He and other officers of the fraternal organization took office recently at an installation dinner at the lodge home on 11th Street.
Saunders, who succeeds Frank DeSoto as leader of Tracy Elks, is the current Elks district veterans service chairman and has served as a lodge officer and on several committees.
He is a native of Portland, Ore., who grew up in Humboldt County. In 1961, he joined the U.S. Navy and served for 20 years, seeing duty in the United States and overseas.
After retiring from the Navy, he was an auto-repair specialist with the Alameda Unified School District for 14 years before retiring.
In Tracy, Saunders has been a member and officer of Tracy Post 1537, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and also is active in bowling and the Tracy Wildlife Association.
Saunders and his wife, Sharon, have three sons, 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. One of his three brothers is also a member of the Tracy Elks Lodge.
Serving with him as Elks principal officers are Ray Din, leading knight; Steve Thatcher, loyal knight; and John Nines, lecturing knight.
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