George Saunders, Whitman professor emeritus of marketing, dies at 91


George B. Saunders, 91, died peacefully on Saturday, July 7, at his home in DeWitt. Saunders, a professor emeritus of marketing at Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management, taught at the school for 35 years.

He was born in West Philadelphia, Pa., on May 31, 1921. He grew up in Philadelphia, where he graduated from Olney High School in 1939. During World War II, Saunders worked building artillery shells at the Frankford Arsenal in northeast Philadelphia. After the war, he attended Penn State University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1949 and a master’s degree in 1950.

While at Penn State he met his future wife of 57 years, Sally F. Saunders, and they were married on June 7, 1950. The couple then moved to Syracuse, where Saunders began his career at the Whitman School as an instructor in 1952. He received his Ph.D. from SU’s Maxwell School in 1959 and was promoted to assistant professor that same year. In 1960, he was promoted to associate professor, and tenure followed in 1963. He retired from SU in 1987.

“Professor Saunders dedicated his professional life to Syracuse University,” says Melvin T. Stith, dean of the Whitman School. “I had the pleasure of being one of his students. His graduate classes were challenging yet very rewarding. He will certainly rest in peace.”

Saunders was predeceased by his wife, who died in 2007 at the age of 82. Surviving are a daughter, Wendy (James) Havey; a son, Brian (Sharon) Saunders; and five granddaughters.

Contributions in lieu of flowers may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, Central New York Chapter, 441 West Kirkpatrick St., Syracuse, NY 13204.