James Frances Sanderson, 78

James Frances Sanderson, age 78, a dedicated and beloved husband, father, Papaw, great-grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend to many. 

Jim was carried into the loving arms of Jesus on May 9, 2024. His love for the lord was evident in everything he did and with everyone he talked to. 

He enjoyed painting, working in his garage, completing projects, working on old cars, collecting Derby Glasses and antique shopping with his wife, ice cream dates with his favorite people, and quality time getting to sit around and talk with those he loved, but most of all his greatest love after Christ was his family. He loved being a Papaw and making countless memories with each of his grandkids. Jim was a jack of all trades. He had extensive life experience in a multitude of hats he wore. There was no question we asked him that he often didn’t have the answer to, and if he didn’t you knew he was going to try and help you problem solve and figure it out. 

Jim served the Clinton, TN community in many capacities, but his most beloved title was being the Assistant Superintendent at Clinton City Schools for 28 of his 39 years in education. He was committed to knowing each employee and fostering relationships that would last a lifetime. He was a leader that put students first, led by example, and never asked anyone to do something he wasn’t willing to do himself. He knew the schools inside and out and over his tenure was able to have a profound impact on students and teachers alike. He may have retired in 2009, but he never stopped serving the schools or his community. In 2020, he received a proclamation from the City of Clinton for his dedicated service as an Educator and Community Leader. Most recently he received the honor of being a Kentucky Colonel. This is the highest title of honor bestowed by the Governor of Kentucky recognizing individuals for their service and accomplishments on behalf of others. 

Joining his family and friends who have gone before him. Jim is preceded in death by his parents Dr. Raymond and Nellie Sanderson. Brother Walt H Sanderson, sister-in-law Ann Sanderson, brother J. Paul Sanderson. His father and mother-in-law Ward and Audrey Gillispie. 

Jim leaves behind his loving and devoted wife of 56 years Dolores Sanderson, his daughter Shirlann Sanderson, his son Jon Sanderson (Misty), his endearing grandchildren Shayla Wilson (Andrew), Jon Christopher Ray-Nel Sanderson (Hailey), Christian Sanderson, and Jianna Sanderson. His little loves in great-grandchildren Adalee Sanderson & Baylor Wilson. His brother Bill Sanderson (JoAnn). He also leaves behind many aunts, cousins, nephews, nieces, and life-long friends whom he loved like family. 

His Celebration of Life will be from 2:00-4:00 pm, Saturday, May 18, 2024, at First Baptist Church, 225 N. Main St., Clinton, TN. 

In lieu of flowers and gifts, the family asks that donations be made to the James Sanderson Memorial Fund. We will be awarding a grant to Clinton City Schools each year as we continue his legacy. Donations can be dropped off at any Knoxville Teachers Federal Credit Union location. 

We will continue to live by his favorite verse, Proverbs 3:5-7 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him and he will make your paths straight. Don’t be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil.” 

Holley Gamble Funeral Home in Clinton is in charge of all arrangements. holleygamble.com 

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