Allen Garthwright Sanderson, Jr., age 99, of Evansville, IN, passed away Friday, January 21, 2022 at his home.
Allen was born November 17, 1922 in Roanoke, Virginia to Allen Garthwright Sanderson, Sr. and Mayce Z. Mills Sanderson.
After graduating in 1941 from Jefferson High School in Roanoke, Allen was accepted to Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. When World War II was declared, he and his friends enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps on May 18th, 1942. During his wait time to report for duty, in addition to working for Hercules Powder Company, and to earn extra money, Allen was the train ticket agent from Roanoke to Radford.
It was a proud day when he earned his commission and wings on July 28, 1943.
As a member of the 64th Fighter Squadron, Allen was a fighter pilot during World War II. He flew 118 combat missions in North Africa and Europe and two missions over the beaches of Normandy on D-Day in 1944. While participating in tours at the Evansville Wartime Museum,
Allen enjoyed sharing his experiences flying his P-47 Thunderbolt # 27 "Lady Jane."
Allen earned the rank of Major and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and three Air Medals for his outstanding accomplishments and service during WWII. After his honorable discharge, Major Sanderson then served in the Army Reserves from January 1947 to February 1950.
Allen retired as President of Thrift, Inc. in 1985 after 35 years in the banking business. His career includes Household Finance, Limerick Finance, Piedmont Finance, and Interstate Finance. All institutions were subsidiaries to American General/One Main Financial.
Piloting and maintaining his "Lady Jane" houseboat at Kuttawa Marina on Barkley Lake for 40 years was Allen's favorite hobby. For 15 years, he pheasant hunted in South Dakota with a group organized by Jim Manion.
Memberships included the Scottish Rite 32⁰ for 50 years; Hadi Shrine for over 50 years; 34th Select Group; President of Junior Chamber of Commerce West Frankfort, Illinois in 1952; commissioned a Kentucky Colonel in 1972; elected to head the greater Evansville Lenders Association, Evansville Credit Bureau, and was commissioner for the Big Bend District Boy Scouts. In 2016 Allen joined other veterans in the Honor Flight of Southern Indiana, accompanied by Tim Bray. He was a devoted member of Eastminster Presbyterian Church for 68 years, a founding member and Lifetime Board Member Emeritus of the Evansville Wartime Museum, and a board member of the P-47 Foundation.
One of the goals of the Evansville Wartime Museum is to educate young people about Evansville's participation in World War II. Allen and Dona Bone enjoyed teaching Junior and Senior High School students in Vanderburgh County about Evansville's important efforts supporting the war.
On April 8, 2019, The Honorable Larry Buchon of Indiana, honored Allen by entering his name into the Congressional Record in the United States House of Representatives.
Allen is survived by his wife of 30 years, Nancy (Schum) Sanderson; son, Mark Sanderson and family; sister-in-law, Wanda Huffman and her husband Tim; goddaughters, Katie, Meghan, Maren, and Mallory; cousin, David Adey; nephews, Tom and Brad Bell; long-time friend from Roanoke, Pansie Murray; and all members and friends at the Evansville Wartime Museum and P-47 Foundation.
Allen is predeceased by his parents; his first wife, Jane Countess (Cornet) Sanderson; and daughter, Jo Carroll Sanderson.
A Memorial Service will be held at 12:00 p.m., Saturday, 29, 2022, at the Evansville Wartime Museum, 7503 Petersburg Road, Evansville, IN, where full military rites will be rendered by the American Legion Kapperman Post #44. A live stream will be available beginning 20 minutes prior to the service time. Please visit www.boone funeralhome.net, select your loved one's obituary, scroll to the bottom of the page, and click Live Stream. Burial will be in Oak Hill Cemetery.
Friends may visit from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. Saturday, January 29, 2022 at the Evansville Wartime Museum where Allen Garthwright Sanderson, Jr. will lay in state.
In lieu of flowers, please honor Allen and all military veterans with a contribution to: P-47 Hoosier Spirit II c/o P-47 Foundation, Inc. at 4825 Spring Street, Evansville, IN 47711, to help fund the remaining cost of the P-47 and/or to the Evansville Wartime Museum at 7503 Petersburg Road, Evansville, IN 47725, to help maintain and grow the museum for future generations.
Arrangements are being handled by Boone Funeral Home East Chapel – A Family Tradition Funeral Home, 5330 Washington Avenue, Evansville, IN.
Condolences may be made to the family online at boonefuneralhome.net
To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.