Leland Ray Saunders of Harrisville will celebrate his 90th birthday.
The fifth of 12 children, he was born to Edward Thomas Saunders and Marcia Ann Slater Saunders on Nov. 15, 1922. He grew up in the Ogden area, working on the family farm in Uintah. He and his siblings are still close. They grew up learning to work hard and have fun with each other. He met his wife, Leila Porter, while working at Hill Air Force Base. Their vows were solemnized in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Salt Lake Temple on Nov. 6, 1942.
He was in the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1946, and continued to serve in the Navy Reserve for 10 years. After active duty, they settled in Ogden. He worked with his father in the family business, Saunders Construction, assuming management in 1963.
They moved to Harrisville in 1957, and he was instrumental in the establishment of Harrisville. He served eight years as Harrisville's first mayor. He also served in many positions in the LDS Church, including bishop, counselor in the stake presidency and patriarch. In 1990, he and his wife served an LDS mission to Brisbane, Australia, where he gave more than 100 patriarchal blessings.
Their 10 children and spouses are Marilyn Cheney, Janet and Brent VanAlfen, Joy and Douglas Wiese, Kevin Ray Saunders, Gary Lee and Nedra Saunders, Edward Thomas and Katy Saunders, Ronald Willard and Julie Saunders, Lori and Scott Robertson, Roger Dee and Deanne Saunders, and Alan Todd and Lisa Saunders. They have 52 grandchildren and 93 great-grandchildren.