Holland mourns Nellie’s chef

Published 11:52 pm Friday, September 9, 2011

A well-known motorcycle in town stopped rolling on Sunday.

Members of the Holland community and a local motorcycle club are mourning George Saunders, who was one of the founding members of the Tiger Riders Motorcycle Club and a longtime employee at his mother’s restaurant. He died Sunday after longtime battles with a number of health problems.


“He was such a good guy,” said sister Carrie Wiggins. “He loved motorcycles. He would always put Taurus, his pit bull, on the front of the motorcycle. That’s how everybody sort of knew him. Before they could even see him, they would see a dog on a motorcycle riding down the highway.”

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Saunders and three other men started the Tiger Riders Motorcycle Club in 1980.

“We tried to contradict motorcycle club’s bad reputations,” said Max Jenkins, one of the other founding members. “We started our own club. He was a real good rider.”

The club has done a number of charity projects over the years, including collecting toys for children at the Genieve Shelter and doing other fundraisers for various causes.

“We’re trying to show that every guy that gets on a motorcycle is not an outlaw,” Jenkins said.

Most folks in the community knew him from working at his mother’s restaurant and gas station, Nellie’s Auto Luncheonette.

“He was the jack of all trades around there,” his nephew Daeman Odom said. “He was doing most of the cooking himself.”

Odom said his uncle also was the disc jockey at the store when it had a dance hall in it.

“He always used to help her in there,” Wiggins said. “He was her sidekick with cooking.”

Saunders’ specialties were fried chicken and the “big beef burgers” that he fixed for special customers.

Wiggins also said her brother always came to the rescue of friends and neighbors as a handyman and deliveryman.

“He loved to do all those kinds of handyman jobs,” she said. “If I got caught in snowstorms, hurricanes or whatever, he would find his way to me back here in the country and bring me anything from ice to water to food.”

Wiggins added that her brother’s legacy will be not allowing his health problems to stand in the way of what he wanted to do in life.

“It’s a wonderful rest for him,” she said. “I’m glad he’s not suffering anymore.”

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. today, Sept. 10, at Mt. Sinai Baptist Church. Interment will be at the church cemetery.