Wade Sanders, known by so many as the “Cowtown Wine Dude”, passed away April 14, 2020 in Dallas, Texas.
Wade is survived by his wife of 20 years, Anne Sanders; his children, Dallas (20) and Lawson (16); parents, Nick and Lynda Sanders, and adoring nieces, nephews and cousins. He will be missed by many friends and family that love him.
Wade Lawson Sanders was born January 11, 1972 in Arlington, Texas. He was named after Nick’s grandfather, Lawson Coulson, who was the first pharmacist in Corsicana, which he was very proud of. Wade’s thirst for knowledge began at a very young age as he soaked in all that was taught to him by his parents as they learned quickly that nothing seemed to go over his head and his always playful personality earned him the nickname of “Tater”. He attended Dallas Christian from his elementary years through graduation where he and his lifelong friends made countless memories through football, theatre, and plain ol’ goofing around. Wade’s love of music also began at a young age as he picked up drumsticks at the age of 4 years old where he learned he was naturally talented at music too. He attended Graceland College in Lamoni, Iowa for two years, where he learned how to play the guitar alongside one of his best friends and roommate. He returned to Texas to complete his degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management at the University of Houston and continued to learn and enhance his love of music by attending as many live shows as possible and being heavily influenced by his favorite artists; Stevie Ray Vaughan and Doyle Bramhall. He learned quickly that he chose the right career path for himself as he began working at Semolina Pasta Bar restaurant in Houston that allowed him to utilize his “gift of gab” and ability to sell anything to anyone through his dynamic delivery. He then worked for Reata Restaurant in Fort Worth for a short time before being promoted to General Manager at the Alpine location. It is there that he fell in love with Anne, as well as the beautiful landscape and personality of West Texas. Wade and Anne moved to Fort Worth in 1999, where they got married and had their daughter, Dallas. He was an impactful presence in March of 2000 at Reata when the devastating tornado hit downtown Fort Worth as he assisted over 400 guests and employees down 35 floors of the Bank One Tower to safety; afterwards, he always boasted that his new nickname should be “Tornado Tater”. He continued working in the restaurant industry honing his skills as a chef and wine expert for the following years in the DFW area as he and Anne completed their family by having their son, Lawson in 2003. In 2006, he began working in the wine industry to begin a new career path that filled his need to always learn more and was sure to pass on the knowledge with so many others in the industry in his magnanimous way. It was then that he became known as the “Cowtown Wine Dude” with a generous spirit that loved everyone he served for their differences and had an approachable and quirky style; he worked hard to never let anyone down from late night questions, last minute orders, or assistance with charity events.
As much as Wade loved his career and friends, nothing would touch the love for his kids and wife. He showed his pride of both sides of his family and love for Texas by continuing the legacy of naming both of his kids after beloved family members. He shared his passion for soccer with Dallas; love of music with Lawson; belief in Anne’s strength and work ethic before she knew what she was capable of; and his ability to make others laugh with each of them. He made sure to incorporate the importance of learning, accepting others, and holding onto the little things that REALLY matter into their daily life as they grew up. He made a difference at every one of the kids’ practices and sporting events he attended by influencing not only his children but many of their friends and parents with his passionate and one-of-a-kind jokester personality. He was Dallas and Lawson’s biggest cheerleader and motivator; being sure to not always focus on their successes but more on how proud he was of the attempts they made to try new things or stand up for others, often quoting a Billy Joe Shaver song, “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.” His pride in Dallas and Lawson and the people they have become was boastful and unwavering.
Wade’s name is carved on our hearts, not a tombstone. His legacy is etched into the minds of friends and revealed in the stories we share about him. Travel on “dude”, you will always be with us and will never be forgotten.
Due to current limitations on large gatherings, the family has decided to postpone service plans until we are all able to be together to truly celebrate Wade in the way he deserves.
In lieu of flowers, the Sanders’ Family College Fund has been set up in Wade’s honor. If you would like to donate, please make checks payable to “College America” with the memo “Sanders College Fund” and mail all checks to Joe Jenkins Insurance, c/o Sanders College Fund, 1475 Heritage Parkway, Suite 325, Mansfield, Texas 76063