Gordon B. Sailors Topeka
A memorial service for Gordon Byron Sailors, 94, Topeka, is planned for a later date.
Mr. Sailors died Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011, at Stormont-Vail Regional Health Center in Topeka.
He was born in 1917 in Rosalie, Neb., the son of Byron and Julia Octavia Day Sailors. He attended high school in Leonardville.
Mr. Sailors graduated from Pittsburg State University with a teaching degree in 1940 and a master’s degree in 1949. He served in the U.S. Navy at the Great Lakes Navy Center during World War II training troops in physical education.
Mr. Sailors was a life-long educator. He began his career in Elmdale and then taught and coached at Highland Park High School from 1951 to 1961 and Topeka West High School from 1961 to 1971. Mr. Sailors was honored as Kansas Industrial Arts Teacher of the year as well as Kansas Driver Education Instructor of the Year. He also served the state of Kansas as deputy fire marshal as well as an administrator for civil defense training and education. He was a lifetime member of the National Education Association.
Mr. Sailors was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church of Topeka, where he served as an elder and Sunday school teacher. He was also active in Topeka Wood Carvers as well as the International Wood Collectors Society, where he served as president. Mr. Sailors volunteered for Habitat for Humanity and each summer provided the Topeka Rescue Mission with fruit and vegetables from his garden.
Mr. Sailors was an avid bridge player and Royals baseball fan. He designed lamps and mementoes from major league baseball bats for numerous American league players. He also played on a national fast-pitch softball team while serving in the U.S. Navy and managed and played softball in Topeka for more than 40 years.
He married Virginia Ford Davis in May 1940. She survives and resides at Presbyterian Manor of Topeka.
Other survivors include two sisters, Geraldine Frazier, Springfield, Mo., and Mary Jane Oberhelman, Riley; a son, Gordie and wife Paula Kellogg, Perry; a daughter, Elizabeth Durham and companion Joe Del Balso, Mountain Top, Pa.; five grandchildren, Michelle Sailors, Tony Sailors, Daniel Sailors, Molly Sailors and Jordan Durham; and two great-grandchildren, William and Christopher Musterman.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Lot William, and his daughter, Karen Virginia Wagner.
The family suggests memorials to the Topeka Rescue Mission, P.O. Box 8350, Topeka, KS 66608 or Let’s Help Inc., 200 S. Kansas Ave., Topeka, KS 66603.
Dove Cremation & Funeral Service is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be sent at dovecremation.com.