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Russell Deward Sandefer, age 100, of Somerville, Tennessee, formerly of Martin, Tennessee, passed away in his home at SomerOak Senior Living on March 22, 2018.
Russell Deward was born October 4, 1917 to Calvin Monroe Sandefer and Vergie Brundige Sandefer in the Grove Hill Community northeast of Dresden, Tennessee. He married the love of his life, Mary Euin Smith, on September 9, 1939 in the front yard of the Smith family home on K Street in Martin. He served in the United States Navy in the Pacific Theater during World War II.
He owned and operated Sandefer’s Grocery with his business partner and uncle, J.P. Sandefer, from 1946 to 1974 on Main Street in Martin. He worked on the building maintenance staff at the University of Tennessee at Martin from 1974 to 1982.
Russell Deward and Mary lived at their home on Ryan Avenue in Martin for 63 years before relocating to SomerOak Senior Assisted Living in Somerville in June of 2012. Russell Deward and Mary were married for 76 years prior to her death in September of 2015.
In addition to his wife and parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Fred Sandefer of Hopkinsville, KY and James Doyle Sandefer of Martin, TN.
He is survived by his sister, Norma Jean Sandefer Travis of Marietta, GA; his daughter, Julia S. DeWeese of Lakeland, TN; his son, John R. Sandefer (Susan) of Hickory Withe, TN; two granddaughters, Angela S. Patterson of Memphis, TN, Melinda S. Dillard (Stephen) of Memphis, TN; three great-grandchildren, Shay Garrett, Wade Garrett, Kaylie Dillard; and his great-great-granddaughter, Madison Garrett of Memphis, TN.
Words don’t adequately express the gratitude of all the ones who took care of Russell Deward the last months at his home at SomerOak. Sandra Palmer, administrator and her staff: Barbara Woods, Maxine Henderson and Delores Brown; and Crossroads Hospice who cared for and loved him through the last two months of his life.
Graveside Services were held at 1 P.M. Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at the Gardner Cemetery in Martin, Tennessee. The officiating minister was Dr. Randy Cooper, pastor at the First United Methodist Church in Martin, Tennessee. Arrangements were provided by Peebles Fayette County Funeral Homes & Cremation Center – Main Chapel of Somerville.
The family requests that memorials be directed to First United Methodist Church of Martin, 225 Main Street, Martin, TN 38237.