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“Death takes the body. God takes the soul. Our mind holds the memories. Our heart keeps the love. Our faith lets us know we will meet again.”
Howard Lee Sanders, age 94, of Blountville, Tennessee, passed away on January 20, 2022. Born in Kingsport, he was the son of Frank H. Sanders and Anna Lee Cleek Sanders and spent the majority of his life living in the Holston community. As a young man, he assisted his dad in running the community store, as well as the Sanders Mill. He often spoke of being called out of class at Holston High School by his dad, and being sent to the mill to grind meal for the locals. At age 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy during World War II and spent his time aboard the U.S. Phantom, a mine sweeper, in the Pacific until the war ended. His service to his country as a member of “The Greatest Generation” was one of his most proud accomplishments. Upon returning from the navy, he completed high school and attended Emory and Henry College and East Tennessee State College.
During his high school years, he would work on community farms, and it was there that the love of his life, Mary Katheryn Wagner, caught his eye. They were married on June 30, 1950, and celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary in 2021.
Howard Lee worked at Kingsport Press as a printer for over 35 years. In his community, he helped organize and was a charter member and first president of the Holston Ruritan Club. He was a staunch democrat and was named a Tennessee Colonel by then-governor Phil Bredesen. As a devoted member of Wheeler United Methodist Church, he held almost every office at some point and was a member of the choir.
Preceding him in death were his parents; brother, Jimmie Sanders; sisters, Vivian Sanders Johnson and Elizabeth Ann Sanders Burleson. He is survived by his devoted wife of 71 years, Mary Katheryn Wagner Sanders; his daughter Sandy (Dr. Sandra Sanders), both of Blountville; a special nephew and his wife, Andrew and Stephanie Sanders; and several other nieces and nephews.
Special thanks are extended to the staff of The Waters of Bristol for the care given to him during the last few months.
Visitation will be held Sunday, January 23, 2022 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Wheeler United Methodist Church with services to be held at 7:00 p.m. Rev. Chris Brown and Rev. Crystal Smith will officiate. A graveside service will be held on Monday, January 24, 2022 at East Tennessee Cemetery at 11:00 a.m. Those wishing to attend are asked to be at the cemetery by 10:45.
Pallbearers will be family and friends. Honorary Pallbearers include Tommy Burke, Robert Helvey, C. B. Slemp, Dennis Jones, and his many other friends.
Due to the increase in Covid, the family requests that all wear masks, both at the church and at the cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Wheeler United Methodist Church, 211 Sanders Street, Blountville, TN 37617.
Sunday, January 23, 2022
5:00 - 7:00pm (Eastern time)
Sunday, January 23, 2022
Starts at 7:00pm (Eastern time)
Monday, January 24, 2022
Starts at 11:00am (Eastern time)
East Tennessee Cemetery
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