Richmond Lanzro Sanders was a lanky, high-school
teenager in the early 1940's at Johnston County Training School in
Smithfield, North Carolina, who dreamed of becoming a medical
doctor. He knew the odds were against him becausethe Great
Depression had not completely loosened its economic grip on his
large family. However, dreams are free so one can dream as big as
one wants. Richmond volunteered to serve in the U.S. Coast Guard in
1942; he was honorably discharged in 1946. He then became an
apprentice at Hamilton Funeral Home and then matriculated at Eckels
School of Mortuary Science in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Eventually, he bought Woodard Funeral Home and Woodard Mutual
Burial Association, Inc. at 806 East Market St. here in Smithfield
on May 16, 1956. This was the begining of Sanders Funeral Home.
Prior to purchasing Woodard Funeral Home, Richmond was an employee
of Hamilton Funeral Home. He was also an insurance agent for North
Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, and served as
secretary-treasurer of Sanders Mutual Burial Assocation,Inc.
| Richmond L.
Hugh L. Sanders is the owner/manager of R.L. Sanders Funeral
Home, Smithfield, North Carolina. A lifelong resident of
Smithfield, he learned about the funeral home business alongside
his father, R.L. Sanders, who oversaw the service with Hugh's
mother, Myrtle Sanders. Hugh managed the home when he became of
age, and the baton was passed to him completely upon his father's
transition in 1994.
Hugh earned an Associate's Degree in Funeral Service from
Fayetteville Technical College, and also attended North Carolina
Central University. In addition to running R.L. Sanders Funeral
Home, he is heavily involved in his community and committed to
giving back. He has served as a mentor at South Smithfield
Elementary School, as well as Vice President and President of the
elementary school's PTA. He also serves on the Advisory Board for
Fayetteville Tech's Funeral Service program.
He is a lifelong member of First Missionary Baptist Church,
Smithfield, where he serves as a Trustee; a member of the
Smithfield-Selma Chamber of Commerce; and, a member of the Eastern
Funeral Service Association. He and his wife, Alesia Royal Sanders,
have three daughters: Alexis, Aleiyah, and Ayanah.
| The Hugh L. Sanders
Mrs. Myrtle P. Sanders, a
graduate of North Caroline Central University, retired as a teacher
for the Johnston County Schools and later obtained her funeral
director's license to graciously work beside her husband in the
business. She is a very active member of First Missionary Baptist
Church in Smithfield, North Carolina. She has served on many
committees and boards within the church to include Deaconess,
Treasurer, Christian Education Committee, Missionary Circle, Sunday
School, Announcer, and the Pastoral Search Committee. She is an
active member of the community as well. She served as a member on
the Board of Council on Aging and delivered for Meals on
| Myrtle P.