John A. Sanders, Ph.D., 75, of Oak Park, died on Feb. 18, 2011. Born on Feb. 25, 1935 in Morgan County, Ala., to Alexander Sanders and Annie Mae Pruitt. The youngest of three, John excelled in academics and sports and was a standout athlete in track and football. He attended Alabama State University where he graduated with a B.A. in mathematics, and he completed his master’s degree at Atlanta University (which later became Clark University).

While student teaching in Selma, Ala., Mr. Sanders was introduced to the love of his life and future wife, Wenola (Douglas) Sanders. They were married on June 9, 1963.

He went on to earn his doctorate in mathematics at the University of Iowa, then taught advanced mathematics at the University of Illinois and at Chicago State University, from which he retired in 1999.

John Sanders is survived by his sons, Eric (Linda), Douglas (Trella) and Fredrick (Hilary); and his grandchildren, Samantha and Nicholas. He was preceded in death by his wife, Wenola (nee Douglas), and his son, John Damon Sanders.

Visitation will take place on Saturday, Feb. 26 at 9 a.m., with a service at 11 a.m. at Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home, 203 S. Marion in Oak Park, followed by interment at Queen of Heaven Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the Susan G. Komen Foundation ( are appreciated.

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