Denny Sanderson

Obituary of Denny Sanderson

Dennis Lloyd Sanderson

Dennis Lloyd Sanderson, better known as Denny,

was born on July 19, 1947 to Stan and Marguerite Sanderson,

 and passed away on October 12, 2023.

He married Brenda Barnett in 1972, and they were blessed to have two children, Ryan and Brandie-Lee.

In between the year of birth and date of death there is always a dash, so here’s the story of Denny’s “DASH!”

He attended Sibbald School until Grade 9, and then finished the schooling that he thought he needed for his future, at Oyen High School. 

 Even though he was smallest of his brothers, he quickly learned how to play smart to compete with them.  For his entire life he was competitive, right down to a game of Checkers!

During his more competitive years he played hockey, curled, played baseball, and later he developed the love for golf.

One of the things we need to remember about Denny is, whenever he had a conversation with anyone, at the end of his visit he would say, “Everything is Okay, Life is Good!”

Along with Murray Pratt they came up with the idea that they could round up a bunch of guys age 45 or older, who wanted to play only tournament baseball. (And enjoy a few cold ones after the game was over.) 

Since Brenda and Murray both came from Esther, they selected the name, Sounding Creek, this was considered the perfect name for the team. 

Life for many years began and ended with the Sounding Creek team and their families taking many road trips to attend all the tournaments. It seemed that every day on the road the menu was burgers for the kids! 

Life was good

Family ski trips during Christmas break and other school holidays were a highlight for many years, and eventually the grandchildren became part of the adventures. Golf became Denny’s new sport, even though he thought it would ruin his baseball swing!

Once he started golf, it was his top priority when his baseball career wound down.  He continued being an avid fan and he was the 50-50 salesman until his final season.  During Ryan and Brandie’s growing up years, Denny was their favourite sports hero, and this continued for the grandchildren Leah and Dionysus as well.

 Life was good!

Denny had some of the most amazing careers that anyone could ask for, and they all centered around people.  His very first job ensured that he became a wonderful father and grandfather, as he changed his younger brother Ricky’s diapers, and babysat him, so their mom and dad could have a break or a night out!

As many young fellows in the area did, he worked for Stevenson Tredway who was a contractor for Alberta Government Telephones, and they trenched in the underground cables.

Next, he worked for the Town of Oyen, and to help him in this job he attended Lethbridge Community College where he took the two-year diploma for Recreation Management. 

 To this day the hockey players still wear the black and orange colours which Denny chose in the early ‘70’s to represent his two favourite teams, BC Lions and SF Giants.

Life was good

After five years he went to work for Alberta Gas Trunkline, Denny was lucky enough to be transferred to Princess. Denny and the family moved into their first company house – no more trailer living!  Hard to believe that $70 was rent including utilities for a beautiful home (in Denny’s own words!). 

Life was Good

During the time living at Princess, Brenda got a job offer in Oyen. So, Denny and Brenda decided that she would move back to Oyen with Ryan and Brandie and live with Denny’s mother Marguerite, in the Basement.

Denny would take his turn to come to Oyen, and when he did, he might end up curling or playing baseball. Brenda would also take her turn to go to Princess where Ryan and Brandie loved to drive go-carts, and motorbikes. It was Denny’s job to keep them

working, even though he was not a super mechanic! (Being a mechanic was not his game.)

Life was good! 

The time came for them to sell the house in Princess, so Denny and Brenda decided to build a house in Brooks. Then later Denny got transferred back to Oyen so he could be the area manager for the Cavendish Area. 

They decided to use the blueprint they had used to build their house in Brooks and build the same house in Oyen. It had only been 22 months from their home in Brooks when they started rebuilding in Oyen. 

Life was good.

Back in Oyen Denny saw NOVA merge with Trans Canada Energy. TC Energy wanted the operators to become certified electricians.  So, off Denny went to Vermillion to go back to school to save his job.  He was a diligent student, getting up at 5:30am on the weekends to get his homework done before the family woke up. 

Within two and a half months in 1995, Denny acquired his Red Seal with honours, Ryan finished up his degree from Augustana University, and Brandie graduated from Brooks Composite High School. This was quite the family accomplishment!

Life was good

Denny started hauled bedding plants, and poinsettias for Billy Van Otterloo at Oyen Greenhouses on weekends, and during his holidays. Denny enjoyed doing this as he could still play baseball with the Sounding Creek men.  Also, his dream of a  Skins and Skills Bonspiel became a reality, he called every team personal to invite them to this curling events.  It was a very successful money-making event for The Oyen and District Curling Club for many years. 

Life was good!

He retired from TC Energy in 2004 at the age of 56.  He felt that this was too young to truly retire, so he started looking for other jobs.  Midfield in Cereal was his next employer, where the coffee was always on, and the BS was thick! 

They were looking for a younger guy, but they took Denny on, and he met all their expectations and more, even cleaning the toilets!  When they sold out, he moved on to Carbon Solutions (Radical), after answering an ad in The East Central Review. 

He personally delivered the annual cheques to farmers who qualified for a carbon rebate. He loved visiting with the farmers in their Quonsets or in the field.  His area grew every year, and his bragging rights were that he was the second highest agent in Alberta. 

Life was good

Denny became Billy’s full-time man at the Oyen Greenhouse during the busiest seasons. From January to the end of June, he was hauling plants, and chauffeuring Mexican workers to Oyen from the Calgary airport. When the season was done, he drove the Mexicans back to the Calgary airport and made sure they had extra spicy burgers from A&W.

Life was good

He really looked forward not only to hauling the plants, but learning the identities of the plants, and visiting with the receivers at the garden centres along the route. There may or may not have been a few bets on Blackhawks and Lions games along the way, especially if his teams made it to the playoffs!

Life was good!

Not only was his family and work a priority, but he was very dedicated to the well-being of his mom, Marguerite. He personally visited with her each night, and was always there to tend to any need she had.

He had this same approach for his Mother-in-Law, Beth Barnett.  For years he shopped and delivered the groceries, did yard work, snow shovelling, and house maintenance.  Whenever Brenda’s Dad, Jeff Barnett, needed help on the ranch, Denny was always available, whether it was pouring cement, or digging potatoes, or even helping at branding time.

Life was good

He also knew that if he timed his work schedule of checking stations just right, he could be at the ranch to join Jeff when Beth cooked his second breakfast, sausage and eggs!

Life was good!

Denny was the caregiver for many family dogs, and he loved every one of them.  He was often seen with a snowblower or lawnmower in the back of his truck, in case someone needed help, and Oliver the family dog bouncing along in the cab, possibly sleeping on the back of the seat behind Denny

Another family dog Buffy, went along to work with Denny in Cavendish for many years, Buffy would watch baseball games from the dugout, and joined Denny in the handshake line up.

Life was good

Oakley the family dog now, assisted in hauling flowers, and was his walking companion as he worked on his fitness.  As if Denny didn’t have enough to do, he dreamt up another project, and became a fish monger, picking up and delivering steelhead trout from Lucky Lake, Saskatchewan, to his fortunate customers.  He might not have turned a profit, but his volunteer service to his community was extremely important to him.

Life was good!

Denny took great pride in his lawn and got ideas about grass designs from watching Major Baseball League games. The next weekly cut could have been a checkerboard – who knew?

Life was good! 

Brenda felt fortunate as he came already trained for almost everything, including diaper duty, tending to sick babies in the night, laundry services, cooking, and cleaning (did you know he even got a vacuum cleaner once for Christmas). He also knew how to phone the plumber, carpenter, and mechanic when it was necessary.

 Life was good!

After travelling to Australia, they decided to visit every province, and travel across Canada, with every day becoming a crazy adventure with Denny.  A variety of family trips were definitely highlights.

Life was good! 

He is predeceased by his parents, Stan and Marguerite Sanderson, his brothers, Harold and Fred and his son Stanley, his Father-in-Law, Jeff Barnett, and Aunt Pat and Uncle Phil Clampitt and cousin Brenda Clampitt.

When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure. Denny will be truly missed by his family, friends, and communities.  He might not have lived as long as everyone     wanted, but he lived his life to the fullest.

He is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, Brenda, his son Ryan (Anna Ryan’s wife) and daughter Brandie-Lee, grandchildren Leah and Dionysus, his brother Rick (Pat) and their sons Brett & Kyle, his Mother-in-Law, Beth Barnett, and numerous relatives.


I think we all could say,

“Denny, you really had a Good Life.”