Obituaries & Tributes

Larry Allen Saunders – Oct. 21, 1947 – Dec. 12, 2019

Larry Allen Saunders – Oct. 21, 1947 – Dec. 12, 2019

Larry Allen Saunders, beloved husband and father, was surrounded by family when he passed away at home on Dec. 12, 2019.
Born Oct. 21, 1947 in San Diego, California, to Mark Theodore and Bernetta (Bernie) Jean Saunders, Larry was the oldest of five children.
The Saunders family moved to Williams, Oregon, in 1960, and Larry graduated from Grants Pass High School in 1966. He was a standout football player in high school and played the tuba.
In 1969, Larry moved to Springfield, Ore., to work, and lived with his brother Bob.
In 1971, Larry married the love of his life, Pamela Halbert. Together they had two children, Katie and Greg, and raised their young family on Periwinkle Road in Camp Creek, Ore., until moving to their permanent property in Thurston, Ore.
Described by loved ones as a true modern Renaissance man, he could build a structure from the ground up, raise and grow his own food, make his own beer and wine, and fix (almost) anything. He passed on his love of family and the outdoors to countless others throughout his life.
Larry worked for many years at Sundance Lumber, while laboring just as hard at home, forever splitting wood for the wood stove, planting and growing, harvesting and building, caring for his family and his to-do list. He loved the Lord and served Him faithfully throughout his life.
In his free time, Larry was an avid fisherman and regularly brought home salmon, halibut and albacore from all over Oregon, as well as Alaska. He also loved to hunt, especially with his bow.
In 1985, a spectacular deer he brought down was recorded in the Pope and Young Club as the third largest in the world.
He and Pam planted an enormous garden on their property every year, which yielded fresh and canned food for all of their family and friends.
Larry was an expert harvester of all produce and passed on his skills to many.
Larry and Pam loved to entertain and had wonderful friends both in Oregon and all around the world, as they made fast friends with someone new on many of their international trips.
Larry and Pam made their home open to all and constantly hosted visitors, as well as many in need of a place to stay during a hard time. Their hospitality was unmatched, and Larry, as well as making his own wine and beer for others, could be counted on to joyfully fix any kind of drink for any visitor. He never let anyone leave his home emptyhanded.
Larry served as a natural mentor to many younger men in his life, teaching them skills in the outdoors and, by example, how to love your family. He will be loved and remembered by so many, especially his loving wife and partner Pam, and their children, Greg Saunders and Katie Dawson.
Larry was adored also by Greg’s wife Rachel, and their children, Parker, Trey and Tasha, as well as Katie’s husband Ken, and her children, Jude and Carson Corwin.
He is also survived by his siblings, Robert Saunders and his wife Leslie, Gayle Stone and her husband Max, Judy Ewing and her husband Kevin, and Carol Ruska.
Larry was preceded in death by his parents.
There was a celebration of Larry’s life on Jan. 11, 2020, at the Downtown Athletic Club in Eugene, Ore.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Thurston Community Baptist Church.
Services in care of Major Family Funeral Home in Springfield.
Visit to sign the online guest book.



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