School 21

Gerald Paul Sanders Sr

September 6, 1931 ~ April 14, 2020 (age 88)


Gerald P. Sanders--lovingly called Papa, Pop, Professor, Fire Chief--passed away at home on April 14th. Born in Patchogue NY, Jerry joined the Navy in the 1950s and met Mary, his wife of 60+ years in San Diego.

Graduated from SDSU and then, through an NSF Fellowship for science educators, earned his Masters Degree at Boston College and University of Pennsylvania. Jerry taught biology at El Capitan High, Grossmont High, and Grossmont College. As an Associate Professor at SDSU, he authored many major college textbooks and mentored biology teachers. In the 20 years after retirement, Chief Sanders became an EMT at age 70, and revamped the Shelter Valley Volunteer Fire Department in Julian, writing grants for state-of-the-art equipment, fire trucks, and training future fire fighters through several Fire Academies that were held at the station. He and his wife Mary also worked tirelessly on the Shelter Valley Citizens Corporation Board and the Shelter Valley Volunteer Fire Department Board. They organized and helped with many fundraisers for the Citizens Corporation and the Fire Department. Jerry received the Channel 10 Leadership Award and several community recognition awards. 

Predeceased by his wife and his daughter Christine, his survivors include sister Priscilla Brooks, children Cheryl Hinton (Jim), Gerald Jr (Gina), Susan Young (Dean), William (Margo), many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Remembered for his humor, kindness, and love for all people and living creatures.

A Celebration of Life is planned for early September.

Bonham Bros & Stewart Mortuary and Cremation assisted the family.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gerald Paul Sanders Sr, please visit our floral store.


You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family, or by planting a memorial tree in the memory of Gerald Paul Sanders Sr
© 2021 Bonham Bros. & Stewart Mortuary and Cremation Service. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy