Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

Stephen "Steve" Ray Sanders , 72, Orange

Stephen “Steve” Ray Sanders , age 72, of Orange, Texas, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, after an almost twenty years courageous living with Parkinson’s Disease. During that time he never once complained or gave up and ALWAYS had a smile on his face. He was born October 22, 1951 in Port Arthur, Texas to Carl H. Sanders and Winona B. Sanders.

Steve attended Bridge City schools and was active in many clubs, activities and sports, where he was a standout. He was even voted Most Handsome and Class Favorite as well as receiving many other accolades. He went on to attend Lamar University, earning his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering in May 1974. Upon graduation, he started at Texaco as an Engineer, kickstarting a forty-two plus year career moving up the ranks of management at the Port Arthur refinery which later became Motiva. His consistency, energy and commitment to what is just and right caused him to be greatly respected by fellow colleagues. He was known as “dancing bear” because of his endless energy and enthusiasm, and because he never stopped moving.

Steve met Melinda DuBois while in junior high in 1964 at the Bridge City skating rink. After dating through their school years, Steve and Melinda were married October 14, 1972 at Winfree Baptist Church in Orange, Texas and went on to have two children, Jill in 1974 and Josh in 1980, as well as wonderful romance and partnership.

Steve spent much of his time faithfully serving his Lord as a member, ordained Deacon, Sunday school teacher and part-time music minister at Second Baptist Church in Bridge City, Texas. Steve was a deeply spiritual man who shared God’s love through his serving of others, musical talents and singing with his family quartet. He never stopped serving his Lord no matter his challenges and was in church just a few days before his death. He was an inspiration to many and loved and admired by family, friends and the community. The impact of Steve’s life will be felt for years to come.

In his free time, he enjoyed the outdoors, hunting, sports, golf, fishing, playing dominos, competing in anything, singing, watching/supporting his children and later his grandchildren compete in sports, dance, cheer or whatever they were involved in. Steve was a notable competitor whether coaching or competing himself. He was a longtime youth baseball coach (35+ years) which was fitting given his propensity to always challenge those around him to be the best version of themselves. He was a multi-generation Dallas Cowboys fan as well as a city of Houston sports fan, loving the Astros and Rockets. He also dearly loved and supported those Bridge City Cardinals.

Steve’s legacy will live on through the many great stories he often shared and the memories of those who had the blessing to know him. He will be remembered as a leader, encourager, and a loving, charismatic, and fun husband, father, son, brother, uncle, cousin and friend.

Steve is survived by his loving wife, Melinda Sanders of Orange, Texas; daughter Jill Carpenter Mahan and husband Ryan Mahan of Orange, Texas; son Joshua Sanders and wife Lindsay Sanders of Austin, Texas; grandson Colby Carpenter and Skyler Authement; granddaughter Carsen Carpenter; granddaughter Caryss Carpenter; grandson Sage Sanders; granddaughter Adelaide Sanders; grandson Beau Sanders; granddaughter Stevie Bloom Sanders; bonus grandchildren Max Mahan, Sam Mahan, Jud Mahan, Lila Oxford, and Quintin Oxford; great-granddaugther Cohen Carpenter; brother Malcom Sanders; brother Wenden Sanders and many dearly loved nephews, nieces and cousins.

Steve was predeceased by his granddaugther Chloe Elizabeth Sanders; father Carl H. Sanders, Sr., mother Winona B. Sanders, brother Carl H. Sanders, Jr., brother-in-law and great friend Ricky DuBois.

A visitation will be held on Monday, June 3rd 5:30pm-7:30pm and a celebration of life held on Tuesday, June 4th at 2pm, both at Second Baptist Church, 340 Bland Dr, Bridge City, Texas 77611. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens in Orange, TX.

Serving as pallbearers will be Steve’s grandsons. Honorary pallbearers are his nephews Dwayne (Beaver) DuBois, Keith DuBois, Aaron DuBois & Michael LaFleur; his buddy Rory Slaughter, and the deacons of Second Baptist Church.

The family would like to thank his loving wife of 51 years who faithfully cared for him until his last breath. We would also like to thank his doctors, Dr. Amy Townsend of Bridge City, Texas and neurologist Dr. Allison Boyle of Houston, Texas for their loving care & support. Flowers and/or memorial contributions can be sent to Steve Sanders Memorial Fund c/o Second Baptist Church, 340 Bland Dr, Bridge City, Texas 77611.


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