Cover photo for Darrell L. Sanders's Obituary
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1947 Darrell 2023

Darrell L. Sanders

September 21, 1947 — June 29, 2023

Darrell L Sanders: A Life Dedicated to Service

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Chief Darrell L. Sanders, a beloved husband to Jayne, father to Ashley, Brandy, Brent, Jason, and Jeni and dedicated grandfather to all of his beloved grandchildren. Darrell passed away on Thursday, June 29, 2023 at his home in Frankfort, at the age of 75 years old. Darrell dedicated his life to public service, leaving behind a legacy of leadership, integrity, and compassion for helping others. He was truly a pillar of strength to his family and his community.

Darrell was born on September 21,1947 to parents Evelyn Fullington & Cecil Ray Sanders, and raised in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Shortly after graduating from Westlake High School, he enlisted in the Air Force and began his path of public service.

As a Pararescueman with the Air Force's Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service (ARRS), he flew multiple combat missions during his tour in Vietnam between 1967 & 1968. With a title of Aircraft Maintenance Specialist, he was also a Flight Crew Chief and responsible for maintaining the aircraft they flew. After Vietnam, Darrell flew all around the world doing supply runs to all of the US Embassies from 1968-1970. He ended his military career in 1970 as a Sergeant with the 437 Maintenance Squadron out of Charleston, SC.

Upon his retirement from the Air Force, Darrell became a Sheriff's Deputy in Charleston, SC where he was promoted to Detective and voted as South Carolina's Police Officer of the Year. After 10.5 years, Darrell took the Police Chief position in Frankfort, IL where he would spend the next 24 years of his career. Under his leadership, the department grew from seven full-time officers to a highly respected force of 27 sworn officers. His unwavering commitment to the safety of the community earned him Illinois’s Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award from the VFW. Before retiring, Darrell was also elected as the President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, the Will County Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Greater Cook County Council of Police Chiefs.

Of all his accolades and accomplishments, Darrell was most proud of being a first class inductee into the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Hall of Fame. It was through his tireless dedication that he helped raise tens of millions of dollars for his favorite charity, the Special Olympics.Throughout decades of his life, Darrell selflessly devoted himself to volunteering and organizing fundraisers for various charitable causes, consistently extending a helping hand to those in need. His unwavering compassion for assisting others has left an indelible mark on the lives of countless individuals across the globe, from all walks of life.

Above all, Darrell will be remembered for his love and dedication to his family and friends. He brought the same qualities of leadership, compassion, and integrity to his home life that defined his professional career. Darrell was a devoted family man who cherished every moment spent with his loved ones. His passion for travel and experiences was shared with his family through numerous trips and adventures. His wisdom and guidance were always available to friends and family alike, and often shared through stories of his own experiences. Through these many stories Darrell would share knowledge and lessons from his own life filled with humor, insight, and a deep understanding of the world around him. His legacy will continue to live on, not only through his professional achievements but also in these precious stories passed down to future generations.

Please join us in remembering and celebrating Darrell's extraordinary life. His legacy will live on in the hearts of all those who had the privilege of knowing him.

Details regarding the wake and funeral are as follows:

Wake: Friday, July 7th

3:00pm - 8:00pm

Kurtz Memorial Chapel, 65 Old Frankfort Way, Frankfort, IL 60423

Funeral: Saturday, July 8th

10:00am-11:00am, Ceremony

Sauk Trail Baptist Church, Ceremony, 4411 Sauk Trail, Richton Park, IL 60471

11:00am-12:00pm, Interment

Pleasant Hill Cemetery, 21495 S Elsner Rd, Frankfort, IL 60423

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Darrell L. Sanders, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, July 7, 2023

3:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Kurtz Memorial Chapel - Frankfort

65 Old Frankfort Way, Frankfort, IL 60423

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Funeral Service

Saturday, July 8, 2023

10:00 - 10:45 am (Central time)

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Interment with Military Honors

Saturday, July 8, 2023

11:30am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

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