General Horace Sanders

Becker Funeral Home, Inc.
1502 Fort Sill Blvd. Lawton, OK  73507   (580) 353-3030   (580) 357-1864 FAX

--------------- Obituary / Funeral Notice ---------------

Funeral service for Brigadier General (Retired) Horace Lake Sanders, 95, Lawton, will be 10:00 am Friday in the New Post Chapel, Fort Sill, with Chaplain (LTC) Erich Schwartz, officiating.

General Sanders died Thursday at his residence.

Burial with full military honors will be in the Post Cemetery, Fort Sill, under the direction of the Becker Funeral Home.  The family will greet friends from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm Thursday at the funeral home.

General Sanders was born November 12, 1908 in Ludington, Michigan, to Jerry and Lillian Lake Sanders.  He was married to Beatrice E. Pretschold on June 20, 1934 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  She preceded him in death on June 2, 2003.

General Sanders’ Army career covered a 37-year period which began with enlisted service in the Wisconsin Army National Guard.  As a young boy he moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  He served almost four years in the 105th Cavalry before entering the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1930.  Upon graduation in 1934, he was commissioned in the Field Artillery and spent the next eight years primarily in troop duty with artillery units.

In 1944, after graduation from the Command and General Staff College, he assumed command of the 284th field artillery battalion and took it to Europe.  Assigned to the Third U. S. Army under General George S. Patton, he led the battalion through the campaigns of Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe.  Distinguishing himself in combat, he was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star Medal with two Oak-Leaf Clusters, Air Medal, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with four bronze service stars for participation in the Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe campaigns, World War II Victory Medal, Army of Occupation Medal with Germany Clasp, the National Defense Service Medal and the French Croix de Guerre with Silver Gilt Star. 

He remained in Europe after the war in various important high-level staff positions until October 1947, when he was reassigned to the Army General Staff in Washington.  During his service in the Pentagon, General Sanders spent three years in various assignments in the Personnel and Administration Directorate of the Department of the Army and two and a half years in the Office of the Chief of Staff, United States Army.

In 1953, General Sanders left Washington for Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, where he spent a year as a student at the Army War College.  Upon his graduation, he was reassigned to Headquarters, United Nations and Far East Command, Tokyo, Japan, where he served as Acting Assistant Chief of Staff, J-1, for several months prior to returning to the United States in 1955.

Upon his return, his next assignment was as Commanding Officer, 52nd Field Artillery Group at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.  In 1957, he was appointed as Director, Department of Material of the U. S. Army Artillery and Missile School at that station.  Promoted to the grade of Brigadier General in 1958, he served first as Commanding General of Troops at the Artillery and Missile Center and finally as Commanding General, 1st Field Artillery Missile Brigade. 

Transferred to Korea in late 1959, General Sanders was assigned as Chief of Staff, I Corps, Eighth U.S. Army for the next thirteen months.  While in Korea, he earned his black belt in karate.  On 1 February 1961, he assumed command of the 7th Region, Army Air Defense Command, where, from his headquarters at McChord Air Force Base, he commanded all the Nike Defenses of the vital Puget Sound area.  After fifteen months of command, he was transferred to Headquarters North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) to be the Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans.

On 31 August 1963, General Sanders retired from the United States Army after nearly thirty-seven years of service in the National Guard, at the Military Academy, and as an officer of the Regular Army.  In retirement ceremonies at Headquarters, North American Air Defense Command, Colorado Springs, Colorado, he was awarded the Legion of Merit for Exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding duties for the period from December 1958 to August 1963.

He was active in Kiwanis, having been a member of the Downtown Kiwanis Club and a past Lieutenant Governor for Division 8 and was sponsored by the Winneconne, Wisconsin Kiwanis Club.

Very early in his military carrer, General Sanders earned his key as a ham radio operator (W5RCK).  This was an active key until just shortly before his death.

Survivors include his daughter, Ann L. Forester, Oklahoma City; a son, John R. Sanders, Atlanta, Georgia; five grandchildren, Deborah Forester-Tear, Janet Forester-Coffey, Peter Lake Sanders, Paul Sanders and Patti Sanders, Six great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

A son, Charles, and a grandson, Robert Forester, preceded him in death.

Memorial contributions may be made to the National Army Museum of the Southwest at Oklahoma Centennial Fund, Inc., 133 W. Main Street, Suite 100, Oklahoma City OK 73102.

Sympathy cards may be sent to the family online at