Obituary of Rodney M Saunders
Rodney McNeill Saunders went to be with Jesus Friday, 8/19/22 after a short battle with cancer. Rodney’s life was full of commitment to duty. He served our nation in the Army for 20 years. Tours of duty included 2 Iraqi Wars, 2 Bosnia conflicts, 2 long tours in Germany, 2 short tours in Korea, and numerous duty stations stateside including Forts Lewis, Hood, Bragg, and Belvoir. Allowing me to continue in my career pursuits, post Army retirement he mastered the art of caring for his two young children (Conner and Emma) through school car lines, dance and band practices, PTO roles, and countless field trips. His ability to cook, grill, smoke meats, and bake became well known in our neighborhood, work, and friend circles. For being such a tough Army dude for 20 years—he was amazingly good at hosting and caring for the kids and me.
During the kid’s middle school years, Rodney continued serving the community and our family as he delved into substitute teaching. Loved by his colleagues, bosses, and kids—he once again thrived in accomplishing the balance of structure, love, and duty. After moving to Columbia, teaching continued in a Department of Defense funded STEM program out of McEntire Joint National Guard Base. In his cut-short time here, his colleagues experienced how his military and teaching skills intrinsically complimented this role. A man forged in greens, surrounded by all those blues—he spoke often of what a wonderful experience it was.
Rodney’s mother, sisters and family reside in his hometown of New Bern, NC. His son Conner is a junior at the University of SC in Columbia and his daughter Emma is a sophomore at the College of Charleston in Charleston SC. I have the pleasure of serving our nation’s Veterans as a wound, ostomy, continence nurse at DORN VA Medical Center in Columbia. Rodney and I spoke of this pleasure repeatedly. As it has always been our love and duty to serve this nation and the communities that we live in.
Rodney continues to be the best thing that ever happened to me. Within the first two weeks of meeting him, I knew I was going to marry him. Through all his deployments and times away from each other—nothing seemed real until we shared it with each other. I now wear his wedding band inscribed with our beginning thoughts…” We complete me”. My heart is severed as I come to grips that your Tour of Duty is complete. You have served our nation and our family with honor, love, and commitment to duty. Hooah!!
Conner, Emma, and I will spread your ashes in a private gathering this fall.
Till death do us part, Kim
South Carolina Cremation Society is assisting the family. Family and friends may sign the online guest book by clicking on the “Tribute Wall” tab above.
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