Donald Joseph Sanders was born on October 1, 1943, in Houston, Texas, and passed away at home on July 21, 2018. He is survived by his wife, Katherine Butler, and his son, Sanders Butler, along with his brother and sister-in-law Randy and Bette Sanders and their two daughters Alicia and Joy, and Kathy’s brother and sister-in-law Jim and Yun Butler and their son and daughter Bill and Mei. Don was a fourth generation Houstonian who often quipped that his was the only Houston family that had been here so long and had not gotten rich at least once.
Don was a singer, songwriter, storyteller, author, and, most importantly, a wonderful husband, father and friend. He had many talents, ranging from writing songs that captured the spirit of an era to writing a coming of age novel that captured the spirit of the Texas border. He wrote and performed a number of historical dramas for schools in Texas and throughout the country, that combined oral histories from the Works Progress Administration with music that had been enjoyed by cowboys, oilfield workers, railroad workers, to name just a few of the subjects of his shows. He was a consummate performer who could entertain elementary students just as effectively as adults. He also loved performing bilingual shows for kids. One song that really captures his essence is Coast of Southern France, which can be found on Youtube.
A special note of thanks goes out to the good people at Vitas Hospice who helped Don immensely in his last month. Thank you Tiffany Hardy!
If you want to remember Don, we suggest a donation to KPFT, the Houston Zen Center or a charity of your choice. A celebration of Don’s life is in the works, so look for an announcement of that in the coming months.