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Commission, citizens honor Edd Sanders’ legacy

Commissioners honored the late Edd Sanders for his service to the Pike County DFCS and to the community at the July 8 commission meeting. Chairman Briar Johnson presented his mother, Peggy Sanders, with a plaque in memory of Edd Sanders from the Pike County board of commissioners. Several community leaders spoke about his contributions to the community, shared stories of how he helped others around him and even asked the board to petition the Department of Corrections to change the name of West Central Integrated Treatment Facility to honor him. ’Edd took care of his inmates, he took care of the community and he took care of his staff,’ said chaplain Don Bowen. ‘Everyone respected him and he helped everyone he saw who needed it.’ JoAnne Cash, founder of the Family Reunification Network said she is a returned citizen, also known as a convicted felon, and Edd Sanders was like a brother to her. ’He trained me to get my badge to be able to go back into the prisons as a minister,’ she said. ‘What he did extended far beyond Pike County.’ She said the Family Reunification Network gathers soap to distribute to men and women who are incarcerated and warden Sanders had helped in the past with it. She said each bar of soap will have the name of the organization it was donated from and a scripture. She said each bar is prayed over and this year they will be sent into prisons ‘in memory of my brother and my friend Edd Sanders.’ This year the group’s goal is to collect 65,000 bath size bars of soap before Oct. 15. For information on how to contribute, contact Cash at 678-379-7389 or Sheriff Jimmy Thomas said when he took office, all the patrol cars were different colors and Edd Sanders got all seven cars painted the same color using DOC labor. He also worked with cleaning crews along the highways and streets of Pike County for many years. ’I can’t tell you how much he gave to us,’ said sheriff Thomas. ‘When we were looking for an impound lot to be able to store evidence, he furnished the labor and material and found a place for it next to the prison where it would be secure. He never got any credit for that. He did help continuously in the community in multiple areas.” Sheriff Thomas told Peggy Sanders she did a wonderful job raising Edd. ’He did a fabulous job of returning to the community and doing for others. If we could all live that legacy, every community would be better off,’ he said. Others also spoke in Edd’s honor, noting that he was a dear friend and co-worker who always told them to put family first, regardless of what needed to be done at work. He also continued to check up on former coworkers even after retirement. He passed away unexpectedly Aug. 29, 2014.

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