Spring Grove trustee Thomas Sanders dies

Long careers in law enforcement and public service a testament to his integrity and trust, village president says

Thomas Sanders, trustee in Spring Grove, has died.

A Spring Grove trustee who formerly led the village’s police department for many years has died.

Thomas Sanders, 69, had a long history of public service in his hometown. He was a volunteer firefighter, village president, police chief and trustee. He died Friday, Village President Mark Eisenberg said.

A Spring Grove native, Sanders began his law enforcement career in the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office in 1978. He eventually retired as a sergeant but returned to law enforcement in 2007 to become Spring Grove’s police chief, a post he held until 2021.

Sanders resigned as village president to become Spring Grove’s chief. He’d also served as trustee in the 1990s, alongside Eisenberg.

“As a trustee he contributed so much,” Eisenberg said. “His knowledge of the village will never be duplicated.”

Sanders unsuccessfully ran for McHenry County sheriff in 1994 and 1998. He was elected to the village board for the second time in 2021.

Current police Chief Michael Niedzwiecki called Sanders “a dedicated husband, father and grandfather.”

He said Sanders will be remembered as an architect of the department and as a mentor to younger officers.

“Tom was an honorable man who always put the best interests of his officer ahead of his own needs,” Niedzwiecki said in a news release.

Eisenberg described Sanders as “a person of integrity and trust.” He also was caring and had a personality that would “light up the room,” Eisenberg said.

Sanders regularly led Spring Grove’s Independence Day parade. To honor Sanders, a police squad car adorned with memorial bunting will lead Monday’s parade, Eisenberg said.