J. Paul Sanderson, age 78, is rejoicing in the place he always dreamed of – HEAVEN – after battling many health issues post a second stroke in January. J. Paul met his Heavenly Father and family and friends gone before him on November 27, 2023, surrounded by his loving family. J. Paul worked as an insurance agent for many years and served in many roles at his home church of South Clinton Baptist Church as well as in the community of Anderson County. He loved sharing the gospel of Jesus with those he encountered, and his heart loved people so well: he never met a stranger and would take the opportunity to say I love you as he left your company.
J. Paul loved his family deeply and having lived in a house with four daughters and his wife, he always said he was destined to be surrounded by beautiful women. He always checked in on his girls – which he called the A-Team – and made sure to give them pointers on being safe, whether it was look both ways when driving, lock your doors, or instructions to call him when you get where you’re going. He loved being Poppa to his grandkids and making memories with them playing games (Aggravation and Wizard were his favorites and in the rare event you beat him, you earned it!), going to their various school or extracurricular events, and spending quality time together. Spending time with his extended family was very important to him, as was learning about his family history. He enjoyed playing Santa for all the kids at Christmas, spending holidays together making funny movies, going to family reunions which often included a trip to Kings Island amusement park (which he’d wait in the long line for the roller coaster but then cross right over to the exit side of the ride blaming it on the corn dog he just ate, when we all knew it was his fear, not the food). He was a big jokester and loved to pull a prank on you even if it was with his firm handshake giving him a good laugh. He enjoyed many years of camping in Rockwood with his South Clinton Church family.
His true passion was anything Tennessee Vols! He loved attending most all Vols sporting events, and he got to know many of the coaches, players, and their families over the decades of him cheering on Rocky Top, and they all loved “Sandman”. He served with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes on Rocky Top for several years and ministered to so many through his love of sports. He bled orange for sure and loved his family of Vol friends that grew to be numerous over the years.
J. Paul was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend and was preceded in death by his parents Dr. Raymond and Nellie Sanderson, and brother Walter H. Sanderson, and sister-in-law Ann Sanderson. His father and mother-in-law, Joseph and Betty Howard, and sister and brother-in-law, Debbie and Gordon Honeycutt.
J. Paul leaves behind to cherish many memories his devoted wife of 56 years, Kathy Howard Sanderson. His A-Team Daughters, Angie Burress (Wayne), Amy Koerner (Paul), Allison Helms (Johnny), and Abbe Little (Jeff). His loving grandchildren Meredith Burress, Evan (Samantha) Burress, Riley and Jared Koerner, Trey and Katelyn Helms. His bonus grandchildren Logan (Kayla) Little, Garrett Little, and great-granddaughters Ari and Alahna Little. His loyal brothers Bill (JoAnn) Sanderson and Jim (Dee) Sanderson. His close-knit brother and sisters-in-law’s David (Judy) Howard, Steve (Teresa) Howard, and John (Belita) Howard. He also leaves behind a host of aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews, and life-long friends which he cared about so much.
Arrangements are being handled by Holley-Gamble in Clinton. Receiving of friends will be at South Clinton Baptist Church (1000 Clinch Avenue, Clinton, TN) on December 2, 2023, from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm with a Celebration of Life following and then the graveside immediately after at Oak Ridge Memorial Gardens with his close friend David Haun officiating. Flowers can be arranged for delivery via Knights Florist in Clinton, TN at https://www.knightsflowers.com or by phone 865-457-9792.
Pallbearers will be Meredith Burress, Evan Burress, Samantha Burress, Riley Koerner, Jared Koerner, Trey Helms, Katelyn Helms, and Jon Sanderson.
The family would like to thank UT Medical Center for the awesome care he received from the staff in the ER and the 12th-floor East Medical Comfort Care Unit. We also extend our gratitude to the staff at Fairpark Health and Rehabilitation in Maryville, TN, and Life Care of Blount County for their love and care. A special thanks to Betty Duncan, Lonetta Williams, Michelle Miller, Christine Mazzeo, and Janet Johnson for being his caregivers when needed.
The staff at Holley Gamble is honored to serve the family and friends of Mr. J. Paul Sanderson