Obituary: David James John Saunders
David James John Saunders
December 26, 1952 – November 25, 2014
Age: 61 Residence: Greeley, CO
David James John Saunders died with his family by his side at Medical Center of the Rockies on Nov. 25, 2014. He was born Dec. 26, 1952, in Quincy, Massachusetts, the son of James and Ida (Sorenti) Saunders. David moved to Breckenridge, Colorado, after graduating from high school and years later while attending Metropolitan State College in Denver met his future wife Peggy.
In 1986, David began his investigative career at the Colorado Public Defender System, working first in Greeley and then Silverthorne. He started his own business (Saunders Detective Agency) in 1991 with offices in Kremmling and Greeley. When the family moved to Fergus Falls, Minnesota, in 1997 and then to Mandan, North Dakota, in 2002, he continued his business. He maintained offices in North Dakota, Greeley, and Breckenridge with his son Tom and family friend Mike Tennessen until he fell ill in October 2014.
David loved hockey, where he earned his nickname, Rocket (in honor of his hockey hero Rocket Richard, but a sarcastic reference to his own lack of speed). He founded the Greeley Aces, a UNC club hockey team and after moving to the mountains started the Kremmling Cattle Kings youth hockey association. As “Doctor Hockey” he enjoyed submitting colorful articles about games to the local newspapers. David also coached high school hockey while living in Minnesota and North Dakota and was active in the youth hockey programs. His company, Galactic Sports, took hockey teams to Switzerland and Italy and hosted summer tournaments. David and Peggy enjoyed traveling, especially to Como, Italy, where he connected with his Italian relatives. David also loved to ski and was proud to be on the ski patrol at Huff Hills Ski Area.
In 2014 he and Peggy began their semi-retirement in South Fork, Colorado, skiing at Wolf Creek and relaxing at their retirement home four days a week and working three days a week in Greeley.
Rocket adored his family and his friends. His infectious laugh and storytelling will keep his memory alive in them all.
He is survived by his wife; Peggy Petry, their sons; Lawrence (Fargo, North Dakota) and Tom (Breckenridge, Colorado), brother-in-law Allen Petry, sister-in-law Patty Petry, mother-in-law Laurel Petry (Fargo, North Dakota), his godparents Marie Friedrichsen and Lewis Ferretti of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and his aunt Jean Bennett of Springfield, Missouri, along with many of cousins in Massachusetts and Italy. He was preceded in death by his son Saul, his brother Lawrence and his parents.
A memorial service will be held on Jan. 24, 2014, at 5 p.m. at The Clarion Hotel in Greeley, Colorado. Friends and family are invited to celebrate David’s life and share memories and stories.
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