Everything you need to dress-up like Jem, Pizzazz or Synergy
-- officially licensed by Hasbro. spirithalloween.com
Get your officially (USA) licensed Jem t-shirts at welovefine.com thanks to the first welovefine/Jem contest, many Jem fan
made designs are available for purchase. Congratulations to the Winners! You are Superstars!
Bill Sanders was one of the original creators
of the Jem doll line. Bill along with Barbara and Joe
Hyland took their idea for Jem; more then like named "M"
at that time, to Hasbro. Hasbro picked up the line, made
many changes and the rest is history.
• • •
Father's Day in honor of
one of Jem's Father.
• • •
Bill had BFA in Advertising Design
and Paining from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,
IL. Followed by Creative Writing an Art History at Columbia
College, Chicago, IL, where he did his graduate work.
Bill remained in Chicago where he won many rewards for
his TV Commercial and Print advertising work, including
many well-known slogans.
While at Grey North in Chicago, he worked with Barbara
Hyland, one of the other creators of Jem. Barbara and
her husband Joe invited Bill to help create the concepts
that became Jem and the Holograms so he moved to.
His mother wrote about LoRilla Davis Sanders and her
book was published in 1995.
“Bill and Betty were nine years old when they
began piano lessons from Naomi Westerfield in Centralia.
I drove them there every Monday evening for five years.
I enjoyed watching their progress and it was time
Billy Dee was a true-born artist in every sense of
the word. He was musically inclined and the piano
tunes flowed from his finger-tips with ease.
Billy finished his schooling at the U of I and worked
many years for major advertising companies in Chicago.
He made TV commercials from the east coast to the
west. He also illustrated children’s books and
was the creator of the Jem doll.”
L. Sanders, Page 179
“It was a hard blow when we were called from
a Chicago hospital to the bedside of our dying sin,
Bill. It was in March of 1990.
There’s no way to express the hurt we felt while
standing by his bedside holding his hand. Pneumonia
has a strong grip on him and perhaps if he had called
for help sooner, he would’ve won that bout,
but it was not to be.
Bill’s twin sister, Betty Lee, accompanied his
ashes back home were they were buried at Little Grove
Cemetery, southeast of Walnut Hill. I felt stunned
and numb as I stood and watched the small box placed
in the earth. The days of his life flashed before
me and I repeated to myself, “for dust thou
art and to dust shalt thou return”
This was one of the most bitter moments of my life,
and a part of me went with him.”
L. Sanders, Page 196
“Losing Bill was too much, but not ever having
the privilege of seeing his son, Robert, is something
that should never ever happen to a grandparent. The
hurt has been deep, but my love for my grandson is
deep too, and if I could only shake his hand and look
upon his face, it would be the next best thing to
L. Sanders, Page 199
• • •
Creative Group Head.
thanks H. Davis
JEM, the Sensational New Doll,
Was Created by Centralian Bill Sanders.
thanks H. Davis
• • •
Bill Sander did draw the sketches of
Clash, Danse, and Video along with the "M"
plane. They are signed and dated 1985...before the 1st
issue dolls came out. All three dolls had changes, but
most interesting change is Clash from the black hair
with sliver streaks to the purple hair, because Hasbro
reused that idea for Jetta.
For any friends or family of Bill Sanders I would love
to find out as much as I can about him. If you have
sketches and/or work, I would love to see photo copies
or originals. I'll pay for the copies and shipping.
A Fan of Bill Sanders.
• • •
June 14th, 2003
- I finally made the 112 mile drive to Bill Sanders
final resting place, and home town. I had been planning
on going there for over two years ... I always thought
it was going to be a really long trip. Come to find
out, he grew up much close to where I grew up then I
realized. It as very easy to get down to the area since
the main route close to Walnut Hill is the same route
that is 2 blocks from my house.
The closer I got the harder it was to find the town
and cemetery. The map showed a road going in from the
north, and one going in from the west. There were no
signs telling you how many miles to the left, or right,
was Walnut Hill. I got to where I need to be and it
was like the town never existed. I drove a ways, and
know I past the road I needed. I turned around and just
picked a road to try. It was the right road. I came
down to a stop sign and saw the water tower.
That was not the end of line for me. I drove through
the town, hit a fork in the road, and followed the main
road out. I did not see any signs of the church. I turned
around and went back through town again, looking even
closer ... still nothing. I went back though again and
saw a little white sign pointing to the left. I followed
it and end back at the fork in the road again. I decide
just to try the other road ... and minutes later I found
It is very small cemetery, as I thought it would be.
It only took me minutes to find what looked like the
right head stone. I was very excited to see flowers
at the stone. I know one cousin was still on friendly
bases with him when he died, so I was not expecting
much, since his surviving family was to happy about
his life style. If I was one day later going down, I
would have never seen the flowers because they might
have been removed the very next day.
I'm assuming that the local barber shop building had
a roll in young Bill's life. I don't know which house
he grew up in, but if it's still standing I saw it.
As I went down all 3 streets just to check it out. There
is not much else that could be said about Walnut Hill
then there is about twenty homes or so ... and that's
I originally was going to drive down there for inspiration
in my own work, but I got to the point where I realized
I did not need this trip for inspiration. Although I
did compare and contrast Bill's life and mine (so far)
and figured out that he never settled for anything less
then what he wanted. He left this small town, went to
college and became a successful advertising professional
in Chicago, and didn't stop there. It's really sad to
think what more he could have given us if he would have
lived 5, 10, 20 years longer.
But at least he gave us Jem!
I am adding a picture (left) from the cemetery Bill's
friend said me he wanted to be bared in. This is just
one monument in a vast amount of beautiful and unique
memorials. This is Graceland Cemetery in Chicago,
IL. Bill and his friends would hang out in the cemetery
to get artistic inspiration.
Ironically much planning for Jemcon2007 happened
just outside the walls of the cemetery.
(Image July 2006) All photos are photographed
images are from Bill's home town and final resting place.
The water tower
The only nonresidential building,
because the churches and a small fire satiation.
The sign out side the church/cemetery
I early spotted the stone I thought
was his, Sanders, plus it look about like the right shape.