Saying Good Bye to a Good friend

Last week we said goodbye to our oldest church member, Gage Sanden.  At 95 years old, Gage had been a member of Northminster since 1955.

Gage's memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 29, at 11:00 a.m.

At Gage's age, he knew that the end of his life was coming soon.  So, Gage decided to write his own obituary!  Here is Gage's life in his own words:


Gage Odin Sanden

December 22, 1918 - March 13, 2014

Gage Odin Sanden went home to the Lord on March 13, 2014.  He was born December 22, 1918 in Dickerson North Dakota.  The family moved to Oregon after his mother passed away.  They settled in Jacksonville and when he was eight years old his father remarried his widowed aunt.  They became a blended family of six children who went on a honeymoon together in a Model T Ford.  From that day for the rest of their lives the family shared a deep and unique bond.  Gage was blessed with five best friends for the rest of his life.  The family was active in the First Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville, which was built in 1888.  Whenever Gage went home he rang the church bell including the last time about ten years ago.   Gage was an Eagle Scout and a graduate of Jacksonville High School.

At nineteen he enlisted in the Navy and proudly served his country for ten years during World War II including time on a submarine in the Pacific. He was just outside Manila Bay the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.  His navy buddies nicknamed him “Sandy” and this was what his work buddies continued to call him until retirement.   

After his Navy Days Gage graduated from Southern Oregon College and became a teacher.  He taught for several years in Oregon and California.  When in Prineville Oregon he met another young teacher, Carol Cunningham.  Five months later they were married, and a year later moved to California with their infant son Blake to begin the next chapter of their life.  Gage began working at North Island as an aircraft electrician in 1954 and proudly served our country for a total of thirty five years. The Sanden’s found two great communities in North Clairemont in the neighborhood of Manitou Way and the fellowship of Northminster Presbyterian Church.  (Gage was a member for almost 60 years.)  Two more children, Alan and Lois, joined the family in the next 3 years.

Gage was an avid supporter of Boy Scouts, church and school activities.  He and Carol shared a strong bond of faith and love of family, music, travel and service.  Gage was also a lifelong swimmer and diver. Gage was proceeded in death his first wife Carol and son Alan.  He later married LaRue Barlow in 1999.  They enjoyed 15 wonderful years together dancing through their sunset years of life. 

Gage is survived by his wife LaRue Sanden, son Blake and daughter-in-law Sue McCullough-Sanden and their children Aaron, Rachel, Beth and grandson Simon, daughter Lois and son-in-law Dave Schwarz and their sons Rob, Tony and Eric.

To celebrate his life contributions may be made to the Sanden Fund at Northminster Presbyterian Church where proceeds are used to support church music and education programs including college scholarships for students participating in the church music ministry.

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