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Philip Ray Sanders, Sr. February 19, 1939 - February 29, 2020

Philip Ray Sanders Sr. “Papa Hoot” 81, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Saturday, February 29, 2020.  He was born in Memphis, Tennessee to Phillip Anderson and Margret Siqman Sanders. Papa Hoot was a graduate of Southside High School, where he was proud to call himself a “Scrapper”. He was very well known to be the jokester and had something funny to say about everything.  In High School he excelled at baseball and was a Captain in the ROTC.

After High School he served 7 years in the National Guard and went on to retire from the Illinois Central Railroad with 33 years of service. He also continued to play fast pitch softball and was inducted into the Memphis Amateur Sports Hall of Fame.

In 1962 he married the love of his life, Nellie Lee Wright Sanders of Kennett MO.

He was a member of Desoto Hills Baptist Church and once served as a Deacon at Hickory Hills Baptist Church.  Although Papa Hoot had a fulfilling life, the thing he cared about the most was his family. He loved his wife, kids, and his grandchildren more than anything. He will truly be missed by many.

He was preceded in death by his parents and sister Lavern Matlock.  He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Nellie Lee Wright Sanders, his daughter, Robin Lee Sanders (Alice); his son, Philip Ray Sanders Jr.  (Kimberley); his son, Michael Todd Sanders (Tracey) and daughter, Patricia Allyson Johnson (Denver). He is also survived by 5 grandchildren, Bayleigh Sanders, Hayden Sanders, Heath Sanders, Lydia Johnson, and Audrey Johnson; and a host of nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be on March 6, 2020 at Desoto Baptist Church in Southaven MS from 11:00 am – 12:30 pm, with a service following. Burial will be held at Twin Oaks Funeral Home located in Southaven, MS.  Twin Oaks Funeral Home in Southaven, Mississippi is handling the arrangements. In lieu of flowers the family is asking for donations to be sent to the Desoto Hills Baptist Church building fund.


  1. REPLY
    Alvin Porter says

    Hoot Sanders as we called him at South Side High School was a wonderful person he had a smile for everyone. He will be truly missed. We want to send our deepest sympathy to his family. We are so sorry we had to miss his funeral. Alvin and Mary Porter.

  2. REPLY
    Jennifer Combs Pennington says

    Mrs. Nellie, Robin, Phil, Todd & Tricia, I’m so very sorry for the loss of this sweet man, hoot owl , as my dad called him. I’m sending prayers for your family.

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