Johnnie “Wayne” Sanders


Johnnie Wayne Sanders
Johnnie Wayne Sanders

Johnnie “Wayne” Sanders, 91, died Friday, December 31, 2021, in Amarillo, Texas.

A service will be held at 4 pm Friday, January 7, 2022, at Boxwell Brothers Ivy Chapel. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors 2800 Paramount Blvd.

Wayne was born October 19, 1930, in Mayfield, Oklahoma to Harvey William and Argie Charlene Sanders.

Wayne was married to Shirley Downs for sixty-six years and fourteen days.

He graduated from New Liberty High School in Oklahoma.

He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean Conflict. After four years of service, he was honorably discharged.

Wayne received an Associate of Arts from Sayre Junior College and later attended Amarillo College’s Radio and TV school.

He worked for Santa Fe Railway for 22 ½ years. He had worked in Amarillo and was transferred to Chicago in 1977. After retiring from Santa Fe Railway, he became owner and operator of Meineke Discount Mufflers for 19 ½ years.

He lived an active life centered around his family and friends. Wayne loved the Lord, the military, and the United States of America.

During his younger adult years, he coached sports at the Maverick Boys Club. Wayne was an active member of Buffalo Flying Club, where he proudly served with Angel Flight. At the age of 72, he started square dancing, he remained dancing up to the age of 89.

He was honored by the American Association of Blood Banks for noble generosity to the ill and injured over many years through the unselfish donation of over 15 gallons of blood.

Wayne was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Jerry, sister-in-law Carolyn, and stepmother Nanie Lou Sanders.

He is survived by his wife Shirley of Amarillo, Texas; his daughter Teresa Taylor and husband Steve of Temple, Texas; son Randall Sanders and wife Sandy of Howardwick, Texas; son Tony Sanders and wife Mary of Amarillo, Texas. He also has nine grandchildren, one great-grandchild, one great-great-grandchild; and his brother-in-law Glen Downs and wife Claudette, and a host of family and friends.

In lieu of flowers, donate to Wayne’s favorite charities: Leukemia Foundation or Angel Flight, or your choice of charity.

6 Replies to “Johnnie “Wayne” Sanders”

  1. Heavens’ doors will we open wide for this fine gentleman.

    Heaven’s doors will be open wide for this fine gentleman. A little leery of his driving and flying when he ran off the runway but what fun we had square dancing with Wayne and Shirley. He loved the challenge and friends in the activity. Always said, “Just wish I had started earlier in life.” I am sure he will find a square in heaven and get to dance with a strong, straight body. We will miss you fine friend.

  2. I’m sorry to hear about Wayne. I’m going to miss the conversations we would have during our family reunions about the Navy and life after. I’ll definitely never forget my first time flying with him and how terrified I was!

  3. Coach Sanders was my coach at the Maverick Club. He taught me that I could be anything I want to be. He stressed the fundamentals of the game which I teach at high school. He was a man of integrity, a principled man. My prayers for the family to be strengthened during this time. Heaven’s rejoicing at his arrival. 🙏🏻🙏🏻

  4. I remember Wayne so well as a coach of mine in football, basketball, and baseball at the Maverick Boys Club. Wayne was a man of good morals and character who impacted my life as well as many others. God be with the Sanders family! Thank you Wayne for the impact you had on my life!

  5. Jimmy and I, travelled a good deal with Wayne and Shirley, Square Dancing. He always said his big regret was that they didn’t start dancing earlier. They were both extremely successful dancers, mastering levels of dance through Advanced. We did many fun things together and will miss Wayne much more than he could ever imagine. He was always a fine and fun man to be around.
    Wayne was always a true gentleman that loved Shirley and his family so very much. He was a terrific Grandfather to even his Grandpuppies. We will miss you so much! We’ll see you later, Dear Friend!

  6. I’m sorry to hear of Wayne’s passing. He was generous, kind, and always dependable, He was just a really good man & greatly missed.

    All qualities every man, husband, father wants to have, yes hopes to have. he had them all..

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