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Sanker, Lawrence J.

Sanker, Lawrence J.

December 26, 1942 — December 3, 2022

Lawrence (Larry) Joseph Sanker, age 79, passed away after a 6 year battle with Alzheimer’s. Larry was born to Joseph & Josephine (Eppich) Sanker on December 26, 1942, in Cleveland OH. He graduated from West Technical High School in Cleveland in 1961. Joined the United States Air Force in 1962, honorably discharged in 1966. September 24, 1966, he married Helen Ann Gros, at St Joseph Catholic Church, Lillis Kansas. He spent 30 years with IBM, moving from Topeka KS to Kansas City MO in 1971. He has been a member of St Patrick’s Parish since 1971. Member of the Knights of Columbus. Larry was preceded in death by his parents, his wife of 52 years, Helen, his brothers Thomas Sanker & Rick Sanker, his sister, Doreen Shepard. He is survived by his daughter, Denise Sanker (Randal Keith) Blue Springs MO, daughter Karen Goodsell (Dan) and grandchildren Danny & Sofie Goodsell, Garfield AR and Goddaughter Hannah Hefner Kansas City MO. Brother, Jim Sanker (Dianne). Bonus daughters and sons through AFS, Ana Maria Calle & family, Peru. Sophia Douaihi Machado & family, Florida. Jacqui Antonetti & family, Ontario Canada. Leonardo Pino Werlinger & family, Chile. Gerardo Douaihi & family, Florida. Hildebrando Douaihi & family, Venezuela. Many nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, and one great-great niece.

When he married Helen, the city boy from Cleveland spent most weekends learning about farm life. Gardening, chickens, cattle, pigs, putting up hay, shooting at cans on a fence post. Everything we ate, came from that farm, and he learned the hard work that went into it every year. Lots of time also spent in “the shop” drinking Coors and tinkering and talking with the other guys in the family.

Every summer, when we were growing up, he would take a week of vacation and drive the family to Cleveland to visit Grandma & the rest of the family. Indians games, trips to Friendly’s for ice cream, fun on Lake Erie. Some summers he would add on a week of vacation and we’d drive to Niagara Falls, Disney World, Hilton Head Island, Nashville. He loved to road trip, to see what was between home & our destination.

Since Dad worked for IBM, he loved technology. We had one of the first computers, and he loved showing us all the cool things we could do. He made sure we had the Atari game system the moment it came out. He bought a big old video camera and recorded everything. Huge camera was connected by cables to the VCR he had to carry around in a bag, with the camera. Now, when it came to smart phones, after he retired, he wanted nothing to do with “smart phones”. A phone is for calling and talking to people, period.

He loved to create furniture, toys, puzzles from wood in his workshop. Everyone in the family has something he made, whether a child’s name out of wood or a clock made from a fallen tree from the farm. He built a Grandfather clock, dressers for his daughters, many different kinds of shelves, restored several antiques from his family & Helen’s. During the last few years, he and Frank Mehmert made canes for themselves and others from old golf club shafts & tennis balls. He always loved to “work”.

He loved fishing trips, whether a farm pond or on Lake Erie with Jim & Dianne during summer trips to Cleveland. While he enjoyed catching, he loved the time with his family and friends, sharing stories.

He was an avid fan of the Chiefs & Royals. Ok, he was a fan of the Browns & Indians when he was growing up. Long time season ticket holder for the Chiefs games in the 1990’s. He volunteered when AFS was raising funds by directing traffic in the parking lot in the 1980’s-90’s. Many of our earliest memories are of him taking us to Royals games and sitting in right field GA, watching the playoffs & 1985 World Series. He LOVED the 2014-2015 seasons. Then, watching his Chiefs win the Super Bowl!

When he retired in 1996, he traveled extensively with Helen for almost 20 years. Many winters in Florida, cruises, trips along the east coast, to California, to Cleveland, many areas throughout the United States. Weeklong summer trip for the whole family to Big Cedar Lodge for many years.

The central focus was always family and service to others. His work ethic was 2nd to none. He worked long hours, traveled for work, nights & weekends were not uncommon. In his “off time” he would change the oil in a car for someone, fix anything & everything, build something in his workshop, volunteer at church or school, it was always about taking care of others. He was the first person to teach us, if you always focus on the needs of others, you will be successful. It applies to work, to volunteering, to every piece of life. Help others achieve their goals, fulfill their needs, your success will follow.

December 20, 2022 – Visitation 11 am, Mass 12 pm – St Patrick’s Catholic Church – 1357 NE 42nd Terrace, Kansas City MO 64116 Please feel free to wear your favorite Chiefs gear, Dad will love that.

December 21, 2022 – Burial at Forest Lawn Calvary Cemetery 1:30 pm with full military honors.

Service Information

December 20, 2022 – Visitation 11 am, Mass 12 pm – St Patrick’s Catholic Church – 1357 NE 42nd Terrace, Kansas City MO 64116 Please feel free to wear your favorite Chiefs gear, Dad will love that.

December 21, 2022 – Burial at Forest Lawn Calvary Cemetery 1:30 pm with full military honors.

Sanker, Lawrence J.'s Guestbook

Good bud helped each other through the AIR FORCE , also introduced him to Helen knew her because she lived in the apartment above ours in Topeka, Ks. Peace forever Larry.

William Wentz and Mary

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