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Obit – Mr. J.T. Sanders Sr.

Longtime Elmwood Community resident, Mr. J. T. Sanders Sr. was pronounced deceased shortly after arrival at the Riverview Regional Medical Center in Carthage at 8:44 p.m. Friday evening March 31, 2023. Smith County E. M.S. had received a call from his wife for assistance at 7:42 p.m. Friday evening after discovering that he had apparently fallen down his basement steps at his Cookeville Highway home. Mr. Sanders was 85 years of age.

Funeral services from the Carthage Chapel of Sanderson Funeral Home are scheduled for Thursday afternoon April 6th at 3 p.m. with his pastor, Eld. Terry Ray officiating. Burial will follow beside his son, Jay, in the Garden of Gethsemane at the Smith County Memorial Gardens. 

The Sanders family will receive friends at Sanderson in Carthage only on Thursday from 9 a.m. until the service at 3 p.m.

Mr. Sanders was the second of six children of three sons and three daughters, born in that order, of the late Robert Orval “Shelia” Sanders who died July 14, 1988 at the age of 76 and the late Annie Lee Evans Sanders who died March 21, 2002 at the age of 87 and was born J. T. Sanders in South Carthage on May 6, 1937.

His two brothers, one younger and one older, preceded him in death. They were Arthur Robert “Buddy” Sanders who died at the age of 78 on November 12, 2013 and Bobby Carroll Sanders who died at the age of 82 on January 20, 2023. 

Mr. Sanders was a 1956 graduate of Smith County High School where he was an outstanding athlete, playing both football and basketball all four years of high school. He was also a member of the “C” club, the Latin club his freshman and sophomore year and the Spanish club his junior and senior years. 

He was voted by his classmates his senior year as Mr. S.C.H.S and also as the best bass singer in the high school chorus class.

At the home of the late Eld. Phocian Gibbs on December 20, 1958, he was united in marriage to South Carthage native, the former Melba Dean Harpe.

They were preceded in death on June 4, 2021 by a son, J. T. (Jay) Sanders Jr. who died at the age of 53 and he was also preceded in death by a niece, Kimberly Dawn (Kim) Farley Brown who died from cancer at the age of 31 on February 1, 2010.

Mr. Sanders was saved in 1961 at the age of 24 under the preaching of the late Eld. Phocian Gibbs and was baptized at Piper’s Ford in the Caney Fork River in South Carthage by the late Eld. Walter Deweese, both of whom were respected and well-known Missionary Baptist Pastors.

At the time of his death, he and his wife were members of the Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Hartsville.

Mr. Sanders retired on September 28, 1998 from the ABF Freight Line and retired with twenty nine years of service in the trucking industry. He was a member of the Local # 480 in Teamster Union in Nashville. 

Mr. Sanders was a Master Mason and was a member of the Carthage Benevolent Lodge # 14 Free & Accepted Masons. 

No one ever lived that enjoyed fishing on the lakes and rivers more than J. T. did with his nephew, Bob Dickens, with whom he spent many hours in his favorite pastime.

Surviving in addition to his wife Dean of over sixty four years is their son, Chuck Sanders of the Elmwood Community; his three younger sisters, Nancy Sanders Dickens Janeway of South Carthage, Virginia Sanders Givens and husband Wayne also of South Carthage, Jane Sanders Farley and husband Stan of Lafayette; sisters-in-law, Martha Scurlock Sanders and Ann Whittemore Sanders both of South Carthage; four grandchildren, Trevor Logan Sanders and wife Allison of the U. S. Navy in Escondido, California, Miranda Sanders of Lewisburg, Margaret Rose Sanders of Lebanon and Anna Kate Sanders of the Pleasant Shade Community.

The Sanders family requests memorials be made to the Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Hartsville.


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