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James L. Sanderlin

REEDVILLE—James Linwood “Jim” Sanderlin, 80, of Reedville passed away peacefully on January 25, 2022.

He is survived by his wife, Dixie Sanderlin; children, Meredith Thrower, Elaine Ryan (Sean) and Barry Sanderlin (Kate); grandchildren, John, George, Teddy and Henry; sister, Marie Allen; and niece, Eleanor Allen.

Jim was the son of Elsie and Linwood Sanderlin, and grew up in Portsmouth, where he graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School. In 1963, he received his undergraduate degree from Randolph-Macon College, graduating second in his class, where he would later serve on the Board of Trustees for many years.

Jim attended law school at the University of Virginia, where he was on Law Review, graduating in 1966.

After starting his legal career in Norfolk, in 1969, Jim moved to Richmond to work as an associate for McGuire, Woods & Battle, now McGuireWoods. Jim spent 30 years at McGuireWoods as a civil litigator before joining Dominion Energy as senior vice president of law in 1999. An ardent and skilled advocate, Jim was passionate about the practice of law and had an impact on the careers of many lawyers at McGuireWoods and later at Dominion Energy.

Following a brief return to McGuireWoods, where he overlapped with his two daughters, Jim retired at the river after more than 40 years of practicing law. There Jim met his loving wife, Dixie, at Light of Christ Anglican Church, where they married in 2016 and remained devoted members.

Jim was known for his love of the holidays, especially Christmas and Halloween, and could be counted on for his warm and gracious hospitality. Inspired by his father’s work on the railroad, Jim had a lifelong love of trains, building elaborate model train displays for his grandsons, who called him Papa, and others to enjoy.

He always had one or more four-legged companions, most recently his beloved mini golden doodle, Gabby. Jim also loved being on the water, enjoying quiet time at his home in Duck, North Carolina, and on the Great Wicomico River. 

Jim will be remembered most for his love of family and friends, his sharp wit, and his joyful and generous spirit. 

A celebration of Jim’s life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, February 12, at Light of Christ Anglican Church in Heathsville.



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