Donald Earle Sandlin, known affectionately as Don, passed away on August 14, 2023, in Temple, Texas. He was born on February 7, 1948, in Brownsville, Tennessee. Don led a remarkable life filled with pursuit of the Lord, love and care for his family, and service to the church and his fellow man.
Don grew up in Tennessee along with his older sister and brother. He attended Ripley High School, graduating in the class of 1966, and went on to earn his bachelor's degree in sociology from The University of Tennessee at Martin.
Don's working journey began with various jobs before he discovered his true calling as an educator. He embarked on his teaching career at a Houston private Christian school from 1976 to 1978. His passion for teaching led him to Central Texas near Bryan-College Station, where he continued to teach while pursuing further studies at Texas A&M University. In May 1980, Don relocated to Austin and taught at Del Valle Independent School District until 1984.
In 1983, Don married the love of his life, Janis Marie Chrietzberg, whom he met in the Church in Austin. Their marriage was a source of immeasurable joy, strength, and outpouring throughout their forty years together.
An avid learner throughout his life, Don obtained certifications in various teaching avenues but found particular joy in teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) to children. Don also took a break from the classroom, and spent thirteen years serving the Lord with his full time.
Described as faithful and God-loving, Don was a devoted family man who cherished every moment spent with his loved ones. His home was always open and welcoming to friends and family alike. His passion for gathering people together reflected his hospitable and loving nature.
Don was unashamed of his faith and wholeheartedly shared the gospel whenever he had the opportunity. His deeply rooted Christian values and generous spirit were evident to all who knew him. Don's willingness to help anyone, especially those exploring their faith, was a testament to his compassionate heart and serving spirit.
Music played an essential role in Don's life. He enjoyed singing and playing the guitar, especially hymns and scriptural songs. He found great solace and joy in listening to his children’s recorded hymns and musical compilations. Family gatherings provided him with opportunities to engage in heartfelt conversations with his children, and he always treasured these moments. As another hobby, Don displayed a particular craftsmanship for woodworking, especially building bookcases as gifts for several individuals.
One of Don's strongest convictions was his unwavering commitment to enjoying the salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. He deeply believed in raising his family according to the solid foundation of God’s Word. A common household evening scene was Don, surrounded by his children, reading a bedtime Bible story. As they grew, he felt an immense sense of pleasure watching them speak God’s word, share their testimonies, and incorporate Christ in their daily living.
Don's passing leaves a significant void in the lives of those who loved him. He is preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Frances Sandlin, and one sister, Peggy Colley.
Don is survived by his loving wife Janis Marie (Chrietzberg) Sandlin, with whom he shared forty beautiful years of marriage. He is also survived by seven sons: David (Tatiana) Sandlin, John (Simone) Sandlin, James Sandlin, Mark (Hollie) Sandlin, Stephen Sandlin, Joseph (Sarah) Sandlin, Benjamin (Lizbett) Sandlin; one daughter, Sarah (Ryan) Kelly; one brother, Robert Sandlin Jr. (Joy), and ten cherished grandchildren.
A visitation service will be held on August 18, 2023, from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Young's Daughters Funeral Home & Bereavement Center located at 4235 E. US Hwy 190 in Temple, Texas.
A graveside service will take place on August 19, 2023, at North Belton Cemetery, located at 1500 N Main St in Belton, Texas. The service will commence at 10:00 AM.
A memorial meeting will be held on August 26, 2023 from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM at the meeting hall of the Church in Round Rock, located at 9100 SH130, Hutto, TX 78634. For directions, please visit the link below:
Don's passing came after a hard-fought battle with a lung disease (pulmonary fibrosis), which began its diagnosis journey in December 2021. Despite significant difficulty and discomfort, Don faced each day with strength and courage. In November 2022, his condition worsened after contracting the flu and pneumonia, requiring additional oxygen. Ultimately, the disease took its natural course until Don passed away peacefully on Monday, August 14th, 2023.
Donald Earle Sandlin will forever be remembered as a man who loved God and His eternal purpose, a dedicated educator, a loving husband, a devoted father and grandfather, and a compassionate friend. He left an indelible mark on the lives of those who were fortunate enough to know him. His memory and legacy will continue to inspire all those who carry it in their hearts.
A special thank you to all our family, friends, and caregivers for their support and prayers.
Arrangements are under the direction of Sabrina N. Young, at Young's Daughters Funeral Home and Bereavement Center in Temple, Texas.