Tribute to Warner Saunders

Warner Saunders was a lot of things to his hometown of Chicago... teacher, CTA bus driver, social worker, activist, journalist, mentor, leader and so much more.

Tributes have poured out all over the city after the announcement on Wednesday that he had passed away the previous night after collapsing at his Chicago home at the age of 83. 

I had the honor of working with Warner at NBC5 Chicago where his humor, wisdom and encouragement helped me develop my talents, do my job well and keep moving forward at work and in life.  So much of what Warner taught me (and everyone else in the newsroom) had nothing to do with work, at least not directly. 

Talking to him was always a laugh and often a lesson in how to live well and love life. We shared our love of Louisiana and its food (that's my home state and where he went to college at Xavier University of New Orleans) and of Hawaii, where he and his wife of 45 years, Sadako, also shared a home. 

So many tributes on social media this week from colleagues and friends show what a leader he was and how much he touched everyone who he encountered.  

Sending condolences and blessings to his family, friends and fans all over the city.  Thank you Warner for being an example of a life well-lived... you are missed.

Jeanne Sparrow


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