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United Furniture sales manager Bob Saunders dies at 63

TIERRA VERDE, Fla. — Funeral services were held here Sunday for industry veteran Bob Saunders, who died May 22 of a heart attack. He was 63.

Saunders had 42 years in retail, manufacturing and sales for the furniture industry, including six years as national sales manager for upholstery source United Furniture.

He spent 28 years in the rent-to-own industry also was an active member for many years of the Assn. of Progressive Rental Organizations until stepping down in 2009. He was named APRO Vendor of the Year in 2000.

Saunders also worked to defend the industry in the Kentucky legislature.

"Bob was a beloved member of the United management team specializing in the rent-to-own industry. Our entire company is saddened by the sudden loss of Bob. He had a huge heart and was always committed to his friends, customers and company," United said in a written statement.

"Bob put everything he had into his work and was a champion for the industry and always faithful to our prospective and association members," said Cindy Ferguson, marketing director for APRO. "I had the pleasure of working with him for over 20 years and you could always count on Bob to tell you the truth with his own unique brand of humor. We will miss him greatly."

Saunders is survived by his wife Sheila Saunders; sons Scott Saunders and Ron Saunders; stepchildren Nikki Carter, Trevor Carter, C.J. Elmore; brother David Harrod; and seven grandchildren.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Heart Assn.

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