Ayodeji (Deji) Oluyomi Sanyaolu was a follower of Christ. On February 28, 1953, he was born in Oyo, Oyo State, Nigeria, to the late Joseph Abati and late Maria Adepoju Sanyaolu. He left this world suddenly on February 28, 2021, at the age of 68. Now, he is in the presence of the Savior to whom his life testified by serving as a pillar of the community, a devoted Christian, a counselor, friend, and father.
Dr. Sanyaolu spent his youth years in Nigeria before relocating to the United States of America in the mid-70s. Ayodeji attended Iseyin District Grammar school, Oyo. He was educated at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). Dr. Sanyaolu started his career with the United States Postal Service in 1989 as a letter carrier. He rose to the Industrial Engineer position, Plant Manager at Madison, Wisconsin, and retired as Manager of Plant Support at the International Service Center, Chicago, in 2018.
Dr.Sanyaolu was an influential leader and member of the Friendship United Methodist Church for more than 20 years. He was a beloved member of the Friendship Church and chair of the Church council. He was recently named as the District Lay Leader of Aurora District. Dr. Sanyaolu loved and appreciated the most about the United Methodist Church: the love for our God and neighbors. In his experience, we are the voice for the voiceless. We are called to provide greater outreach for the underprivileged and practice inclusiveness for fellow human beings regardless of gender, race, and wealth.
Dr. Ayodeji Sanyaolu served as a devoted and dedicated usher until his passing. He was always busy, a man in constant motion, but never too busy to serve the Lord as a mentor, advisor, or helper to others around him. He was known for his love of inspiring others, teaching, and taking on leadership roles at church and in the community. Dr. Sanyaolu served at Day Break Homeless Shelter for several years and supported the Emmanuel House (now called the Neighbor Project). He earned the respect of everyone who encountered him throughout his life and aimed to make them feel welcomed.
He taught us that volunteerism is honorable and that one can serve with integrity and hold true to the central values of family, God, faith, and community. His life was a living example of Ephesians 4:32-"And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God forgave you in Christ."
He is preceded in death by his lovely wife, Alice Sanyaolu, two brothers, Julius Sanyaolu, Seye Sanyaolu, and a sister, Tanimowo Awoyinfa. He is the cherished father of Abike (Joe Sitta), Fonda (Kyle Hudnall), and Olusola (Taiwo Arowosegbe) and grandfather to Tobi Lee H. Sitta and many relatives' children that he viewed as grandchildren.
Seven brothers also survive Dr. Sanyaolu; Bisi, Dele, Bunmi, Sesan, Segun, Sunday, Bode, and two sisters, Bidemi and Omotunde. Deji is beloved by his nieces, nephews, aunties, and uncles in the USA and abroad. He fostered a good relationship with his mentees by sharing his wealth of experience with them. He was highly thought of and loved by his mentees. His friends and community adored Deji.
The memorial service will be held and streamed on Saturday, April 24, 2021, from 11-12 PM at Friendship United Methodist Church, 305 East Boughton Road, Bolingbrook, Illinois 60440. In Lieu of flowers, please make contributions in Dr. Sanyaolu's name to Friendship United Methodist Church. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be streaming the service and a limited number of people at the church. Here is the link to access the streaming portion of the service https://www.facebook.com/FUMCBolingbrook (the service portion will be added on April 24, 2021).
"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together"- African proverb
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