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February 10, 1952 ~ October 25, 2022 (age 70) 70 Years Old
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Ernest Levant Sanders, was born to the late Mr. Oscar L. Sanders, Jr., and Mrs. Ruth Inez Price Sanders, in Palmetto, Florida. He was the oldest of four children. Ernest was baptized at an early age by Rev. E.W. Carey, at Providence Missionary Baptist Church, in Palmetto, Florida. Ernest attended Memorial Elementary and Lincoln Memorial High School until the seventh grade. He attended Palmetto High School from the eighth grade through twelfth grade, where he had a dynamic four years of football as the first black quarterback, at a predominantly white school, in Manatee County. Because of his extra-ordinary athleticism, team leadership, and small stature, Ernest was given the nicknames, “The Lil General” and “Pill”. Upon graduation, in 1970, Ernest matriculated to Florida A&M University, in Tallahassee, Florida. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology in 1974. He returned to Palmetto and worked at the Department of Juvenile, Manatee County Circuit Court, and Publix Supermarket. He also coached Pop Warner Football for several years. He enjoyed singing with the Gospel Citizens Chorale at various churches and events, until his health began to fail. Ernest was a small man, with a large presence and personality. He was loved and will be sorely missed by all who knew him. He leaves behind to cherish his memories, wife Bonita, of Palmetto, FL; daughter Yavonka S. Sanders, of Ellenton, FL; son Kevin L. Sanders, of Bradenton, FL; mother Ruth “Inez” Sanders, of Palmetto, FL; Two granddaughters Gianna U. Sanders and Mia D. Sanders, both of Sarasota, FL; Two sisters Verna L. Sanders-Garvin and Darlene T. Sanders-Bush, both of Palmetto, FL; One brother Karl L. Sanders, of Wesley Chapel, FL; Six sisters in-law: Joan Bliss, of St. Petersburg, FL; Carolyn Lowe, of Bradenton, FL; Vanzetta Lewis, of Palmetto, FL; Icelia (Michael) Fedd, of Sarasota, FL; Faye Fields of Palmetto, FL; and Asia Roux, of Bradenton, FL; Two brothers in-law, Lewis Woodie, of Rochester, NY; Zachary Samuel, of Palmetto, FL; One uncle in-law, Gregory Milhouse, of Bradenton, FL; Six aunts in-law, Linda (Raymond Sr.) Woodie, Marian Woodie, both of Palmetto, FL; Ellen Anita (Leonard) Johnson, Carolyn (Tom III) Washington, Janie (Aaron) Davis, all of Bradenton, FL; and Lillian Sims, of Sarasota, FL. He also leaves behind a host of sorrowing nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. Special friend Rickey Baskin, who preceded him in death.