It is with a heavy heart that the Saunders family announce the sudden passing of Cory Michael Saunders on July 18, 2021, at the age of 44. Words cannot express the shock and sadness that we all feel. We will miss him terribly! Yet, we also find peace knowing he is with our father (Robert Saunders) in heaven, as well as other family members that have preceded him.
Although Cory spent nearly 20 years as an Arizona resident who loved the views, the city, and the mountains, he was born and raised in the Tamaroa, IL area. The sports loving, energetic, giving, sometimes over-protective brother, was many things to many people over the years.
In his youth, Cory loved all sports and had an all-around natural ability to play them. He could often be found at the local elementary school playing a pick-up basketball game with buddies. At a young age Cory developed a lifelong love for the St. Louis Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys. As an adult, he cherished opportunities to fish and bond with our father in the AZ mountains over a gold prospecting hobby. He also loved nothing more than a good pool day and a refreshing adult beverage with family.
The highlights of his adult life were his career as a long-haul truck driver and being a dad of two beautiful children (Hannah Dougherty and Mason Saunders). He reveled in all things his children loved, from sports, to art, to video games. If they loved it, so did Cory.
Cory is survived by loving fiancé (Melissa Snyder and her daughters: Sarah, Emma, and Brooke) of Tucson, AZ, prior spouse (Christal Saunders), son (Mason Saunders), and daughter (Hannah Dougherty) of San Manuel, AZ. Cory is also survived by mother (E. Catherine Saunders) of Pinckneyville, IL and the following siblings: Melinda Saunders of Washington, Debbie (John) Johnson of DuQuoin, IL, Ryan Saunders (Brad Sauer) of Cathedral City, CA, Jennifer (Tom) Alvis of Pinckneyville, IL, Jamie (Scott) Fitzgerald of Scottsdale, AZ, and Andrew Saunders of Tucson, AZ in addition to several other extended beloved family members and friends.
He is preceded in death by his father (Robert B. Saunders), brother-in-law (Todd M. Myers), Uncles (John and Duke Saunders), Aunt (Kay Saunders-Carter), and both sets of grandparents (Lester and Ruby Dasher-Saunders, Henry E. Stevens and Beadie C. Mitchell-Stevens).
A special thanks to all the family, friends, and strangers that have reached out to us during this tragic and difficult time. The absence of Cory leaves a huge hole in the hearts of all who were always entertained by his stories and sometimes inappropriate sense of humor. He truly brought the life to the party!
A Memorial Service open to all who wish to pay their respects will be held on August 21st, 2021, at 11am at Marana Mortuary, located at 12146 W Barnett Rd, Marana, AZ 85653. Cory will be laid to final rest, at a later date, in Southern Illinois.