William Rhea Sanders

January 27, 1939November 9, 2018

William Rhea Sanders, of Castalian Springs, TN, passed peacefully Friday, November 9, at Sumner Regional Hospital after an extended battle with cancer. Services will be conducted at noon Tuesday, November 13, at Forest Lawn Funeral Home in Goodlettsville. Visitation and viewing are scheduled from 4 pm to 8 pm Monday and from 10 am until noon Tuesday.

William, known to almost everyone as Bill (to some, as Billy Ray), was born January 27, 1939, in Goodlettsville, and he remained a Middle Tennessee resident his entire life. He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Deloris Ann (Dee) Sanders; children Bill Sanders Jr., Mike Sanders, Joey Rodriguez-Chapman, Michael Rodriguez-Chapman, Maria Rodriguez-Chapman, and Marty Rodriguez-Chapman; grandchildren Alex Sanders, Ashley Sanders, Summer Sanders, Alyssa Sanders Ezell, Natalie Rodriguez-Nelson, Matthew Rodriguez-Nelson, Kenny Degenhardt, Matthew Degenhardt, Danielle Vondal, Joseph Rodriguez-Vondal, Jonathan Rodriguez-Vondal, Jessica Vondal, Jasmine Vondal, Dawn Vondal, Brianna Vondal, Desirae Vondal, Aaron Vondal, Alica Vondal, and Angel Vondal; and many great-grandchildren. Bill was preceded in death by a son, Ken Sanders, and a sister, Sarah Lynn Sanders Weaver.

A 1957 graduate of Goodlettsville High School, Bill retired in 2004 from a career as transportation manager for Wilson Sporting Goods in Nashville and for Gallatin Aluminum Products in Gallatin. He enjoyed sports all his life – he earned high school letters in baseball, football, and basketball. As an adult, he was active in multiple youth sports programs in Madison and Goodlettsville, and he was a passionate fan of the University of Kentucky basketball program. He derived great enjoyment from spending time outdoors and from visiting parklands. He was also an avid reader of fiction and non-fiction, particularly historical accounts.

Regarded as an outstanding role model by his family and by many of the boys he coached, Bill was an exemplary husband to Dee and a devoted father to his children. He will be greatly missed. His relentlessly positive influence will carry on.


  • Mike Sanders
  • Bill Sanders
  • Marty Rodriguez
  • Michael Rodriguez
  • Alex Sanders
  • Matthew Degenhardt
  • Chris Weaver
  • Matt Weaver
  • Kenny Degenhardt


  • Visitation

    Monday, November 12, 2018

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, November 13, 2018

  • Funeral Service

    Tuesday, November 13, 2018


William Rhea Sanders

have a memory or condolence to add?

Nancy Jenkins

November 15, 2018

Billy Ray was one of my best friends at GHS. Haven't seen him since high school. He was a great person then so I am sure he will be missed. So sorry. Nancy Carnahan class of 58

Bonnie Stockdale

November 11, 2018

Dee so sorry for your lose. Bill was a sweet man and made you feel as if he had known you all your life. He will be missed but no more pain! You will see him again! Love you! Peace and strength to you and yours!!!!