In Memory

Alonzo Saunders VIEW PROFILE

Alonzo Saunders

Alonzo Douglas Saunders

Alonzo Douglas Saunders - - Alonzo Douglas Saunders, Esquire, a 40 year resident of Boston's South End, 71, died on August 25, 2018 after a decade of declining health from Alzheimer's Disease. In all matters, Attorney Saunders followed his own path and his own clock, so a one year delay in placing his obituary would have suited him well. He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio to the late Alonzo D. (Sr.) and Helen (Anderson) Saunders. His mother was a teacher and church organist who instilled in her only child a thirst for knowledge and great love of music. After graduating from Walnut Hills High School he matriculated at Ohio State University where he majored in History with a concentration in East Asian Studies. One summer he had an internship on the East Asia Desk at the U.S. Department of State. Saunders pursued graduate studies at Harvard University, first in the East Asian Studies program, but after one year, he transferred to Harvard Law School, because he felt drawn to law rather than diplomacy. In his final year at Law School then-Professor Stephen Breyer was his tutor for his required third year research paper. He graduated in 1973, passed the Massachusetts Bar, and began his legal career at Csaplar & Bok. Saunders subsequently joined the legal department of The Gillette Company where at one point he combined his legal expertise with his avocation as an aficionado of paper and inks. He had taken advanced chemistry at OSU, and that expertise allowed him to help the FBI solve a Paper Mate pen-related crime that involved Howard Hughes. Saunders was an avid reader. His knowledge on countless topics was broad. He dug deep. His appreciation of barbecue, as both chef and authority, was impressive, and he was a judge at the Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue in Lynchburg, Tennessee. Nothing, however, captured his brain like jazz. He was a founder of the Boston Jazz Society, Inc. which provided financial support to promising young musicians. Berklee College of Music honored him for his work "Keeping Jazz Alive". In addition to his pristine collection of LPs and CDs, he treasured the drum sticks handed to him in thanks at an Abbey Lincoln performance when he discreetly supplied forgotten lyrics when the singer blanked in mid- song. In his later years, he turned to teaching and was on the faculty at several colleges and institutions including: Mt. Ida, Wheelock, and Roxbury Community College where in 2003 he created a course called "The Law and the Internet". If you asked his lifelong friends for a single word to describe Al Saunders, the winning word would be "cool". He was a brilliant, self-possessed man of great integrity who was never swayed by fads or trends. He loved books and learning. He loved music and especially jazz. He loved the law, and he loved teaching. Above all, he loved Sherry Walker, his devoted partner of 43 years who cared for him in good times and throughout his decline in recent years. As his friends would have expected, Saunders wanted nothing to do with a funeral. He might urge us to have two fingers of fine bourbon neat, listen to some great jazz, and get into a good book. Online guest book at

Published in The Cincinnati Enquirer on Aug. 25, 2019.


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05/17/14 10:37 PM #1    

Michael White

Alonzo, the --NIS Saunders-Slim as he was also known. My fondest memory is when he & I were schedled to go to Kent State for a 'seniors weekend. We were scheduled to go the day of our famously scheduled race riot on the lower field. All were warned, dress in black, or white, YOU ARE SUSPENDED!! Well, we both showed up in black suits & ties. Mr Luedeke called us into his office & read us the riot ac, & told us we were to be suspended  IMMEDIATELY!!!! We innocently said, but sir, we are scheduled to go to Kent State today;-)) & we showed him our notice-so, he told us just GO!! We smiled to ourselves, & headed to Kent State-HAD A BLAST!!!!!!!!

Came back laughing all the way home!!

One more if you please- I called slim one night, he was in Mass. at the time- a few of us were 'oiling up', & I said, lets call Slim!! Well I called & he answered, apparently in quite q tiff, & huff!! Cursed us out, & hung up!! We thought he might have been on the 'DOWN STROKE' :-O Never heard from him again:-(( Oh well, what the hell!! Still LOVE & MISS HIM!!!-used to think he was a secret agent :-D

05/28/14 07:49 AM #2    

Frederick Jones, Jr.

I don't think Alonzo died back in 1972. I remember visiting Alonzo in Boston in the late '80's and early 90's when I was setting up remote warehousing for our products to Gillette in North Andover.

05/28/14 12:52 PM #3    

Ann Shepard (Rueve)

I remember Al as one of the boys from Omega Delta Kappa ( ODK). 

05/29/14 03:40 PM #4    

Steven Levinson

Alas, according to the website ","  Alonzo D. Saunders died in 1972 and is buried in Spring Grove Cemetery, Garden LN, Section 139, Lot H, Space 63.  I think the site is describing our Alonzo,

05/29/14 03:58 PM #5    

Gail Weintraub (Stern)

Steve, Rick Steiner and I believe this to be "our" Alonzo's father. We have found an age appropriate Alonzo Saunders living in Boston, and Rick has called and left him a voicemail message. (This address also jives with Fred Jones' recollection of his visit with Al at his brownstone in Boston in the early 1990s.) At this point, the jury is out on Alonzo's status. As soon as we have definite confirmation, I will update you and our classmates. We are hopeful that we can remove him from the In Memory page. We are so sorry for this confusion. Gail

05/29/14 04:35 PM #6    

Steven Levinson

Here's the latest: says that Alonzo D. Saunders II has been practicing business, corporate, e-commerce, and marketing law in Boston since 1982.  It says he got his BA from Ohio State and his JD from Harvard. says he got his law license in 1974 and was last rated as recently as April 30, 2014.  AND, hosanna, "peoplefinders" shows the following:  (1) Alonzo Saunders II, age 67, DOB 12/15/1946; (2) Address 1 = 405 Massachusetts Avenue, Unit 1, Boston, MA 02118; (3) Address 2 = 136 W. Concord Street, Boston, MA 02118; and (4) phone numbers = (a) 617-266-5673 and (b) 617-312-3317.  I hope we've hit the jackpot.

05/29/14 08:27 PM #7    

Ann Shepard (Rueve)

Absolutely great sleuth work going on here. 

08/26/19 03:03 PM #8    

Steven Levinson

RIP now, Alonzo.  No more resurrections.

08/27/19 09:56 AM #9    

Judy Holtzer (Knopf)

Does anyone have "personal" information on Alonzo? Married? Children? That sort of thing? Pity that Alonzo himself never provided information.

09/18/19 12:36 PM #10    

Stephen Dixon

Re: Alonzo :

It is always a lurch to read or hear about a contemporary's passing. But to find out that Alonzo's fine mind was stolen away by Alzheimer's seems particularly bitter.

I remember him mostly as being quiet, in sort of a wise and mature way, a sharp contrast to my usual demeanor in high school.

What an incredible life! As a patron of Berklee, I think it quite probable that he came into contact with a young Esperanza Spalding.


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