Sterling Mays Lankford

Born in Fairview, TN on July 1, 1924

Departed on February 3, 2019 and resided in Hendersonville, TN

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Mr. Sterling Mays Lankford age 94, of Hendersonville, TN, passed away on Sunday, February 3, 2019.

Mr. Lankford was born in Fairview, TN, on July 1, 1924, the son of the late Griffy Lankford and Dora Adcock Lankford. He was raised with ten sisters and two brothers whom he loved dearly. Mr. Lankford served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II and received the Bronze Star. He saw action in the Pacific Theatre and fought on Iwo Jima. He retired from Stanback Company as their National Sales Manager and then started Lankford Brokerage. Mr. Lankford loved his family and enjoyed cooking and entertaining. In addition to his parents, Mr. Lankford was preceded in death by his wife, Juanita Elizabeth Lankford and a granddaughter, Emma Grace Lankford.

Survivors include his four children, Barbara (George) Shell, Michael “Mike” (Karin) Lankford, David (Dave Perkins) Lankford, and John Pierce Lankford; five grandchildren, Jenny Shell (Nathan) Smith, George A. “Trey” Shell, III, Amy (Erick) Baird, Robert Lankford, and Elizabeth Ann Lankford; and three great-grandchildren, Jasper Richard, Brock Arthur, and Kara Grace Baird. After the passing of his adored and loved wife, Juanita, he later meet his sweetheart, Ruby Vaden.

A Celebration of Life will be held Thursday, February 7, 2019, at 10:00 A.M., Hendersonville Chapel with the son, Mike officiating. Interment will follow at Hendersonville Memory Gardens.

Gathering of Family & Friends will be held Wednesday from 6:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. and Thursday from 9:00 A.M. until the funeral hour at Hendersonville Funeral Home.

Visit the online obituary at www.hendersonvillefh.com to post tributes and share memories.

8 Comments to Sterling Mays Lankford

  1. Dot Bingham
    February 5, 2019 1:08 pm

    What a great and interesting guy Sterling was to everyone. I have many great memories of spending time with Sterling and his late wife Quanita and family. He loved to tell stories, which we all enjoyed. I know he will keep them laughing in Heaven. RIP Sterling.

  2. Duane Allen
    February 5, 2019 2:26 pm

    OVER 2 DECADES AGO, I FOUND MYSELF ON A TREADMILL AT GYM, WALKING NEXT TO STERLING LANGFORD ON ANOTHER TREADMILL. WE BEGAN TALKING ABOUT DOZENS OF DIFFERENT SUBJECTS. I LEARNED THAT HE ONCE WORKED FOR A COMPANY THAT SPONSORED TV SHOWS ON WHICH I APPEARED. AFTER HOURS OF VISITING, SOMETIMES STAYING LONG AFTER OUR GYM TIME WAS OVER, I STARTED LEARNING THAT I WAS TALKING TO A REAL WAR HERO. WHEN HE KNEW HE HAD MY TRUST, HE STARTED SHARING STORIES THAT HE MAY HAVE NEVER SHARED WITH ANYONE. WE WOULD EXCHANGE STORIES, LAUGH, AND CRY. STERLING HAD A BIG HEART. I WAS CONVINCED THAT THE MAIN REASON HE WORKED OUT SO HARD WAS FOR THIS. HE WANTED TO KEEP IN SHAPE TO TAKE CARE OF HIS BELOVED JUANITA. HE DEARLY LOVED HIS BEAUTIFUL WIFE. HE TALKED OF HER OFTEN. SOON, I WAS PICKING HIM UP AT HIS HOME TO GO EAT CATFISH. HE LOVED TO EAT GREAT CATFISH, AND I THINK WE HIT EVERY RESTAURANT IN TOWN, DOZENS OF TIMES. HE WOULD TELL ME STORIES, SHARE BOOKS, WRITE-UPS, AND EDUCATE ME ON WW2. I LEARNED MORE FROM STERLING LANGFORD ABOUT THE WAR THAN I EVER LEARNED FROM SCHOOL, MOVIES, BOOKS, OR TV SHOWS. HE WAS THERE WHEN OUR FLAG WAS PLANTED IN IOWA JIMA. HE WALKED ME THROUGH THE STRUGGLES TO TAKE THAT ISLAND. THROUGH YEARS OF BEING TOGETHER, HE BECAME MY DEAR FRIEND AND MY HERO. I VISITED HIM SEVERAL TIMES AT THE HOSPITAL, RE-HAB CENTER, HIS HOME, AND WHERE HE LIVED WHEN HE PASSED. JUST LAST WEEK, WE HAD CATFISH TOGETHER. WHILE WE WERE EATING, I WAS SO HAPPY TO SEE PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE RESTAURANT COME TO OUR TABLE TO THANK STERLING FOR HIS SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY. HE WAS ALWAYS GRACIOUS TO EVERY PERSON. I AM IN NEVADA AND CAN’T ATTEND HIS SERVICE, BUT, ON OUR SHOW, EVERY NIGHT, WE ARE SINGING THIS SONG FOR STERLING LANGFORD. “THERE’S A BRAND NEW STAR UP IN HEAVEN TONIGHT, LET IT SHINE, LET IT SHINE”. REST IN PEACE IN THE ARMS OF JESUS, MY DEAR FRIEND. WE WILL MEET AGAIN!!!!!! SEMPER FI

    • Duane Allen
      February 6, 2019 12:37 am

      IT HAS BEEN CALLED TO MY ATTENTION THAT I MIS-SPELLED MY FRIEND’S LAST NAME. I WAS STILL PRETTY SHOOK UP WHEN I WROTE THAT, BUT, I FELT I HAD TO WRITE SOMETHING SO I COULD THINK CLEARLY. THE CORRECT SPELLING IS STERLING LANKFORD.

  3. Amy Guel
    February 5, 2019 10:31 pm

    Mr. Lankford was a wonderful friend to my grandfather, Lawrence “Paul” Berry. I have so many fond memories of him and his wife, Juanita. My condolences to his family. I have no doubt that my grandpa met him with open arms.

  4. Melissa Wilkerson
    February 6, 2019 3:18 pm

    To my friend David Lankford & Family I am truly sorry for the loss of your Father. I know he will be greatly missed! Prayers to you all at this difficult time. Love, Melissa Wilkerson (NC)

  5. Eddie and Barbara Breeden New Johnsonville, TN
    February 6, 2019 8:26 pm

    We were so sorry to hear of Sterling’s death. We have just become acquainted with him during the past few years when he would come with his sister Sarah and his friend Ruby to the Tribble School Reunion in Waverly. Tribble was an old school which closed for good in 1956, but many of the older people who graduated there in the early years look forward to getting together each year. Sterling was always pleasant to talk to and had lots of memories to share. Wish we could come to the funeral, but we won’t be able to come. Your family will be in our thoughts and prayers tomorrow and in the days to follow.

  6. Mike Sherrod
    February 7, 2019 4:21 pm

    My thoughts and prayers of comfort are now with his family. I am so sorry I couldn’t be there in person… but my thoughts have been about him since hearing the sad news. Uncle Sterling was always nice to me. Though not being raised around him and the rest of the family.. I was always treated very kind. My heart is saddened but also grateful for having known him. R.I.P Uncle Sterling…

  7. Janet Montoya
    February 8, 2019 4:44 pm

    To D
    To David Lankford & Family, I am very sorry for the loss of your Father. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Janet

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