Thomas E. Sanders passed away peacefully on July 25, 2017, under the care of Hospice of Marion County. He was born March 20, 1938, to Henry J. Sanders and Verma Simmons Sanders in Stephenville, Texas. As a young man, he graduated from Texas Tech University with both a BS in Math and a Master’s in math and statistics. While attending college he joined Delta Tau Delta.
Upon his graduation, he enlisted in the US Navy, attended Officer’s Candidate School and volunteered for the submarine service. He proudly served 30 years, retiring in 1991 as a Captain in the Navy Reserve. In retirement, he served as a Blue and Gold Officer for the US Naval Academy.
While in the Navy he was stationed in Pearl Harbor and Yokohama. He enjoyed learning new languages and Japanese was no exception.
In 1970, he met his future wife Mary Lois in Waco, Texas, while she was studying for her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Voice & Opera at the University of Texas, Austin. They dated long distance for many years and on February 1st, 1986, they wed.
Thomas enjoyed working for AT&T. He worked for AT&T International in Iran for 2 years where he could still be an active duty reservist for the Navy. He would retire from AT&T in 1999 after 30 years.
He and Mary Lois moved to The Villages in 2003. After the move, he became a very active volunteer: as a member of CERT, teaching safe driving courses for AARP and coordinated the course schedules. Tom was president of the GEM club for many years, was a founding member of Brothers in Song, a founding member of Brownwood Baptist Church of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Florida.
He never missed any Big 12 sports, loved to travel, and watch Yankees and Spurs games. He was a member of the American Legion Post 347 in Lady Lake and never let anybody forget how great our military is.
Tom is survived by his loving wife, Mary Lois Sanders; nephews Eric (Heather) Sanders, William (Amy) Sanders, and niece Sue (John) Basile, and cousin John Earl (Becky) Simmons. The list of survivors includes many great friends and distant relatives. There will be a memorial service celebrated on September 22, 2017 at 11:00 in the New Covenant United Methodist Church in The Villages. A graveside service will be at 11:00 October 7, 2017 at Pecan Cemetery, Dublin, TX.