L. Sanders, also known as "Ernie" and "The Colonel" 74, of Oneonta, passed away unexpectedly Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017, at the A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital.
He was born March 10, 1943, in Oneonta, the son of the late Leonard and Esther (Hall) Sanders.
Ernie graduated from Oneonta High School with the Class of 1961.
He was a former member of the United States Army National Guard.
For many years he worked as a trackman and foreman for the D&H Railroad and later Canadian Pacific Railway, until his retirement at the age of 60, in 2003.
On Oct. 4, 1980, Ernie married Laura Conklin in Oneonta.
Ernie enjoyed fishing, gardening and building stone walls and in his younger years, working on old cars. He was a good storyteller and would always joke about his unpublished book of facts. His favorite pastime was watching NASCAR and his favorite driver was Mark Martin.
In his retirement, Ernie volunteered for the Oneonta Salvation Army, Oneonta MS Walk and American Red Cross blood drives. But what Ernie will be remembered for most, is his love of his family which includes his dogs and cats.
Ernie and Laura were members of the Salvation Army Busy Bees.
Ernie is survived by his loving wife of 36 years, Laura Sanders, Oneonta; daughter and son-in-law, Kimberly Pearce-Schwed (Fred), Oneonta; son, Dennis O'Donnell, Norwich; two grandchildren, Olivia and Nathan Schwed, Oneonta; two sisters-in-law, Suzanne Sanders, East Kingston, New Hampshire and Madeline Hill (Kevin), Otego; nephew, Floyd E. Sanders Jr. (Toni), Exeter, New Hampshire; three nieces, Laurie Roy (David), Epping, New Hampshire, Shannon Hill, Laurens and Erin McBride (Jay), Oneonta and their families; brother-in-law, Edward Conklin (Cindy), Endicott and family; and numerous friends.
He was predeceased by his brothers, Leonard Sanders, Floyd E. Sanders Sr. and Harold Utter (Sharene).
Calling hours will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., Monday, Aug. 14, at the Bookhout Funeral Home, 357 Main St., Oneonta.
A service to celebrate the life of Ernest L. Sanders will be held at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Aug. 15, also at Bookhout Funeral Home. Inurnment will follow in the Sand Hill Cemetery, Wells Bridge.
For those who wish, memorial donations may be made to either the Susquehanna Animal Shelter, 4845 State Highway 28, Cooperstown, NY 13326, or the Oneonta Salvation Army, 25 River St., Oneonta, NY 13820.
To light a candle or send an online condolence, please visit www.bookhoutfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements are by the Bookhout Funeral Home of Oneonta.
Published on August 10, 2017
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