September 26, 1939 – August 12, 2019
Tommy Max Sanders, 79, of San Angelo died unexpectedly on Monday, Aug 12, 2019. Max was born in San Angelo, Texas on September 26, 1939, to Jewel Irene Key and William Thomas Sanders. He grew up on Mt Nebo in Grape Creek, Texas and attended Grape Creek Elementary School before moving to San Angelo where he graduated from Edison Junior High and from San Angelo High School in 1958. Following high school, he went to San Angelo College before earning a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas in Austin. In 1962, in a contribution to the nation and in support of the county he loves, he joined the United States Marine Corps. Upon earning his commission, he requested to serve as an infantry officer. He subsequently deployed to Vietnam where he served three, year-long tours in combat, mostly with the 1st Marine Division. Battles fought include Operation Texas and Chu Lai. He was awarded a Bronze Star with a Combat V for meritorious service in a combat zone. He served 8 years of active duty and retired from the reserves as a Lieutenant Colonel. His influence and love for the Marine Corps lead many others to service, including his own daughter. Following his service overseas, Max earned a Masters of Science from University of Northern Arizona, and a Doctorate in Physical Education from the University of Oregon. Continuing to pursue his interest in human performance, he moved to San Diego, California. He continued post-doctoral work at The University of California, doing cardio-pulmonary research before moving back to San Angelo in 1978. All his life Max loved physical conditioning. His passion for exercise led countless people, young and old alike, into long-distance running, biking and triathloning. His encouragement regarding all physical activity was to ‘never quit’. From a very early age, the outdoors drew his attention. Whether hunting, camping, fishing or exercising, he loved being outside. With patience, he instructed many grandchildren, nieces and nephews how to shoot, seine a creek and run a trotline. Even in his chosen profession of construction, he was able to spend time outdoors. Max, practiced as a commercial and residential developer for 30 years in San Angelo. His integrity was important to him and according to friends and family, he was the most honest man most have ever dealt with – his reputation was sterling and above reproach. He married Mary Eugenia Workman of Chattanooga, Tennessee on November 28, 1964 and their marriage lasted 54 years. His wife, his daughters, Rachel Fabre and Sarah Ford, seven grandchildren and his siblings: brother Dwayne and his wife Dee, brother Monty, and sister Wanda Brothers and her husband Allen survive him. Max leaves behind many relatives and friends who will miss him dearly. Max was intensely fun and loved practical jokes. He was incredibly generous and kind. He leaves behind an enormous legacy, big shoes to fill, and even bigger holes in the hearts of everyone that knew and loved him. The funeral is scheduled for Saturday, Aug 17th at 4:00 PM at Johnson Funeral Home. Immediately following, there will be a graveside service with a Marine Honor Guard at the Grape Creek cemetery. Visitation will be from 2:00-4:00 preceding funeral service at Johnson Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Water for All International, West Texas Boys Ranch and House of Faith San Angelo.
- Visitation Saturday, August 17, 2019
- Funeral Service Saturday, August 17, 2019
August 19, 2019
Semper Fidelis, sir....
T. A. Gibson
LtCol, USMC (Ret)
August 17, 2019
Max was one of a kind! He lived a very disciplined life. The Lord came first, followed by an unwavering love for his family and loyalty to his friends. I am one of those friends grateful that our lives touched during life’s journey. I, along with many others, will always remember Max as a Marine’s Marine.
August 17, 2019
Sarah, Angie and I are so sad about the loss of your Daddy. We just want you to know that we are thinking of you and the pride, yet sorrow, your family must be sharing remembering such a remarkable man! Our thoughts are with you and your family. Much love from the both of us, Deb and Angie
August 16, 2019
To Sarah, sorry to hear about the loss of your father. Our prayers are with you and your family.
Calvin and Martha Featherston
August 16, 2019
An amazing athlete, A amazing promoter of sports. A amazing man. This man along with rex Burke encouraged me to get into cycling after debilitating injurys.Up until a few weeks ago this is the man you would see walking his dog along the state park road. He could barely walk and was in so much pain. But you wouldnt even know it by his kindness and attitude..Thank you Mr Max Sanders