Reflecting on a high flying life

Dean Sanders during his days in the Navy. Sanders will celebrate his 100th birthday July 2.

Dean Sanders ready to celebrate 100th

Dean Sanders celebrates his 100th birthday on July 2. He plans to spend the weekend with family and friends.


“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. 

2 Comments on Reflecting on a high flying life

  1. I give a big Marine Corp Semper Fi to another fellow veteran. I am not his age by 18 years, but I know what he went through. I have spent 20 years flying with the U.S.M.C. Marine Corp retiring in 1979.
    Could you please send me a color copy of the Bowie map published May 30, 2018? I am the grandson of Mr. Hall that lived across the street from the park. it is the map that has the “HALL” and “McCRAW” streets labled.
    I am that McCraw: Played football 1951-1954 @ Bowie High and played for
    Rice Institute 1955-1959. And I am the brother of sister Mildred McCraw (still living in Bowie). Extend my thanks and wishes to all members of the 1954 graduation class.

    Major Clifford L. McCraw, U.S.M.C. Ret.
    22112 Apache Drive
    Lake Forest Ca. 92630

  2. God has blessed you Mr. Sanders. Congratulations on getting your education. Happy Birthday ❤️?????

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