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Farewell Frederick (Freddie) R. Saunders, Sr.

Farewell Frederick (Freddie) R. Saunders, Sr.


Freddie Saunders, 86, of Florence, South Carolina, died peacefully on January 9, 2024, at the McLeod Health Hospice Care.

Freddie was born in Sumter, South Carolina, on May 24, 1937, to the late Carl Frasier Saunders, Sr., and Martha Gardner Saunders. He is survived by his brothers, Carl Frasier Saunders, Jr. and Jimmy Saunders, and his wife, Jane, both of Sumter, South Carolina.

He grew up in Sumter, South Carolina, and began a career with Suburban Propane Gas at the early age of 19, where he remained with the company in a management role until his retirement at the age of 62, working 43 years for the same company.

Believing retirement was the goal, he realized that having days without a sense of real purpose was not as enjoyable as he envisioned, so he launched an entirely new career. From age 63 until his passing at 86 (23 years), he helped his two sons build First Reliance Bank, a long-standing regional bank. Managing the company’s fixed assets across the Carolinas, he was an outstanding member of the First Reliance Team and a proud father.

He is survived by the mother of his children, Jane Humphries Lawton, and was later married to Rosanne Tolar Rivers Saunders of Florence, South Carolina, until his death. Moving several times with the gas company, he and Rosanne lived in Columbia, South Carolina, Statesville, North Carolina, and finally settled back in Florence, South Carolina.

He is survived by his sons, Rick Saunders and wife Tiffany, Paul Saunders and wife Kathy, all of Florence, South Carolina, and Mark Saunders, of Tucson, Arizona. Stepsons, Lee Rivers and wife Tere’, of Surfside Beach, South Carolina; Bryan Rivers and wife Beth, of Lexington, South Carolina; and David Rivers and wife Becky, of Tampa, Florida.

He leaves four grandchildren, Chris, Reagan, Reid, and Ryleigh Saunders; one great-grandchild, Chapman Saunders; nine step-grandchildren, Michael, Kara, William, Matthew, Daniel, Sophia, Olivia Rivers, Leighton Pohorilak and Kirsten Baxley; and two step-great-grandchildren, Ezra and Maezie Pohorilak.

During his lifetime, he served in the United States National Guard, the town council in Timmonsville, South Carolina, as a church deacon, and was always involved in community civic organizations. He was a long-standing member of the Florence Baptist Temple, where he set a great example by establishing a family culture rooted in our love for and pursuit of God.

Outside of his pets, his greatest passions were his family, particularly enjoying late afternoon barbeques or frequent rounds of golf with his sons and friends. He was a very strong man. Being forced into independence early on, he quickly learned the importance of character, integrity, courage, hard work, excellence in effort, and grit. He made it his life’s mission that his sons understood and exercised those principles, leaving a legacy that all his family will forever be proud of.

Funeral services will be held at the Florence Baptist Temple in Florence, South Carolina, on Saturday, January 13, 2024, at 11:00 AM. Visitation will follow the service that will be officiated by Pastor Bill Monroe and Associate Pastor Kent Kendall and services directed by Stoudenmire-Dowling Funeral Home of Florence.

In lieu of flowers and should friends desire, contributions in his memory can be made to the Freddie Saunders Family Scholarship Fund, which will issue higher education scholarships to South Carolina students who are financially needy and are pursuing a business/finance-related degree, or to the Florence Area Humane Society. Visit GoFundMe, Freddie Saunders, to contribute.

Thank you to all of our family and friends who have reached out through text and phone calls and offered your prayers during this time. A very special thank you to the McLeod Hospice team for the genuine care and compassion they showed our father.


  1. Marnie Moore

    Marnie Moore on

    Just a fine man and great friend! Freddie brightened every room he entered and exuded christ’s love to those he enCountered. Well done, Freddie!

  2. Pam Rhoads

    Pam Rhoads on

    Mr. Freddie was a WONDERFUL person to work with. He was always willing to help with anything. I never saw him without a smile and was so kind and respectful of everyone. I love that he wantex this SCHOLARSHIP to help others.

  3. Denny bates

    Denny bates on

    What a wonderful legacy of a life well lived. God bless his family and friends with grace and peace.

  4. John Jebaily

    John Jebaily on

    Freddie had a smile on his face that would warm any heart. God rest his soul, he will be missed.

  5. Evangelist Ben Streett

    Evangelist Ben Streett on

    What a great "send-off" for your dad, Rick. I remember him from our days of youth. He leaves behind a spiritual and family legacy that showed his love for his savior, his family, and his church. God bless you and the family in the days to come.

    In Christ,

    Bro. Ben

    "Precious in the sight of the lord is the death of his saints.
    `psalm 116:15

  6. Mary Harrell

    Mary Harrell on

    Paul,Rick so sorry for your loss of your Dad sending prayers for the family.

  7. Pamela McCaskill

    Pamela McCaskill on

    Mr. Freddie will be missed. His smile was contagious. His hugs comfort. Heaven gained an angel.

  8. Stan Williams

    Stan Williams on

    So sorry for yOur Family’s loss You are certainly in our family’s prayers🙏🏻the Williams Family



    Mr Freddie was one of the kindness men i have had the pleasure of knowing. He was always willing to help and share a smile. He was such a blessing to all. It was an honor to have known him.
    My thoughts and prayers cover his family and his many friends.

  10. Sheri White hyler

    Sheri White hyler on

    Rick, paul & mark... such a sweet person was mr freddie. Known him All my life & always smiling. Prayers for God's comfort & peace to all of you in the loss of your dad!!

  11. Roger Blackman

    Roger Blackman on

    My condolences and prayers for the family. Roger

  12. Christie Strickland Doriety

    Christie Strickland Doriety on

    One of the finest men i knew. I’m so thankful for the part he played in my childhood. it was an honor to know and love him.

  13. Jeff paolucci

    Jeff paolucci on

    Mr . freddie was a very loving man that would always do anything for you! His smile would light up any room and his heart was always full of love! We will miss him so much!

  14. Corey Hall

    Corey Hall on

    It was always a pleasure when Mr. Freddie was in the office. His contributions to the bank and his community were truly remarkable, and his legacy is a testament to his character.

  15. Bill hester

    Bill hester on

    The Saunders family Were NEIGHBORS when we lived in TIMMONSVILLE. Freddie and i were in a business At the beach with Another neighbor years ago. A parasail business in SC?? Rickey and Paul may not even remember that. We did not see each other a lot in our later years but we remained friends over 50 years. Rip my friend.

  16. Chris hicks

    Chris hicks on

    I'm really gonna miss you....many many times laughing and joking when we were at the bank or wherever I'd see YOu.
    Rest easy my friend...

  17. Wanda Washington

    Wanda Washington on

    My condolences to the Saunders family. During my time with First Reliance Bank I knew Mr Freddie as a kind, loving and gentle soul with a smile that warmed the heart. May the family find comfort from God”s promises and knowing that others care.
    Revelation 21: 3,4

  18. Yvonne Paolucci

    Yvonne Paolucci on

    Had the privilege of cutting Freds hair n getting to know him on a personal LEVEL! Always uplIfting n talked about his family he loved so much !going to miss you Fred ,but know yOu are in Heaven rejoicing ,not sick anymore !❤️

  19. Clay elder

    Clay elder on

    Rick and paul, i am so sorry for your loss. I never had a chance to work with your father, but his name always seemed to surface with high regard.

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    briansclub on

    Through its dedicated efforts, it has created a space for individuals to gather, learn, grow, and inspire each other. <a href="">briansclub</a> serves as an encouraging sign, reminding us of the power of community and the potential for positive change.

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