Mr. James “Smokey” Sanders, age 86 of the Ballinger Road Community, died at 4:05 p.m. Sunday afternoon September 1, 2019 at the St. Thomas West Hospital in Nashville where he was admitted Friday August 31st being treated for pneumonia.
Friday morning September 6th funeral services were conducted from the Carthage Chapel of Sanderson Funeral Home. His over the road driving partner Bro. Eddie Teston and Mr. Sanders’ pastor, Pastor Randy Teat, officiated at the 11 a.m. services. Burial followed in the Garden of Gethsemane at Smith County Memorial Gardens.
Masonic Chapel services were conducted by Carthage Benevolent Lodge # 14 F & AM on Thursday evening September 5th at 7 p.m.
He was born James Albert Sanders in Elmwood on March 1, 1933 and was the son of the late James C. “Jim” and Addie Leona Proffitt Sanders.
Following the early death of his mother on February 9, 1943 at the age of 48 when Mr. Sanders was 9 years old, he was reared by his aunt and uncle, the late Eld. Johnny Alexander Proffitt who died on August 12, 2005 at the age of 100 and Fannie Myrtle Christian Proffitt who died April 24, 1984 at the age of 82.
He was also preceded in death by a foster sister, Bebie Marie Proffitt Hensley who died at the age of 72 on September 6, 2001 and by a foster brother, Robert Allen Proffitt who died at the age of 74 on October 8, 2011.
At the former South Carthage Pentecostal Church (now the Abundant Harvest Worship Center) on July 14, 1982, he was united in marriage to Buffalo Valley Community native, the former Martha Boyd. The ceremony was performed by the late Eld. Lewis Sandlin.
In 2018 they were preceded in death by a great-granddaughter, Hattie Grace Sanders, who died at birth.
Mr. Sanders was an accomplished truck and bus driver having driven for Thurston Motor Lines, later Brown Transport for twenty one years, for K & K Trucking in Gordonsville for fifteen years from 1979 until 1994 and was employed by the Smith County School System where he drove a school bus from 1995 until retiring in 2014, with a career that spanned over fifty five years.
He was a 50 year plus member and Past Worshipful Master of the Carthage Benevolent Lodge # 14 of Free and Accepted Masons, a 32 Degree Mason and member of the Al Menah Shrine Temple in Nashville.
At the Carthage Masonic Lodge on February 7, 1962 he received his Entered Apprentice Degree was passed to the degree of Fellowcraft Mason on March 27, 1962 and was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason on April 24, 1962.
He was a member, former Elder and presently served as a Trustee of the Abundant Harvest Worship Center in South Carthage.
Mr. Sanders proudly served our country with the United States Navy during the Korean War. He was inducted in Nashville on October 11, 1950 and was honorably discharged on December 8, 1953 at the Naval Receiving Station in San Francisco, California. His total service was three years, one month and twenty eight days of which one year and nine months was in the Marshall Islands.
For his meritorious service he was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, a Good Conduct Medal, a Korean Service Medal and the United Nations Medal.
Surviving in addition to his wife Martha of over thirty seven years, are three sons, Wayne Sanders and wife Natalie of Murfreesboro, Tony Sanders of Mt. Juliet, Jeremy Sanders and wife Amanda of the Hogans Creek Community; step daughter, Nancy Davis and husband Michael of Lebanon; brother, Floyd Sanders and wife Betty of Hendersonville; foster sister, Alline Proffitt Smith of the Lock Seven Community; seven grandchildren, Amber Bay, Tabitha Sanders, Josh Sanders, Chris Sanders and wife Angie, Cara Vaughn and husband Brad, Paige Smith, and Eli Davis; eight great-grandchildren.
The Sanders family requests memorials to the Shrine Burn Center.