David George Sanderlin
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David George Sanderlin June 28, 1943 - May 28, 2020 EL CAJON David George Sanderlin passed away peacefully at his El Cajon home, with family at his side, after a multi-year battle with Parkinson's disease and multiple myeloma. David was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. David met his wife, Arnell Hecker, at Granite Hills High School, where he was a member of their athletic hall of fame for his tennis achievements. The high school sweethearts graduated in Granite Hill's first graduating class (1961). They married and lived near UCLA while David played on the UCLA tennis team and earned a degree in English. The couple then traveled throughout Europe on the professional tennis tour before moving to Indiana where they started a family while David earned a Ph.D. in Medieval Studies from the University of Notre Dame.TENNIS: In David's UCLA years, he was ranked in the Top Twenty U.S. men's singles (1964); was a UCLA All-American (1964-65); was a member of UCLA's NCAA National Championship tennis team (1965); and played in the U.S Open (1963, 1964). David continued to play tennis throughout his life. He taught his children and grandchildren to play and organized an annual Sanderlin family tennis tournament on his parents' home tennis court, with good food and fun prizes. David also supported the Johnny and Owenita Sanderlin Annual Tennis Tournament at Barnes Tennis Center. In 2018, David was honored at a ceremony in Balboa Park for his lifelong tennis achievements by being inducted into the San Diego Tennis Hall of Fame. TEACHING AND WRITING: David spent over 33 years (1969-2003) as a college professor teaching history, humanities, English, and tennis at CSUN, and Miramar Community College. David has authored numerous books and articles on Christian spirituality, ethics, and other topics. His work has been featured in scholarly journals associated with Cambridge University Press and Georgetown University. Books include: The Christian Way to Be Happily Married; Putting on the New Self: A Guide to Personal Development and Community Living; and The Medieval Statues of the College of Autun at the University of Paris. He wrote books such as Writing the History Paper, and a variety of police training manuals such as Spelling for Criminal Justice. David has also written many articles related to faith, love, and studies on spirituality and virtue ethics.FAMILY: Born to George and Owenita Sanderlin, David had a great start in life. After his dad earned a Ph.D. in English from Johns Hopkins (1938), he was a professor at SDSU (1955-1985). David was the third of four children: older sisters, Frea and Sheila and younger brother, Johnny. Sadly, Johnny, also an excellent tennis player, was diagnosed with leukemia at age 11, and lived to age 15. David and Arnell raised four children, Wendy, John, Michelle, and Kevin; and have enjoyed their four spouses, Elliott, Holly, Dean, and Ally; 11 grandchildren, Brandon, Austin, Jordan, Jessi, Jake, Tyler, Carson, Dylan, Kaytlin, Samantha, and Liam. David also enjoyed the love and support of his 10 brother and sister-in-laws, and 27 nieces and nephews. David was blessed with a large loving family, a fine education, a successful academic teaching and writing career, and impressive tennis achievements. All this wasn't luck. David's accomplishments are due in great part to his admirable character: living by his religious faith, with humility, caring for others, generosity, and a strong work ethic. David will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and the community. May he rest in peace.

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Published in San Diego Union-Tribune on Jun. 7, 2020.
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6 entries
June 17, 2020
I was in the high school class with his younger brother Johnny. What a loving and Christian boy he was. Johnny always had a smile for everyone. I had the honor of calling net for David one match. He won, of course. What a great American he was. He will be missed.
William F. Lane (aka Smith)
June 16, 2020
I played doubles at Escondido High School 1959-1961 against David and his brother several times. He was truly an inspirational tennis player. Always focused. Loved the game of tennis. I saw him playing several times at UCLA. He lived a great life and will be missed.
Dan Higbee
June 10, 2020
Tennis-playing Keeneys knew tennis-playing Sanderlins in the 50s! We kids learned to play the game before "topspin" was big. Dave hit the ball hard, fast and accurately. Playing doubles in retirement years, partnering with David Sanderlin and hearing the command, "Mine," I learned to step aside and watch the winning shot! Thanks, Dave!
Anne Keeney Russ
June 10, 2020
Tennis-playing Keeneys knew tennis-playing Sanderlins in the 50s! We kids learned to play the game before "topspin" was big. Dave hit the ball hard, flat and accurately. Playing doubles in retirement years, if I partnered with David Sanderlin and heard the command "Mine," I would step aside and watch the winning shot! Thanks, Dave!
Anne Keeney Russ
June 7, 2020
May peace be with the Sanderlin Family during this time. We count ourselves as fortunate in knowing him, and many in the family, as their dentist. They are all exemplars. Kevin & Mary Anderson.
Kevin Anderson
June 7, 2020
Forty years ago, newly moved to San Diego, I took tennis lessons from Dave at Miramar College. He impressed me as a caring, devoted lover of tennis. Over the years, I often saw him at the Barnes Center, where I was the tournament director for 18 years. Always a gracious, kind person, he will be missed by all who knew him. My thoughts are with his family.
Anne Podney
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