Cover photo for Richard Saunders's Obituary
Richard Saunders Profile Photo
1931 Richard 2023

Richard Saunders

March 9, 1931 — April 19, 2023


Saunders, Richard Charles - Age 92, of Burton, died April 19, 2023. No services will be held. Arrangements are being handled by Sharp Funeral Home & Cremation Center 6063 Fenton Rd. Grand Blanc. Born in Minnesota, 1931, raised in Flint, MI. 1949 Graduate of Flint Central High School. Grew up on the East Side in Thrift City. While he barely made it through high school he was redeemed at Flint Junior College. He finished a BA at EMU and an MS Degree in Biology  at the U of M. He also had a teaching fellowship at Arizona University where he studied botany and received National Science Foundation Grants to study chemistry at South Dakota School of Mining, earth sciences at the U of M, animal behavior at St Lawerence U, and oceanography at Oregon State U. He taught at MCC for 30 years and felt so lucky to have a subject he loved and students he enjoyed so much. He met the love of his life, Katherine Ducap, in the FJC library while taking night classes. 63 years of marriage just isn't enough. Both loved dancing together and the outdoors. They shared great pride in the many achievements of their son Robert. They canoed the length of the Manistee River, six summers in the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness in Minnesota and the Okeefenokee Swamp in Georgia.They backpacked the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia. They also hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and slept in the rain overnight. Next came Zion Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands and the Needles. They found beautiful vistas at the top of Pitamakin Mtn in Glacier National Park. Five days backpacking in the Superstition Mtns of Arizona revealed yet another kind of beauty. The desert had flooded for the first time in one hundred years and it was like a huge flower garden, rattlesnakes and scorpions excepted. The temperate rain forest of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington revealed yet another kind of beauty. Dick's sports were racquetball, tennis. golf, jogging, cross country skiing, in line skating and biking. After retirement seven years studying art at MCC opened up a whole new life. Watercolor was his love and his nemesis. Also, no talent but lots of stamina. This led to 25 elderhostels studying art, three bicycle trips to the Netherlands, traveling from town to town, museum to museum. Three weeks in Paris wasn't enough to see all of it’s art. What made all of this possible was an exceptional wife with whom he shared his many loves. While he saw so much beauty in nature and art, his greatest beauty was his wife’s smile. Richard is survived by his wife, Katherine; son, Robert Saunders (Elena Kostik) of Chelmsford, MA.; sister, Elaine Cook. He was preceded in death by his parents. Tributes may be shared on the obituaries page of

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