James Sasse

Hamilton County

James Howard Sasse passed away Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012.A native of Henderson, Ky., he was the son of John Gottlieb Sasse and Ollie Mae Loney Sasse. Jim was a high school football and track star and played in his senior year as an end in the Shiners All Star Game in Lexington Kentucky in 1941. He attended the University of Chattanooga on a football scholarship and also appeared in the first production of the newly formed Chattanooga Opera Co. before enlisting in the Navy where he served during World War II in the Navy Air Corps as a radio man on missions in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean.After the war Jim returned to Chattanooga and graduated from UC with a degree in music. For many years he was a featured tenor with opera companies across the country. He won a national singing competition in 1955 and appeared that year with the New Orleans Opera Co. singing the role of Pinkerton in "Madame Butterfly." He continued to perform lead opera roles into the 1980s.In 1951 he married the former Carolyn Louise Murphy and they had four children, Stephen Anthony (Sonia) Sasse, James Everett (Susan) Sasse, Carl David (Chris) Sasse and Sharon Louise Sasse.For 67 years Jim was the tenor soloist and choir member at First Presbyterian Church. He also sang as a quartet member at Mizpah Congregation for 38 years. He treasured his choir family and the many friends he made at Mizpah. Jim retired after 32 years from the Mapping Services division of TVA.After the death of his beloved first wife, he met and married Molly Teague Sasse and became a wonderful stepfather to David and Mary Kathryn Teague Coulter (Thomas). Jim and Molly enjoyed many happy years together traveling and singing together in Choral Arts and the Smoky Mountain Chorale with which they toured Europe three times.Jim loved his midday visits to the downtown YMCA and was a faithful fan of the Kentucky Wildcats. He especially loved to talk about basketball and the SEC.He is survived by his children, stepchildren and grandchildren, Nathan (Julie) Sasse, Rebekah Sasse, John Sasse, Elizabeth Sasse and Sarah Sasse.Visit www.heritagefh.com to share words of comfort to the family and view the memorial tribute.Memorial contributions may be made to the music program at First Presbyterian Church or to a favorite charity. The family also wishes to thank the nurses and hospice staff at Memorial Hospital.Funeral services will be held at First Presbyterian Church at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012.Burial will follow at Forest Hills Cemetery.The family will receive friends from 5-7 p.m. today, Dec.11, 2012, at the funeral home and from 2-3 p.m. Wednesday at the church.Arrangements by Heritage Funeral Home and Cremation Services, East Brainerd Road.

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