The Life of Dr. Wilmer Dilplane Sanders

Dr. Wilmer Dilplane Sanders, age 100, of Winston-Salem, NC, and formerly of Lyon Station, PA, passed away peacefully on Thursday, March 9, 2023 in Winston-Salem, NC. Born in Lyon Station, Wilmer was a son of the late Jonathan F. and Katie F. (Angstadt) Sanders and was a member of Christ (DeLong) United Church of Christ in Bowers. He was a 1940 graduate of Kutztown Area High School, Kutztown, and a 1950 honors graduate of Muhlenberg College, Allentown.


Wilmer honorably and faithfully served his country in the United States Army during World War II, where he served as a company translator and a radio detection and high-speed radio operator in the communication section of the 242nd Anti-Tank Co. of the 42nd (Rainbow) Division. In 1945, his company was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for Extraordinary Heroism in the Military Operations Against Armed Enemy.


During his state-side service in the Army, Wilmer was placed in the ASTP program while attending Chaffey Junior College, Ontario, CA, and Kansas University. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at Marburg University in Germany and The University of Basel in Switzerland. His graduate work was completed at Indiana University, Indiana, where he was awarded the Edwards and University Fellowship awards, and the University of Vienna in Austria, where he earned his Doctorate degree.


Dr. Sanders taught German at Wake Forest University for over 30 years and served as the Department Chair for eight years. He also taught French and German at Salem College, Winston-Salem, NC for several years.


Dr. Sanders is survived by several nieces and nephews and their families. Along with his parents, he was predeceased by a sister, Alma (Sanders) Haring, and two brothers, Leon J. and Russell L. Sanders.


A funeral service to celebrate and honor Dr. Sanders' life will be held on Saturday, March 18, 2023 at 10:30 a.m. in Ludwick Funeral Homes and Cremation Care, Inc., 333 Greenwich Street, Kutztown, with Pastor Crystal Angstadt officiating. Burial, with military honors provided by The Pennsylvania Funeral Honor Guard, Annville, PA, and The Ray A. Master Post 217, American Legion Honor Guard, Topton, PA, will follow in Hope Cemetery, Fleetwood (Dryville).


Relatives and friends are invited to a viewing from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. in the funeral home.


Memorial contributions may be sent in Dr. Sanders' memory to the W. D. Sanders Scholarship Fund for Study Abroad c/o Wake Forest University, P.O. Box 7227, Winston Salem, NC 27109.


Ludwick Funeral Homes and Cremation Care, Inc., Kutztown, PA is in charge of arrangements. Memories and condolences may be shared at

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Lifetime Friendship

Of all the educational experiences I have had, including those as a fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, those with Will are the ones I cherish the most. A lifetime of sharing his experiences, memories, insights, observations and laughter I carry with me. Thanks for all we shared, Will. Rest in peace.

Posted by Laura W on 03/13/2023