David Philip Sanders
David Philip Sanders, 66, of Lewisburg, TN, born May 22, 1951, passed away at his home, on Oct. 2, 2017. David (“Dave”) is survived by his sister, Judy Goodman (husband Joe), of Brentwood, TN; son, Gabriel Tanksley (wife Lori), of Lewisburg, TN; niece, Ashley Klekamp (husband John, children Eli, Sam, and Hank), of Brentwood, TN; and nephew Chuck Welch, of Brentwood, TN. Mr. Sanders was preceded in death by his father and mother, Phil and Jerre Sanders, of Lewisburg, TN, and his nephew, Chad Welch, of Brentwood, TN.
Dave was born in Lewisburg, TN, Marshall County, where he lived his childhood and the majority of his post college life. He graduated from Marshall County High School in 1969, and from the University of Tennessee in 1973, with a Bachelor of Science in Education. His calling and purpose was to “teach” English and Drama. Dave’s first adventure landed him at Farragut High School in Knoxville, TN, in 1973 as an English teacher. This was just long enough for Dave to accept an offer from Marshall County High School, his hometown, in 1976, to become the English and Drama teacher. The rest is history, or English I should say! Thirty-seven (37) years later, David Sanders amassed over 5,000 life-changing relationships with teenagers from every walk of life. In his way, Dave challenged, changed, and molded teenagers in their thinking, music, speaking, and living. He was the Master Composer.
His avid love and outspoken passion for the Arts started at an early age, fueled by his late mother, Jerre. Not only was Dave determined to “star” in any childhood productions, he transformed Marshall County by directing, producing, fundraising, performing, and arranging over 100 theatrical productions in Lewisburg, TN. For over 30 years, Broadway was alive and thriving annually in Lewisburg because of David Philip Sanders. From You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown and Oklahoma to his last two blowout productions featuring CATS and The Addams Family, no one could transcribe, architect, and interpret Broadway theater to a local community theater stage like Dave. His special gift touched thousands of people in the community and even across the country.
While difficult the past three years fighting cancer, Dave was able to enjoy many things in his final stage of life. His love for people, family and friends, never wavered. Dave became an enthusiastic gardener at his home and in his style, had hundreds of annuals and perennials laced with lights, wind tunnels, chimes, and wall art. Saturdays watching the Vols play football was a long tradition that Dave carried onward, even to his final days. Holidays with his family and the kids were always a treat for everyone, mostly Dave, who became a kid again, himself! Everyone knew Dave would have the best gifts.
It is safe to say, David Philip Sanders, lived his life, his way. There are no words that can qualify or quantify the thousands of lives he changed, for the better. We will miss him greatly.
Love is never gone
As we travel on
Love’s what we’ll remember
Kiss today goodbye.
And point me t’ward tomorrow.
Point me t’ward tomorrow
We did what we had to do.
Won’t forget, can’t regret
What I did for love.
What I did for love.
Bills, McGaugh, and Hamilton Funeral Home, 755 Yell Road, Lewisburg, TN, is overseeing David’s arrangements. Please contact them with any questions.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Marshall County Community Theater – David P. Sanders Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 1771, Lewisburg, TN 37091.
Family and Friends will hold a community service, “Celebration of Life”, at The Dixie Theater, on the Lewisburg Square, Sunday, Oct. 22, at 2 p.m.