OBITUARY: Betty Sanders Haynes


Betty Sanders Haynes, a cherished mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother passed away peacefully on Friday, June 28, 2024.

Born on September 20, 1940 to James and Clara Sanders she was the eldest of four children.

She was a natural born leader and practiced her skills on her siblings at an early age. Betty was born and raised in Columbia. She graduated from Central High in 1958 and in 1960 married Jerry Haynes who she met on a blind date. They moved to Huntsville, Alabama where they reared two sons; Jerry Phillip Jr. and Paul “Tony” Anthony. They returned to Nashville in 1973 and shortly after Betty began her career in public service.

Her career began in the Parks Department then went on to work for (then) Speaker of the House, Ned Ray McWherter in the Tennessee State Legislature. Betty followed Governor Ned Ray McWherter to the Capital where her dedication to excellence earned her widespread respect among her peers. During his second term, she became the Chief Administrative Officer for the State of Tennessee until her retirement in 1995.

An avid traveler and gardener, Betty found joy working in her flowerbeds. She loved watching Law and Order, always had at least one book on her nightstand, relished a good cup of coffee at her kitchen table, and was a connoisseur of tiramisu and good chocolates.

Along with her parents, she is preceded in death by her husband Jerry Haynes. Betty is survived by her children, Jerry Haynes, Jr., Tony Haynes (Leighanne); grandchildren Cole Haynes (Holly), Alex Scott (Wesley), Mike Haynes (Ellie), Ashley Haynes; great-grandchildren Harper Haynes, Bryce Scott; as well as siblings Joann Seagraves, Jimmy Sanders, and Wayne Sanders.

Her wisdom, sage advice, and quiet leadership; that could command any room, will be remembered and cherished by all who knew her.

A memorial service will be conducted Friday, July 12, 2024 at 12:00 PM at Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home. The family will visit with friends on Friday from 10:00 AM till 12:00 PM.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be made in Betty’s honor to Disabled American Veterans at or to Shriners Children’s at

Condolences may be extended online at

Rest in peace, dear Betty. Your light continues to shine brightly, inspiring all who had the privilege of knowing you. Your legacy lives on in the countless lives you have touched with your kindness and loyalty.


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