We Remember

SANDERSON, Leonard Keith

January 1, 1970 — January 1, 1970

Leonard Keith Sanderson took his final flight on Wednesday, February 11, 2015.  Keith is predeceased by his parents Stanley and Mettie Sanderson, a brother Edwin (Louise) Sanderson and sister Rita (Bill) Gwynne.  He is survived by Jacqueline, his loving wife of 62 years and beloved daughter Jennifer (Ron) Woods and beloved son Richard (Andrea) Sanderson as well as his two dearly loved grandchildren, Scott and Laura Sanderson.  He will also be mourned by Carmen Sanderson.


Keith was born in Edmonton, Alberta on July 24, 1931.  Upon graduation from Victoria High School he worked as a draftsman for Edmonton City Telephones, Pacific Petroleum and on a geophysical crew in southern Alberta.  He played in a swing band (clarinet and alto saxophone) at many different locations, including Waterton National Park.  In 1952 he married Jacqueline (Jackie) Seifert. 


Encouraged by his brother-in-law, William (Bill) Gwynne, Keith embarked on a flying career and upon achieving his commercial pilot’s licence, joined Trans Canada Airlines Air Canada in September 1953.  While based in Vancouver, he became a supervisory pilot in 1974 and went on to become Base Director in Winnipeg, later moving to Montreal to assume the position of Personnel Director and finally Senior Director of Flying for Air Canada.  He returned to Vancouver to become Base Director of both Vancouver and Winnipeg bases.  Keith was also active in IATA (International Air Transport Association) as well as the Canadian Airline Pilots’ Association prior to his supervisory positions.  Keith flew the DC3, Vickers Viscount and Vanguard, Lockheed Super Constellation, Boeing 727, Douglas DC8 and Lockheed L1011, while domiciled in Calgary, Montreal, Vancouver and Winnipeg, completing nearly 38 years as a line and supervisory pilot, the last two years of which were flying the Boeing 747 on Air Canada’s global routes to India and the far east.  In 1967 he flew the Queen’s entourage on her tour of BC.  He also headed a team to do an operational audit of Air Saudia, presenting the report to the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. 


Keith was active in the various churches to which the family belonged, serving on church councils in North Vancouver and Victoria.  With a team from his church in Victoria, he helped to build a home for a needy family in Mexico.  He and Jackie retired to Arbutus Ridge on Vancouver Island where he became active again in music after an absence of 50 years; joining the Cowichan Civic Orchestra and a swing band in Victoria.  Keith was an accomplished artist and was a member of the Artists’ Association at Arbutus Ridge.  He loved boating and enjoyed exploring the Gulf Islands and San Juans with his family, introducing his two grandchildren, Scott and Laura Sanderson to his favorite islands.  He was active in the United Way, heading a team which was named Canvasser of the Year for Arbutus Ridge in 2002 and 2004.  His final move was to Kelowna where he continued to express his love of music with the Little Big Band, playing music from the 40’s to seniors in care homes and other venues.  He also played in the Kelowna City Band and was a member of the Kelowna Palette Club as well as the Aviation Artists’ Association. 


A memorial service will be held Friday, February 20, 2015 at 10:00 am at Springfield Funeral Home, 2020 Springfield Rd, Kelowna, BC.  In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Parkinson’s Association of Kelowna as well as the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.  If you wish to send a condolence, post photos or share a memory, please scroll down the page to the area called “Share Your Condolences.”

Friday, February 20, 2015 at 10:00 am

Springfield Funeral Home

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Parkinson’s Association of Kelowna as well as the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada Link: www.parkinson.bc.ca, www.mssociety.ca


Service Information

Service Details

The service for SANDERSON, Leonard Keith is scheduled for Friday, February 20, 2015 at 10:00 am . Below you will find the map for the service location and the contact information should you have any questions.

Address & Contact for Service Location:

Springfield Funeral Home

2020 Springfield Road Kelowna, BC


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Funeral Pointers:



  • Janae Neufeld says:

    Dear Jackie, You’re in my thoughts and prayers at this time of your great loss of your beloved Keith.

    Janae Neufeld (Gifts to Grandmothers)

  • Jay McGowan says:

    Our thoughts are with the family. Captain Sanderson’s leadership, abilities, and skills made such a positive impact on aviation and communities.
    A personal thank you for opening the door to my career and setting such high personal and professional standards for us to work toward.
    Tailwinds forever.

  • Irmgard Ruckheim says:

    Dear Jackie, I am so sorry to hear that your dear husband passed away. My heart goes out to you and your family.You are in my thoughts.

    With lots of love.
    Irmgard Ruckheim
    Parkinson Support Group Kelowna.

  • David & Lynn Edward says:

    Keith was a very well respected gentleman not only within the aviation circles, but also in the public domain. Your loss is mourned by all of us.

  • Robert Moore-Bunney says:

    So sorry to hear of Keith’s passing.
    I had the privilege of working with Keith in Winnipeg in the 1980s. Keith was highly respected by all of his peers at Air Canada, was a true professional, and a natural role model for a generation of professional Pilots that he managed.
    Captain Bob Moore-Bunney B777

  • Judy Mills says:

    Dear Jackie. I am so sorry to hear of Keith’s passing. My deepest sympathy to you and to your family and you are all in my prayers. Love,Judy

  • Wayne MacLellan says:

    Dear Jackie & family,
    Keith was an incredibly talented and generous person. In his professional career he influenced and inspired so many of us. Working for him was the highlight of my career. My wife and I send our deepest sympathies.
    Wayne & Beth MacLellan

  • Lois Cadman says:

    Dear Jackie – So sorry to hear of Captain Sanderson’s passing. I worked for him at Flight Operations Headquarters in Dorval when he was Senior Director, Flight Operations until he left to go back to Winnipeg. Always a gentleman – we had a great working rapport.

  • ETTA & RA Y Bicknell says:

    Jacquie,Etta and Ray send their condolences.We remember our early days in
    the PRINce PHILLIP Apts on Dorval ave.With you and Keith,Mike and Joan Rose,Anita and Eric Berg upstairs and we Bicknells in the basement.WE were all so young or seemed so at the time.We have had one grand journey have we not? and many,many wonderful memories to contemplate at this time in our lives,Love les “BICKS” chapala mexico

  • Ken Rockley says:

    Jackie and Family, My wife and I send you our sincere condolences for you loss. I will always remember our enjoyable lunches Keith and I shared.
    Sincerely Ken Rockley.

  • Ron and Suzanne Dennis says:

    Dear Jackie and Family. We are deeply saddened to hear of Keith’s passing. He was a true gentleman in every respect and his leadership left a lasting imprint on all those he worked with. I recall his sharp wit and the good times we had in Flight Ops.

  • Ron and Suzanne Dennis says:

    Our sincerest condolences to you Jackie and family.

  • Barney Stephanson says:

    Dear Jackie,
    Please accept my condolences for your great loss. Keith has always been a fond memory and it was my very great pleasure to be a part of his world.

  • Bill Tate says:

    I had the privilege and honour of meeting Keith when I was hired by Air Canada in 1978. At this time while on training I had some issues with my previous employer. Keith offered me his unqualified support which was more then appreciated. What I learned from that experience is to always take care of your crew.
    Thank you Keith for that wonderful lesson in life

  • Andy Baker says:

    Captain Sanderson hired me in October, 1978. I owe a great deal to him and Air Canada for the nice career and life that I have had as a pilot for our national airline. A fond memory was when I joined many others to meet Keith on his final flight on the B747. I got to thank him personally for all he had done for me and so many others. I think he was genuinely touched by the presence of so many well-wishers. Thanks Keith for everything. Good luck and God speed.

  • Rob McLeod says:

    Godspeed Uncle Keith! We’re looking forward to celebrating his remarkable life with the family!

  • Darlene and James Martin says:

    Our thoughts and prayers have been with you and your family.

  • Stewart Hansen says:

    Deepest sadness at hearing of this fine gentleman’s passing . Like a great many other Air Canada pilots of my vintage I was hired by Keith in 1978. I also had the pleasure and privledge of flying with Keith when he was our base mamager in Vancouver. I always believed one of the greatest tributes to Keith came from a fellow pilot years ago ….. We were discussing the state of the airline in general and he said ” If you want to impress someone with Air Canada all you had to do was send CAPTAIN KEITH SANDERSON to meet them!” Could not agree more…. I think that all us pliots who knew Keith , try on our good days to be just a little more like him

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