W.W. Sterling, Jr., 92, formerly of Union City, passed away Saturday, February 23, 2019, at the Johnson City Medical Center. Mr. Sterling spent the last three years as a resident of the Community Living Center at the V.A. in Mountain Home, TN.
Mr. Sterling was a native of Obion County, a former resident of Martin and Union City, and had been a resident of Johnson City for the past five years. He was a son of the late Wilburn and Lewis Emma Cannon Sterling.
W.W., a U.S. Navy veteran, served in World War II aboard the U.S.S. Muir, a destroyer escort which was part of a small group of ships specifically assigned to seek out and capture or destroy German U boats. Mr. Sterling was discharged in Savannah, GA following the end of the war, where he met and married Frances Elizabeth McGee. After a few years in Savannah, he and his young family returned to his home in Union City where he worked in the retail furniture business for over forty-five years. He ended his career there as owner and President of Sterling Furniture, Inc.
W.W. was a member of First United Methodist Church in Union City, a member and Past-President of the Union City Rotary Club where he was recognized with the distinction of being named a Paul Harris Fellow. Mr. Sterling was a former member and President of the Union City Retail Merchants Association and former member and Vice-President of the Tennessee Retail Merchants Association. He was a proud, longtime supporter of Little League baseball, always sponsoring a team. He loved big game hunting in Colorado and spent most every weekend at the Sterling family lake house on Kentucky Lake in Big Sandy. Much of his time in Big Sandy was spent helping the needy people living in the area.
W.W. instilled an extremely deep work ethic in his children at an early age and made sure they each had “faith in oneself”, but more importantly, God.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his first wife and mother of their three children, Frances Elizabeth McGee Sterling, Savannah, GA, his second wife, Mamie Ruth Scates Sterling, Martin, TN, his brother, Kenneth Ray Sterling, his sisters, Virginia Roney and Wanda Fay Hamblen, all of West Tennessee.
Mr. Sterling is survived by his three children, Thomas W. Sterling (Jayne LaFont), Pittsburgh, PA, Kimball M. Sterling (Victoria Salley), Johnson City, and Jill Sterling Howell, Thompson’s Station; six grandchildren, Tess Lickerman, T.L. Sterling, Bobbie Elizabeth Sterling, Emma Victoria Sterling, Caroline Howell, and Katie Sterling; six great-grandchildren, Alex Williams, Madison Sterling, Abigail Sterling, Scott Lickerman, Leo & Apolo Sterling-Dube (the twins?); three step-grandchildren, Heather Wright, Melissa Williams and Chris Howell; seven step-great-grandchildren, Howell & Betsy Hart Wright, Eliza & Davis Williams, Cooper, Deacon & Henry Howell; several nieces & nephews; special friends, Gil (Santa Claus) & Lori Kiper.
The graveside funeral service will be conducted Friday, March 1, 2019, at 2:30 P.M., in Mountain Home National Cemetery, with Dr. Michael Oaks, officiating. Military honors will be accorded by members of the Navy Funeral Honors Team and the Carter County Honor Guard. Active pallbearers will be family members. Honorary pallbearers are “all my friends, neighbors, and all my great customers from the past. I love them all”. Those planning to attend are to meet at the cemetery by 2:20 P.M.
The family requests that those who prefer to make memorial contributions in Mr. Sterling’s name, please do so to First United Methodist Church, 420 E. Main St., Union City, TN 38261.