Mr. Lonnie Ray Sadler, Sr, age 67 transitioned from this earthly life to eternal life on Tuesday, December 1, 2020.
Lonnie Ray Sadler, Sr. was born January 23, 1953 to the late Jim Claude Young and Dorothy Ann Sadler.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Larry Sadler.
Lonnie graduated from Madison High School in 1972 as a top high school football prospect. During his prep career he rushed for over 3000 yards, twice earning All Nashville Interscholastic League (NIL) honors and was named All-State in 1971. He was chosen to play in the TSSAA East-West All-Star game after his senior season which was played at the University of Tennessee's Neyland Stadium. Lonnie was also an outstanding basketball player and track athlete. After a stellar high school career, he went on to attend Vanderbilt University where he became a full-time starter during his sophomore season. In 1974, he helped lead Vandy to a 7-3-2 record and a Peach Bowl berth. Heading into his senior season in 1975, Lonnie was selected as captain by his teammates. Becoming the first black player to ever receive the honor in Vanderbilt history. The Commodores finished the season 7-4 with Lonnie helping to lead his team to a victory over the Tennessee Volunteers in the final game of his career.
In 2018, he was named one of the 50 greatest high football players of all-time by the Tennessean. He was also named to their all-decade team for the 1970's. In 2019, Lonnie was inducted into the Metro Nashville Public School Sports Hall of Fame.
Lonnie was employed at Odom's Tennessee Pride, Pirelli Armstrong Tire and finally the Dupont plant in Old Hickory, TN from which he retired.
He accepted Christ at an early age and was baptized at Mt. Vernon Missionary Baptist Church. He later united with Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church where he served on the Deacon Ministry and also sang with the Male Chorus.
He was united in Holy Matrimony to Patricia A. Staten and to this union three children were born, Lonnie Jr. (Sisco), Jason and Rusty (Nece).
Lonnie enjoyed life, loved good food and socializing with family and friends. But his greatest joy was his children and grandchildren whom he was known as "Granddaddy' and "Papa".
He leaves to cherish his memory: his wife, Patricia; four children, Lonnie Jr. (Rachel), Kenta (Celeste), Jason (Jess) and Rusty/Nece; eleven grandchildren, Lonnie Ill, David Joseph, Jaden, Blake, Logan, Jaelyn, Alonna, Ka'Aliyah, Whitney, Paige and Taye; three sisters, Deborah Odom, Wanda Brooks and Barbara Sadler; three brothers, Jim Wayne, Nookie (Alexandria), Fitzgerald (Sandy); mother-in-law, Mary Jane Staten; three aunts, Ponnie Harris, Myrafene Taylor, Gwendolyn (Larry) Searcy; uncle, Roy K. Wilson; sisters-in-law's, Faye (Larry) Mullins, Betty (Edward) Boone, Mary Grizzard, Loletha Carter and Lynn Sadler; Close friends, Glen Smiley and Laquinte Young; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
DUE TO COVID-19, A FACE MASK IS RFEQUIRED, UPON ENTRY OF THE FUNERAL HOME, TEMPERATURES WILL BE CHECKED AND PLEASE KEEP SOCIAL DISTANCE IN MIND AT ALL TIMES.