Jason Kirk Sanderson


Jason Sanderson passed away on Wednesday, March 7th at St. Vincent Hospital surrounded by his family. May 13th, 1974 marked the start of Jason adventure in life in Billings, MT. He was the first of four sons born to MaryBeth Lemire Sanderson and Cary Wade Sanderson.

Jason was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at age 9 months. By the tender age of one and a half, he was attending The Montana Center for Handicapped Children on the campus of Eastern Montana College. He had the distinction of being the youngest child ever to receive services from the Center. His education and therapies continued there until he had to be integrated or mainstreamed into the public school system. He then attended Washington Elementary, Lewis & Clark and graduated from Billings Senior High. Immediately after high school he attended Billings Training Industries (BTI for the next 22 years and also attended COR Enterprises for the last 13 years.

When we were first told that Jason had Cerebral Palsy, his pediatrician told us that he would not live beyond the age of five. He certainly proved his doctor wrong. He was determined to live a long and full life. Jason faced many challenges throughout his life and he met each challenge head on with so much courage, never complaining. He touched so many people with his strength and determination

We were so lucky and blessed hat God gave us Jason. He taught us all so much. We learned how to show empathy and compassion towards others. He taught us that all individuals are important and worthwhile. We are all different and yet the same.

Jason had an infectious smile and laughter; his smile would light up a room. His favorite vacations were going to our family cabin on Flathead Lake. His wheelchair was his legs and the chair never stopped him from doing anything. He was scared to death but he always went tubing with his uncle Shull or uncle Bill, with uncle Spinner driving the boat when we were all up at the cabin together. His evenings at the cabin were spent drinking beer or various other cocktails with all his cousins. He loved playing hearts with his family especially when he was partnered with one of his uncles. And because he loved to tease, he always made sure everyone knew what cards his uncles were holding. He had a hoot giving his brothers rides on his wheelchair when they were young and lately his nieces and nephew.

He made many friends throughout his life. He and his best friend, Adair, were seen walking the neighborhood when they were in junior high and high school. The last couple of years he enjoyed going out to lunch with Cory at COR. Jason had so many wonderful aids throughout the years that helped take care of Jason and made sure he experienced life: HolIy, Nickki, Julie, Frank and Trevor. A special thanks to you all. We would also like to thank the staff at BTl and COR.

He enjoyed both, and both gave him a purpose in life.

Jason was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents: Ross and Rita Lemire; and his paternal grandparents: Wade “Sandy” and Bonnie Sanderson. He is survived by his parents Cary and MaryBeth; his brother Chris and sister-in-law Joann, his brother Zach, his brother Ford and sister-in-law Amanda; nieces Zona and Violet and nephew Callum; his favorite aunts Sarah, Ann, and Kathy; uncles Shull, Spinner and Bill; as well as numerous cousins.

Per Jason wishes, no funeral services will be held. A celebration of his life has been held with his family. Donations may be sent to BiIIings Training Industries (BTl), 604 19th St W Billings, MT 59102 or to COR Enterprises, 2121 Lampman Dr. Billings, MT 59102.

Jason, you are finally free of your pain and your wheelchair, free to walk in the grass and run with all of your might. We will miss you, we love you and you will always be with us.