Ward Bishop Saunders

Ward Bishop Saunders died Feb. 19, 2005.
Ward Bishop Saunders died Feb. 19, 2005.

Mr. Saunders was born Nov. 26. 1919, in Gilroy and grew up in nearby Hollister. His family has been in California since the Gold Rush, and in retirement he traced the family line all the way back to two different families on the Mayflower.

He is the son of Ward B. “Buck” Saunders, Sr., a University of California, Berkeley varsity rugby player from 1912-16, and Lamira Doan Saunders. He graduated from the school of Engineering at Cal in 1942 and served in the Navy aboard the USS Essex in the Pacific during World War II. He graduated from Stanford Law School in 1948.

He joined the legal department of Kaiser Aluminum in 1951. By the 1960s, he had moved over to the international division, before retiring in the mid 1980s. He was involved with Kaiser’s interests in the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Jamaica, and Bahrain, among others, but was most closely associated with Kaiser’s involvement with the Volta Aluminum Company (VALCO) in Ghana, where he was named an honorary Nana or “chief” of the Ashanti.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Elaine Kathleen Saunders; children, Douglas and Myra; grandchildren, Hannah Tarver-Saunders and Benjamin Westfall; cousin, Vernon Schofield; in-laws, Ernest Burroughs, Charlton Tarver, Paul Kaufman and Donald Westfall; as well as a vast extended family.

Services have been held.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the U.C. Berkeley Foundation, 2440 Bancroft Way #4200, Berkeley, CA 94720-4200; the Bear Backers, 2223 Fulton St., 3rd Floor #4424, Berkeley, CA 94720-4424; S.O.S. Children’s Villages (for the benefit of the village in Tema, Ghana), 1317 F Street, NW, Suite 550, Washington, DC 20004; the Scaife Scholarship Alumni Association, 1547 Lakeside Dr., Oakland, CA 94612; or the Nature Conservancy, for projects in California, 201 Mission Street. 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105.

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