Dean Sanders ready to celebrate 100th
By DANI BLACKBURN
“I intend to live forever. So far so good” reads a comfortable sweatshirt worn by Dean Sanders at his home at Advanced Rehab in Bowie. The World War II navy veteran will come closer than many to doing just that as he celebrates his 100th birthday on July 2.
Although he proudly wears the comical sweatshirt with the famous Stephen Wright quote, he explains he never actually thought he would live to see his 100th birthday.
“Oh goodness no, I never thought I would turn 100,” said Sanders. “I’ll enjoy it, I’m sure. It’s just one of those things.”
Don’t expect the centenarian to let you in on the reason behind his longevity, because his ornery personality shines through when asked for the secret.
“Yep, I have a secret to turning 100. It’s a secret,” he laughed.
Sanders will celebrate with family and friends all weekend long.
The centenarian was born in Erath County by Stephenville to Roy Dean and Bertie Sanders as the oldest of five children. He moved with his family to Bowie as a pre-teen. Sanders graduated Bowie High School in 1936 and chose North Texas University for the next step in his education. However, before he could graduate, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
“I was still in school at the time,” recalled Sanders. “I was a prime candidate for the war because of my age, but I received a deferment until I could graduate.”
Sanders graduated in 1942 with a bachelor degree in economics and a minor in government. After the attack on the United States, Sanders also began volunteering as an aviation cadet until he received his diploma.
Read the full story in the weekend edition of The Bowie News.