Thomas Randolph Saunders Sr.

Published 9:04 pm Monday, November 2, 2015

Thomas “Tommy” Randolph Saunders Sr., 73, lifelong resident of Suffolk, passed away peacefully at home on Nov. 1, 2015. Tommy lived his life as an example of Christian love and service, but with a healthy dose of good humor and adventure.

Tommy was born Dec. 20, 1941, to the late Zebulon Vance Saunders Sr. and Mary Eunice Beaton Saunders.

He graduated from Whaleyville High School and served an apprenticeship with the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. He retired after 35 years of service from the Supervisor of Shipbuilding in Portsmouth in 1995.

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For over 40 years, he taught Sunday School at Southside Baptist Church, where he also served as a deacon and went on many mission trips. He was active in Boy Scouts, American Red Cross, and the Archeological Society of Virginia.

His beloved wife, Frances Irene Wilkins Saunders, predeceased him, as did an infant son, Mark Alan Saunders. He is survived by his three brothers, Zeb (Hazel) Saunders, David (Barbara) Saunders and Gary Saunders; mother-in-law, Edith Wilkins; sisters-in-law, Katherine (Rufus) Powell and Savilla Wilkins; his three children, Thomas R. “Randy” (Roberta) Saunders Jr., Janet (Timothy) Daly and Richard Saunders; two granddaughters, Kathleen and Claire Daly; two step-grandsons, Josh and Shane Price; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A visitation will be held Wednesday, Nov. 4, from 7 to 8 p.m. at Parr Funeral Home & Crematory, 3515 Robs Drive, Suffolk, VA 23434. A funeral will be held Thursday, Nov. 5, at 11 a.m. at Southside Baptist Church, 917 Carolina Road, Suffolk, VA 23434 with pastor J.C. Kimmer officiating. Burial will follow at Cypress Chapel Christian Church Cemetery. A reception will follow at Southside Baptist Church. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the American Red Cross, Suffolk Chapter, P.O. Box 2156, Suffolk, VA 23439. Condolences may be registered at