Roosevelt Sanderfer


On January 25, 1943 in Madison County, Al, a natural leader was born. In a world filled with turmoil and despair Roosevelt Sanderfer would grow to prove that with hard work and the Lord on your side great things are possible. Roosevelt Sanderfer was born unto Leo Sanderfer and Missouri Rice. He was raised by his paternal grandparents Eddie “Paw” Sanderfer Sr. and Estella “Mua” Sanderfer in the historic community of Little Elk in Limestone County, Alabama. Roosevelt attended Trinity High School and at an early age he confessed that Jesus Christ is savior at Little Elk Missionary Baptist Church.  Growing up on a farm Roosevelt had several duties, picking cotton, driving a tractor, attending to animals, and fixing machinery. Later, he then used his skills as an “orderly” in the Florence Alabama Hospital. He was consistently requested by doctors to place traction on patients with broken bones, he knew how to suspend their limbs perfectly to ignite healing and increase the patient’s comfort. Roosevelt was often called upon to assist Doctors with various procedures, making him one of the most sought after employees in the hospital.


In 1965, he married the love of his life Mary Pinnie Koger. In 1969 Mary and Roosevelt followed their dreams to reach for greater opportunities by relocating to Toledo, Ohio with Mary’s Grandmother, their three- year old Son Derrick, and their one month old Daughter Demetra. With the open doors of family members and no job secured they took a leap of faith and left Alabama. Their faith was rewarded there in Toledo, Roosevelt found a long-term career in the auto industry where he worked for over 30 years until retirement in 2005. During his time in Toledo, he worshiped under the leadership of the Late Rev. Ronald A. McCraney at both Greater St. Mary’s Missionary Baptist Church, and Rhema Word Ministries.


With Toledo, Ohio being close to many of Mary and Roosevelt’s relatives; Roosevelt enjoyed driving his family to see them in various cities. He was often called upon to lead the caravan of family members traveling to most any family event; and there were many. He would also drive family members to various locations throughout the United States. Jody, as his family affectionately called him; was a leader. If there was something that needed to be done, everyone knew whom to call. He loved his family. The Annual “Sanderfer Family Reunion” was always the highlight of his Summer vacations. He took it upon himself to call everyone to insist that they attend, had a plan for when they’d arrive, and reminded them to pay their money ahead of time. At any given family gathering “Jody” reigned as a champion at the Spades table. He was known to often play nearly 24 hours straight. The card game of Spades was something that “Jody” was truly passionate about.


Roosevelt and Mary were close to each other’s families. They embraced each other’s families as if they were their own, making sacrifices in times of need and being present in times of celebration. Roosevelt loved his wife, children, and grandchildren.  He would do anything for them and he often took it upon himself to do whatever he could to include the children of extended family.


By the year 2007, both Mary and Roosevelt had retired. They decided to return to the State of their birth, “Sweet Home Alabama”.  There they joined Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church under the leadership of Roosevelt’s brother Dr. John L. (Cookie) Irving. Roosevelt was a very active member of Mt. Pisgah, attending bible study, Sunday School and Ushering which he loved because he enjoyed making others feel welcome.  As Roosevelt grew closer to Christ he was called to be a Deacon. He took this very seriously, he studied routinely and learned all that he could. After becoming an ordained deacon, he offered his assistance during every worship service that he attended.


Throughout Roosevelt’s life, he sought to increase his reading skills. While living in Alabama he worked with the Communication Disorder’s clinic at the Alabama A&M University. Reading the word of God with a deeper understanding was his goal.  He continued working with them until his wife Mary’s health declined. Roosevelt took it upon himself to take care of her; family members offered extensive help but Roosevelt stated that he vowed to the Lord that he would take care of his wife and that’s what he did. There were several intricate medical procedures that were required. His skills as an “Orderly” were needed once again; for hanging IV’s, dressing wounds, administering medications, transporting, exercise coaching, all while continuing to be Mary’s Husband and friend. They would often spend late nights talking.  He still saw her as the beautiful bride that he had married nearly 51years ago even after her health had declined.


In late December 2016 Roosevelt suffered a massive heart attack. He continued to fervently care for Mary until her passing on June 1, 2016. As Roosevelt’s health continued to decline, he decided to return to Ohio to reside with his Daughter Demetra in Columbus. There he found new hobbies and friends at the Gillie senior citizen center.  Roosevelt joined Manna From on High Columbus Church under the leadership of his Daughter Pastor Demetra Sanderfer. There he also served as a Deacon and director of the Parking Logistics Department. In September 2016 Roosevelt was given only 6 months -1 year to live. He surpassed the Dr.’s Expectations. After battling severe Congestive Heart Failure Roosevelt passed away on December 15, 2017.


He leaves to cherish his memory a Son, Derrick Sanderfer Sr, Daughters, Demetra,  Darshell Sanderfer and Carol Garth-Sanderfer; Grandchildren Derrisha (Kassonova) Betts, Derrick Sanderfer Jr., Derriana S. Sanderfer, brothers Mac Arthur (Clarie) Sanderfer, John L. (Jackie) Irving, Lillie B. (Anthony) Townsend, Lizie (Billy) Mangrum, Mose Coleman, Gerealdine (Curtis) Townsend, Robert Rich, Jimmy Buford, Linda (Mike) Ewing, Clay (Marilyn) Sanderfer, Daphne (Neil) Rooks, and Sharon Sanderfer, Mother-in-law Claudette Ingram; Sisters-in-law Armetia Felix (Len), Albertina Jarmon, Andrea Hampton, and April Ingram; Brothers-in-law Ray (Jeanette), James, Dwight (Tonia), Ralph (Britney), and Gary (Georgia) Cunningham. An Adopted son Jeffery (Gwendolyn) Floyd; grandchildren: Antonio Knox, Jamia Howell-Evans, Leah (Kwame) Peprah, LaShaye, Raymond (Nikki), JoAnna, and Jonathan Floyd; great-grandchildren: Erynn, Chayton, and Neveah Floyd, and two special aunts Lillie Hayman, and Louise Sanderfer.

Services will be at Living Waters Christian Fellowship 1824 Cleveland Ave on December 21, 2017 10:00 Wake and 11:00 Service.

Condolence Messages

  1. My condolences go out to you Derrick, Demetria and your family.

  2. Grace and Peace,
    My deepest simcere heartfelt sympathy of the lost of your dear loved one Deacon Roosevelt Sanderfer, I pray the grace of God rest, and abide with you all, i pray for comfort when you are all alone, i pray the memory of your love one bring a smile to you in knowing He finished his course, and He is well and complete, in tje mist of your tears and sadness, know that you are not alone, friends, will always lift each of you up on prayers, May God be your strength now and forevermore..God bless you all,
    My sincere Love,

  3. Cassandra F. Smith

    Darshell, this is a beautiful obituary. Your father was an amazing man. I pray that the Grace of God and the Peace of God resides with you and your family today, tomorrow and for days to come.

  4. Johnnie C. & Bettye Freeman and Family

    To the Entire Family We offer Our Sincere Heartfelt Sympathy…You’re in Our thoughts Now and in the Days to come.

  5. Pastor David, Lady Marcia Cunningham Sr, and the SWCOG Family

    To the entire Sanderfer family, we offer our deepest sympathies, condolences and prayers. We, the Saints, family and friends of the Soul-Winning Church of God, stand with in this, your time of loss and sadness. We also share your joy in knowing that Dad (Deacon Sanderfer) now rest perfectly and peacefully in the arms of the Lord and Savior, Jesus. Know that you remain faithfully in our thoughts and prayers. We love you.

  6. Elder Debra Shelton

    A man who exemplifies what loving God is truly all about. A man who not only encourages you strengthens you, laughs with you , and prays with you but also gives you a sense of self worth Darshell your father was all that – he is and will always be a legacy and a friend of mine thank you for sharing this great man with me and the rest of the body of Christ we love you now until eternity rest in peace my brother till I see you again

  7. Kimberly Alexander

    The lost of a parent is beyond painful. When both are gone you stop and wonder, who you are. In time you’ll KNOW their presence in your everyday life. You’ll hear their guidance. Yes, you’ll miss hearing their audible life voice, but death never can silence their presence in memories. God’s love and strength to help you get stronger.

  8. James W. & Barbara Weaver and Family. The Sanderfer Family. May you find comfort knowing that you are in our thoughts and prayers. Praying for love peace for entire family God bless your family.

  9. Dr. Mynnyconjou Love

    Dr. M. Thomas and Elder Sheila M. Love. We extend our heartfelt condolences to you and your family. May heaven continue to smile upon you.

  10. Dr. Mynnyconjou Love and Elder Sheila M. Love

    We extend our heartfelt condolences to you and your family. May heaven continue to smile upon you.

  11. Rapheal Baseer Al-Amin jr

    Love you You are always my love ❤️

  12. Min. Mildred S. Robinson

    Darshall, Derrick and Demetria
    You were blessed as we were blessed to have a great father and mother all of which loved the Lord and Loved you all. It hurts because we will miss them being around us that we might be able to call or visit or eat at the table, share more stories, plan more family reunion, get wisdom and advise and protection, however, he is now resting from. His labor and none of his work on earth was in. Vain. He went out Praising the Lord and God gave him more time to make good memories. Our mother, Mary and father Bennie are probably smiling saying there is Jody, his wife Mary no longer have pain. Let’s join together and keep each other in prayer as we will pray for your comfort, strength, blessings and good memories they all left with us. I believe Jody got a “well-done” from the Lord!

  13. To the family of Roosevelt, you have my deepest sympathy in your loss. Death was never God’s purpose for the human family. He put Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden (paradise), and they were to extend it, have many children, and to fill the earth (Genesis 1:28). They were to live forever as long as they were obedient, if not, they would die (Genesis 2:15-17). Very soon, God will reverse the effects of sin by eliminating sickness and death forever, and all of His promises will come true! – Isaiah 25:8

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