It is with heavy hearts that the family of Lieutenant Colonel Purvis “Fuzz” Lara Sanders, Jr. of Lynchburg,VA, announces his unexpected passing while visiting family in Kingsport, TN on October 15, 2018 at the young age of 79.

Born March 22, 1939 in Jacksonville, FL, he was a son of the late Purvis Lara Sanders, Sr. and Berline Rucker Sanders. He attended Dreher High School in Columbia, SC and was a graduate and proud alumnus of The Citadel in Charleston, SC. He received a Master’s degree in Transportation from Florida Tech. He retired as an officer from the U.S. Army after serving two tours in Vietnam, and spending time in Korea, Europe and Panama. He also retired from Babcock and Wilcox after 10 years. He was a member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church and an avid supporter of E.C. Glass Athletics.

Fuzz will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 51 years, Linda Ballard Sanders, two children Jonathan Sanders (Holly) of Kingsport, TN, and Ellen Pelstring (Jeremy) of Norfolk, VA, and son-in-law Rod Miller of Lynchburg, VA. He is also survived by 5 grandchildren, Jackson Miller, Tyler Miller, Carter Pelstring, Elliott Pelstring, and Ellie Sanders, whom he adored and who kept him young at heart. He is survived by two sisters, Sandra Hicks (Roger) of Columbia, SC, and Judy Corbett of Pickens, SC, sister-in-law Pam Ballard of Lynchburg, VA, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his beloved daughter Lara Miller, brother Donnie Sanders, brothers-in-law Ronnie Ballard and Johnny Ballard.

It is impossible to summarize a life and personality as large as Fuzz. While he was a decorated Vietnam war veteran, a professor, a farmer, and a consultant, he preferred to be identified by his accomplishments at home and with his family. A hero to his children and grandchildren, Papa was an enthusiastic supporter of their many and varied pursuits. Whether in a crowd with a crazy hat and obnoxious horn, or spending individual quality time, he was always present. When not with family, Fuzz enjoyed spending time outdoors along Blackwater Creek fishing, hiking, biking, cleaning up the trail and occasionally napping. He also enjoyed visiting Folly Beach, SC and Leadville, CO.

For a man who was always there, it is hard to grasp that he is no longer here.

Please join us in celebrating the life of Fuzz. Visitation will be held on Saturday, October 20 from 3-5 pm at Diuguid Wiggington Road Chapel, Lynchburg, VA. A memorial service will be held on Monday, October 22 at 11 am at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 1000 Langhorne Road, Lynchburg, VA.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Lara Sanders Miller Scholarship Fund at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Virginia, or the American Red Cross Disaster Relief.

Diuguid Funeral Service & Crematory, Wiggington Road Chapel, 434-385-8900, is serving the family. On-line condolences may be sent to

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Posted on: 2018-10-22

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