Saunders, Bert #34 *

Honoured by the Saunders Family.

It is with great pride that the family of Bert Saunders honours and celebrates his accomplishments and contributions to his family, friends and community.

Bert was born and raised in North Bay. He passed away in 2003 and left us with his own touching and humourous handwritten Obituary. In his words….
“I was born on Kennedy Avenue in 1935 (the day of the earthquake) to my wonderful and hardworking mom and dad – Lillian Meecham and William Saunders. I was the second of three sons.

I married Joyce Graeber in 1966 and for 37 years she has been the love of my life as well as my right hand. Our wonderful children Darren and Sheri blessed us with 5 beautiful granddaughters. I love all 5 girls and I am sorry I will not be around to teach them what I have learned in my lifetime.

I graduated from NBCI&VS where I played hockey, basketball and football. Hockey was always my greatest pastime, including our involvement with the North Bay Centennials, which gave us the opportunity to welcome to our family Vitali Yachmenev and other aspiring hockey players.

Art was my favourite pastime. Since the age of six I loved to draw, but it wasn’t until 1990 that I challenged myself to paint. It has been very gratifying to see that my work has been appreciated by so many. I hope my art continues to give you as much pleasure as it did me.

I worked since I was 10 years old at places too numerous to mention including the City of North Bay and 27 years in real estate with long time partner Barry Rice. I was a past member of the Chamber of Commerce, North Bay Area Museum and the North Bay LACAC (Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee).

Through these experiences, I was fortunate to meet many people from all walks of life. I strived to treat everyone with respect and believed in doing right. God being my helper…”

Bert loved history and had a particular interest in the Great Wars. His father had served in both WWI and WWII. He became a serious collector of war memorabilia and was approached by the Royal Canadian Legion to set up a War Museum display which was attended by young and old alike. It was also viewed by local students and teachers as a historical reference.

Bert’s life was marked by numerous accomplishments. He illustrated Murray Leatherdale’s classic 1975 book, “Nipissing From Brule to Booth”; designed six commemorative coins for the North Bay Chamber of Commerce, one of which depicted the Dionne Quintuplets 50th birthday; designed the logo for the North Bay Centennials Hockey Club of the OHL; and produced many award winning sketches for the North Bay Nugget, as well as numerous honour scrolls and logos for local organizations. His contributions to North Bay were recognized when he was presented with an “Honoured Citizen” medal commemorating the City of North Bay’s 50th Anniversary.

Bert was an exceptional artist and had a prolific career. He enjoyed working with acrylics and produced several limited edition prints. His artwork is prominently displayed in many businesses and homes throughout the area, particularly his historical paintings of Downtown North Bay circa 1935. This includes a portrait featured on the North Bay Heritage Carousel.

In Bert’s words, his greatest accomplishment was his family.

His gift to us was his selfless willingness to give of himself, as well as his love and dedication to his family and friends. He enriched our lives and made a lasting impact on all who knew him.

“There’s a place inside the heart where love lives always….
And where nothing beautiful can ever be forgotten”.