Herald Mail's Sanders dead at age 60

June 10, 1998|By BRENDAN KIRBY

Ronald Lee Sanders, whose art career at The Herald-Mail Co. began when the newspaper was produced with hot metal type, died Monday. He was 60.

Sanders suffered a heart attack while mowing grass at his 11600 Peacock Trail home, said his brother Gilbert Sanders, of State College, Pa.

Sanders was the lone member of The Herald-Mail's art department from the time he was hired in 1963 until after the paper moved into its current building on Summit Avenue in December 1979.

"He was doing things by hand that people now are astonished can be done by computer. And he did it every bit as well," said Terry McDaniel, the newspaper's advertising sales director.


"It's always tragic when this sort of thing happens," said Herald-Mail Publisher John League. "Ron was a long-time employee and he will be sorely missed."

Barbara Resh, an advertising sales representative, said Sanders did not care for computers, but adapted to them well. She said his computer-generated drawings matched his freehand work.

Over the years, Sanders produced drawings and altered photographs for ads, taking out extraneous objects and adding necessary items.

Craig Reichard, the paper's retail advertising manager, recalled a Christmas ad that featured a woman dressed in a Santa suit. He said Sanders meticulously created the image of the woman popping out of a drawer.

"That always stuck with me. The stuff he did - it was amazing," he said.

Reichard also said Sanders was creative. When he needed to create the image of snowflakes, for instance, he sprinkled salt onto a picture.

"You'd give him the problem and he'd come up with the solution," he said.

During the mid-1980s, the art department began to grow. It now has two full-time and three part-time employees.

McDaniel said the advertising staff relied on Sanders' experience.

"He was the man you'd go to," he said.

Sanders, a native of Keyser, W.Va., had attended Potomac State College in Keyser and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.

He had a number of interests over the years, including playing bagpipes, volunteering with the Boy Scouts and riding motorcycles. He had a desire to play the bagpipes, despite how difficult they are to master, said his brother.

"I know he used to drive to Cumberland for lessons," said Gilbert Sanders.

Sanders had liked motorcycles since he was a teenager and he was a member of the Gold Wing Riders Association.

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