Jerry Don Sanders, of Athens, passed away at home on Saturday, July 4, 2020, at age 70.
His cremains will be interred at Old Union Cemetery, with his parents, at a later date, and Reverend Bill Sutton will conduct a Memorial service at the Pavilion. You may contact the family or Groesbeck Funeral Home for the date and time.
Jerry Don was born July 15, 1949 in Groesbeck to Calvin Williams Sanders and Eldred Francine (Sokol) Sanders. In high school, he intended to play football, but that ended with a broken leg on the first day of practice. He graduated from Groesbeck High in the Class of 1967.
Jerry took a drafting course in Houston, then moved back to Groesbeck to begin his career working with the phone company, which at that time was Gulf States. He transferred to Athens around 1982 and lived there the rest of his life. He retired a few years ago.
Jerry enjoyed playing rough with his sister when he was a kid, though she got the best of him. As adults, they took vacations together, and he loved to travel with his kids. There are many memories of their car trips, such as his throwing Forest’s toy boat out the window.
Jerry liked to spend time with his best friend, Patsy; loved to cook Thanksgiving meals and gather his family together; and was independent, preferring to do all things by himself, all the time. His family lovingly remembers him as selflessly taking care of everyone else before taking care of himself, with endless grace.
Everyone agrees that Jerry was the best man they ever met. His kindness and generosity was contagious. He went out of his way for those he loved and expected nothing in return.
Jerry was preceded in death his parents, Calvin and Francine Sanders; grandparents, Henry and Nannie Sanders, and M.B. and Vernon Willis; brother-in-law, Weldon Page; and several aunts and uncles.
He is survived by his daughter, Jennifer Wallace of Athens; son, Forest Matthew Sanders and wife Monica of Elkhart; and the following grandchildren: Kelby Aleman and husband Sam of Athens, Brenden Wallace of Athens, Sydney Sanders of Athens, Brayden Sanders of Seagoville; step grandchildren: Alexis Fancher, Jonathan Fancher, and Conner Fancher, all of Elkhart; great grandchildren: Sophie Aleman of Athens and Axel Aleman of Athens. He also is survived by his sister, Yvonne Sanders Page of Groesbeck; niece, Nancy Page Strunk and husband Cliff of Groesbeck; nephew, Calvin Page and wife Charlotte of Mart; many great nieces and nephews; aunt, Shirley Ratliff of Chandler; uncle, Bill Willis of Jacksonville, and uncle, Steve Stevenson of Kilgore; and best friends, Patsy and Garland Poole of Athens.