August 11, 2000


Placed 08-11-2000

Gurley Sanders

Services for Gurley Sanders, 85, of Athens are scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at Saint Matthias Episcopal Church with Father Donald Hickman officiating.

Burial will follow at Athens City Cemetery under the direction of Foster & Brown Funeral Home.

Mr. Sanders died Aug. 9, 2000, in Athens.

He was born March 12, 1915, in Henderson County to A.W. and Jeanette Gothard Sanders.

Mr. Sanders was a lifelong resident of Athens and member of Saint Matthias Episcopal Church. He was a well known writer and wrote the column Gurleyver's Travels for the Athens Review.

He was preceded in death by parents; and brothers, Delmas Sanders, J.T. Sanders and Millard Sanders.

Survivors include sister, Maudine Rogers of Athens; four nieces, Gail Pryor of Waco, Barbara Ann Buckley of Surgarland, Jerre Boyd of Athens and Vicki Hall of Athens; and nephews, Bobby Sanders of Texas City and Mark Cupp of Athens.

Pallbearers will be Dr. N.D. Geddie Jr., Dr. Robert Eckert, Wes Sims, Bobby Sanders, Clay Hegar and Jim Jezek.

Honorary pallbearers will be Glynn Chipley, Bobby Boyd, John Hall and Raymond Stanford.

Family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.

Memorials may be made to American Cancer Society or Friends of the  Library.

August 11, 2000

Author Gurley Sanders dies at age of 85

By Jayson Larson

"At this time of life," wrote a 57-year-old Gurley Sanders in his newspaper column, "death lies in wait for me at every turn, staring at me from darkened doorways, setting devious traps for me. I do not resist it much, neither do I invite it. Death might well be the sublimest experience of all for man, though the unknown repels us all."

After writing that 1972 passage, Sanders managed to avoid the "devious traps" of death for almost three decades more. The longtime local author died in an Athens nursing center Wednesday from complications with cancer. He was 85.

"Children loved Gurley. All of them did," said Athens resident Toni Stanford, 48, who had known Sanders since she was 2. "My kids thought he hung the moon."

Stanford said she was with Sanders when he died. Over his last few days of life, Sanders was too weak to speak, said Stanford, but urged those who were visiting with him in his room to keep talking so he could listen to what they were saying.

"He was quite astute in his summations of what was going on in the world, and (he was) controversial at times," she said. "But when he would deviate from the norm, there was a great deal of thought behind it."

Sanders, a lifelong bachelor, began working as a reporter with the Athens Daily Review in 1950 at the age of 35. He left the paper two years later, but returned in 1965 and remained with the paper until his retirement in February 1977. During his time with the Review, Sanders may have been best known for his weekly column, "Gurleyver's Travels." He released a collection of his columns in a 175-page book under the same title in 1986.

He continued to pen his column following retirement, eventually changing the name to "The Way I Heard It." His last column in the Review ran a few months ago.

"Gurley was a uniquely talented wordsmith," said former Athens Review publisher Dan Dwelle. "He had a wonderful ability with words which seems to be a disappearing art these days."

Funeral services are pending with Foster and Brown Funeral Home in Athens.

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