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Maurice Jerome Sanders

June 24, 1972 ~ March 14, 2024 (age 51) 51 Years Old

Maurice Sanders Obituary

We celebrate the life of Maurice Jerome Sanders of Marshall, Virginia, who was graciously received into the arms of our Heavenly Father on March 14, 2024, at his home in Marshall, Virginia, after valiantly battling cancer for a little over a year.


A Journey Begins
On June 24, 1972, Otis Sanders, Sr., and Emma Sanders welcomed Maurice into the world in Tallulah, Louisiana—a place that Maurice treasured deeply throughout his life.


At the tender age of 12, Maurice was baptized at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Omega, Louisiana, by Pastor Eddie Klien, Sr. He took joy in attending church, singing in the children's choir and attending Sunday School. Despite Mt. Zion holding services only on the third Sunday of each month, the family still attended church every Sunday, regularly attending Palestine Missionary Baptist Church in Tallulah, Louisiana, for Sunday School, and morning services. Maurice's steadfast belief took root in these early years, filled with faith and community.


Maurice was passionate about sports from a young age, displaying a fierce competitive spirit. He was determined to excel, never letting anyone outdo him. Maurice always wanted to play with the “Big Boys” in football and basketball. His skill grew, and kids his age could not hang with him on the field or court. This determination earned him the nickname "Skilz" as a kid—a name he carried into his adult life.

Maurice was known for his quiet demeanor, inquisitiveness, and, most of all, loyalty. He kept the same small circle of friends from kindergarten through his graduation in 1990 from Rueben McCall High School in Tallulah, LA. His enduring friendships were a testament to his steadfast nature.


The value of hard work was ingrained in Maurice from an early age. Alongside his brothers, he learned the importance of earning for extras beyond the essentials provided by their mother, Emma Mae. Summers were spent working in the hoe fields weeding cotton, and assisting his father with masonry projects, instilling a strong work ethic in him.


Even as a young boy, Maurice was protective and courageous, always ready to stand up for his loved ones, regardless of his age or size. He always said he wanted to be an Army Soldier, a dream he would eventually fulfill, embodying the spirit of protection and service that defined him from the start.


Love & Family
Maurice's life was deeply shaped by the love and warmth of his family, the core of his existence and the source of his deepest happiness. His life took a significant turn when he married his soulmate, Ebonee, on January 21, 1999, in Fayetteville. This marriage was more than a union of two hearts; it was the coming together of families. Maurice embraced Ebonee's daughter, Aysha, as his own, showing her the depth of his love and commitment. Their family grew with the birth of Autumn Alesea in 1999, just days after Maurice's birthday, bringing a new sense of purpose and joy into Maurice's life.


Maurice and Ebonee chose to settle in their forever home on Free State Rd in the small community of Morgantown. Maurice took much pride in their home forever tinkering around the house. When you would drive Free State Road his well manicured lawn and landscape always stood out on the winding country road. You could see him from the first blossom of spring to the first frost of winter riding on his zero turn.


Maurice and family are members of the Mt Nebo Baptist Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor Rodney Smith, Sr. He enjoyed sing with MNBC Soldiers and Young Adult Choir.


The arrival of his granddaughter, Charlie Adelia "Beans," added another layer of joy to Maurice's life. The bond between Maurice and Beans was filled with laughter, playful moments, and an extraordinary connection that went beyond the usual grandparent-grandchild relationship. Maurice, or "Pops" as Beans would call him, found in her a kindred spirit, their time together marked by the simple yet significant happiness of their bond.


Maurice's dedication to his family was unwavering. He was always there, a constant source of support, protection, and guidance, his love serving as the foundation that brought comfort and a sense of belonging to his loved ones.


Answering the Call
Maurice's life journey was marked by service and valor. Joining the US Army in 1990, he embarked on a remarkable path of dedication, bravery, and selflessness. From the challenges of Desert Storm to diverse roles across the globe, including Iraq, Bosnia, Germany, Korea, and more, Maurice's resilience and adaptability shone through.


His 22-year career saw him serving in various stateside locations, including Kentucky, North Carolina, Georgia, New Jersey, Virginia, Texas, and Oklahoma. Retiring as a Sergeant First Class, Maurice's legacy extended beyond his military service. He embodied Army values, inspiring others with loyalty, duty, respect, and selfless service. As he transitioned to civilian life, Maurice carried with him the lessons learned, continuing to make a difference in the lives of those around him. His life was a testament to honor, sacrifice, and unwavering commitment to his country and fellow soldiers.


A Masonic Brotherhood Embraced
Maurice deeply valued the traditions of the M.W. Prince Hall Grand Lodge, Free & Accepted Masons of Oklahoma, and began his Masonic journey with his initiation into the Wise Men Military Lodge No. 125 in Dexheim, Germany, on July 6th, 1996. His commitment to Masonic values was further exemplified by his role as Worthy Companion in the Roland C. Scott Chapter, No. 116, Royal Arch Masons, Prince Hall Affiliation, based in Bad Kreuznach, Germany. This chapter is affiliated with the Most Excellent Hiram Holy Grand Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, P.H.A., serving the State of Maryland and its jurisdictions.


Maurice's Masonic path also led him to become a respected Sir Knight in the John E. Wallace Commandery, No. 116, Royal Arch Masons, Prince Hall Affiliated, located in the same German town. This commandery falls under the St. Andrew’s Grand Commandery, Knights Templar, P.H.A., which is dedicated to the Maryland jurisdiction.


In 2012, Maurice continued his Masonic journey by joining the Prince Hall Holding Lodge No. 300 in Muskogee, Oklahoma, under the jurisdiction of the M.W. Prince Hall Grand Lodge, F. & A. M., of Oklahoma. His dedication to Masonic principles and the fraternal brotherhood was a significant and cherished part of his life.


Heart of a Coach
Maurice's involvement in sports was marked by his significant role as both an athlete and a mentor, where he truly stood out. After his disciplined career in the military, he smoothly transitioned into coaching, bringing his passion for sports and dedication to developing young talent to the forefront.


In his coaching role, Maurice was much more than a strategist; he was instrumental in developing resilience, character, and a strong team spirit among his athletes. His coaching philosophy was deeply influenced by the values of respect, discipline, and striving for excellence—principles that he not only preached but also practiced in every aspect of his life.


His bond with his daughter Autumn in the realm of sports was particularly strong, showcasing a unique mentor-mentee relationship that was built on rigorous training, learning, and the pursuit of common goals. This special connection culminated in their coaching partnership at Fauquier High School, symbolizing a significant moment in their shared journey.


Maurice's contribution to the sporting community extended beyond individual coaching to influencing teams across various roles, from Wakefield School to Fauquier High School and several AAU teams. His approach was not just about developing skilled athletes but fostering a sense of unity, respect, and mutual support akin to a familial bond within his teams.


Maurice's enduring legacy in sports highlights how his passion and commitment went beyond the game, serving as a catalyst for personal growth and community building. The significant impact he had on those he coached stands as a testament to his ability to unlock and nurture the potential in each individual, leaving a lasting reminder of the vital role sports can play in shaping character, fostering unity, and achieving collective aspirations.


Riding through the Winds of Change
Maurice and Ebonee's journey led them to Arizona, where the vast open roads and constant sunshine captivated Maurice's heart. Amidst its stunning landscapes, his love for motorcycling reached new heights, embracing the exhilaration and freedom of the ride.


In Arizona, Maurice found more than just adventure; he found a community within the Latin American Motorcycle Association. His leadership and commitment quickly earned him the role of Business Manager and then the Vice President of the Gilbert Arizona Chapter, solidifying his place in this brotherhood. This sense of belonging and shared passion remained strong, even as he returned to Virginia in 2021, continuing his leadership in the Fredericksburg Virginia Chapter as newly appointed Vice President in 2024.


The essence of Maurice's life was the enduring friendships he cultivated, evolving from childhood play to significant life events into a profound bond akin to family. These relationships, built on shared experiences and mutual support, remained a constant through all life's changes.


Maurice's story is a celebration of change, adventure, and the power of deep connections, proving that true friendships transcend time and space. His legacy is marked by the strong bonds of brotherhood and the unforgettable trails he blazed, both on and off the road.


Guiding Stars
As we reflect on Maurice's life, we also pay homage to those who preceded him: his parents, Otis and Emma Sanders, and his son, Dominique Eddington. Their memories and the values they instilled in Maurice continue to guide and inspire us, reminding us of the powerful impact of love, resilience, and the enduring strength of the human spirit.


Carrying the Torch: Maurice’s Legacy
Maurice's legacy is lovingly carried on by his wife, Ebonee; daughters Autumn Sanders and Aysha Davis; granddaughter Charlie Terrell; and siblings Melvin Sanders-Hicks, Tracey Sanders, Otis Sanders Jr., Morris Sanders, Marvin Sanders, Marcus Sanders, and Meredith Sanders.


He also leaves behind a large and loving extended family including his parents-in-law Karen & General White, Sharon Davis; grandmother-in-law Ramona Davis; and his many siblings-in-law Carin Elliott (Brent), Angela White-Davis (Phil), Andrea Hoover (Eric), General White, III (Sonia), DeWayne Butler, Thomas Brown (Lori), and LaWaughn Brown, as well as numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and close friends. Maurice exemplified a love that was generous, selfless, and unconditional. His legacy of love is a beacon that continues to guide and inspire, a reminder of the impact that kindness, dedication, and genuine affection can have on the world around us.

Family will receive friends on Thursday, March 21, 2024, from 10 am until 11 a, with funeral services starting at 11 am at Mt. Nebo Baptist Church, 4679 Free State Road, Marshall, VA 20115.  Rev. Rodney L. Smith, Sr. will deliver the eulogy.

Interment with military honors will be in Mt. Nebo Baptist Church Cemetery, Marshall, VA.

Services can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/dh3SidnAEqQ?si=UAqfnEb-cbS2UfTP

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Services

Visitation
Thursday
March 21, 2024

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Mt. Nebo Baptist Church
4679 Free State Road
Marshall, VA 20115

Funeral
Thursday
March 21, 2024

11:00 AM
Mt. Nebo Baptist Church
4679 Free State Road
Marshall, VA 20115

Interment Following Funeral Service
Thursday
March 21, 2024

Mt. Nebo Baptist Church Cemetery
Mt. Nebo Church Road
Marshall, VA 20115

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