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Wake Set for Wesley Sanders, Longtime City Treasurer

June 04, 1992

COMPTON — A wake will be held today for Wesley Sanders Jr., city treasurer of Compton for 18 years, who died of cancer Saturday. He was 59 years old.

The wake is scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. at Mount Zion Baptist Church, 600 W. Rosecrans Ave., Compton. The funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at the Double Rock Baptist Church, 1900 W. Alondra Blvd.

To honor the man who kept an eye on city investments for nearly two decades, city officials agreed to have Sanders' body lie in state in the City Council chambers Wednesday and today.

"He was a success story. He grew up in Watts and made it," said Compton Mayor Walter R. Tucker III.

Friends and colleagues described Sanders as a great cook, a fun-loving man and a consummate politician.

"He will always be remembered for his barbecues," said City Manager Howard Caldwell. "Everybody would come to his cookouts. He was a real grass-roots politician."

Sanders ran for state treasurer in 1990 but was defeated by Kathleen Brown in the primary. He considered running for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in the 2nd District this year but was diagnosed with a fast-spreading cancer in February.

"Even to the last minute he still talked about politics," Tucker said. "You know, he had this gleam in his eye and he said, 'If this thing hadn't gotten me down, I believe I could have run for supervisor. I would have given them a hell of a race.' "

Fiscally conservative, Sanders kept a close watch on city investments and expenditures, often questioning the need for checks he wrote. City Hall insiders referred to him as "the million-dollar man," Caldwell said.

The City Council has the option of replacing Sanders by appointment or by special election, said Chief Deputy City Treasurer Dorrie Renfro-Robertson. Sanders' term ends this year.

Sanders is survived by his wife, Iris Joan Sanders. The couple have eight children from previous marriages.

The City Council chambers will be open for public viewing of the body from 1 to 8 p.m. today.

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