Maynard L. Sauder, 88, passed away peacefully, August 28, 2020, at Fairlawn Haven Special Care Neighborhood, Archbold, after a long and fruitful life. He was born in Archbold, Ohio, on February 15, 1932, to parents Erie J. and Leona (Short) Sauder. Maynard received his education at International Business College, Fort Wayne, and served as an accountant at Evanston General Hospital, Evanston, IL, for two years before returning to Sauder Woodworking Co. in 1955, where he served for 55 years. Beginning as Accountant/Office Manager, Maynard was promoted to General Manager in 1962 and President/CEO in 1975. Maynard’s positive leadership, along with the talents of his younger brother Myrl and the dedicated team they built, enabled Sauder to grow from 350 employees when Maynard became president, to over 3000 when he retired. Sauder became North America’s largest manufacturer of ready-to-assemble furniture, and a leading producer of health care, educational, and worship furniture.
In addition to guiding Sauder through its years of rapid growth, Maynard shared generously, serving in leadership positions with many charitable organizations, including Zion Mennonite Church, Sauder Village, Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA), Goshen College Music Center, Sunshine Communities, Fairlawn Haven, and Archbold Rotary Club. He was also a long-term corporate director at the Sauder Companies, Farmers & Merchants State Bank, Jayco, and the Trust Company.
Maynard Sauder’s many honors included the Archbold Chamber of Commerce 2018 Legacy Award, Northwest Ohio’s 1992 Entrepreneur of the Year, and Archbold’s 1988 Citizen of the Year. At his Citizen of the Year banquet, Maynard was described by his dear friend Virgil Miller as someone who “encourages us to become more than we are.” Virgil further noted, “He is honest in his business and personal relations, quick to believe in people, slow to believe in negative opinions, and has a deep Christian commitment.” Maynard made a positive difference in so many lives, and he did so with humility, empathy, and good humor.
Maynard married Carolyn Yoder on October 4, 1953, and they enjoyed 66 years of marriage, continuing to be lifelong learners and generous in their service to others. Together, they raised three children: Debbie (David) David, Kevin Sauder, and Diane (Garrett) Tinsman. Family time was always a priority, as Maynard and Carolyn took their children on many enriching trips throughout North America. They have five grandchildren: Jessica (Kyle) Harrell, Matthew and Mary Lee Sauder, and Chandler (Carolina) and Bryce Tinsman. Maynard was preceded in death by his parents, his older brother Delmar Sauder, and step-sister Elaine (Dave) Graber. He is survived by his wife Carolyn, brother Myrl (Freida) Sauder, his children, grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the family will hold a private burial and memorial service. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to Sauder Village or a charity of the donor’s choice. Online condolences may be offered to the family at www.grisierfh.com. Grisier Funeral Homes in Archbold, Ohio is honored to serve the Sauder family.