Albert John SanfordJanuary 17, 1925 ~ August 3, 2017 (age 92)
Albert John Sanford of Casper, Wyoming died August 3, 2017. He was born on January 17, 1925 to Albert E. and Elizabeth (Ferko) Sanford in his Grandmother's log cabin in South Blaine County, Montana with his Grandma as the midwife. He and sister Leona were raised on a ranch attending a one room school house through the 8th grade. Albert then moved 60 miles to Big Sandy, which was the closest town, and lived in the school dormitories working as a janitor's assistant and school librarian which paid half of his board and room. He graduated from Big Sandy High School in 1942. He worked on a local ranch for one year before joining the U.S. Navy where he served as a Navy Sea Bee in World War II stationed in the Philippines, North China and Guam. He was honorably discharged in 1946 and later served in the U.S. Army National Guard as a Tank Commander. He returned to ranching for another four years then started his career as a heavy equipment operator in Havre, MT. In 1953, he began his remarkable career in producing and drilling. His work in the oil industry included promotions and transfers to Chinook, Cut Bank, Roundup, Montana and then Casper, Wyoming where he retired in 1986 as Texaco District Manager for the Rocky Mountain Region. Al married Betty Jean Dunbar in 1955. They would have celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary September 4, 2017. They had a son Robert, twin daughters--Kathy and Karen and son Mark. Albert never knew a stranger, always saw the good in others and when asked how he was doing would respond, "I am so good I can hardly stand it." Al was an avid sportsman and athlete. He boxed and played competitive baseball in the Great Northern League in Montana. Al was also an avid hunter, fisherman, competitive archer and golfer. While golfing in an American Petroleum Institute tournament in Rock Springs, Wyoming, he shot a Hole in One. More than his own sports, Albert enjoyed coaching, teaching and mentoring his own children in their sports. He was a dedicated follower of the Natrona County High School sports paying close attention to the NCHS wrestling and track and field programs. In later years, Al and Betty supported their grandchildren in their many sporting events deriving much joy from the family time together.
Al was a devoted Christian serving as an Elder, Deacon, and Treasurer of the First Presbyterian Church Endowment Fund. He was an Elder in all three of the churches he was a member of. Albert had a love for all people and was a true example of a servant for the Lord. He led by example and finished his Eldership at 90 years old.
Al and Betty were members of the Black Sheep Square Dance Club. They attended many square dances throughout the western states. Upon retirement, they spent 24 winters in Arizona as well as spending a great deal of their free time visiting their children and grandchildren traveling to Montana, Colorado and Virginia several times a year. Al served for 25 years volunteering as a Mended Hearts visitor meeting with patients and families who had a loved one facing heart related issues. Al served for many years as a greeter at the Information Desk of the hospital--relinquishing that volunteer service at 90 years old. Al also volunteered with Habitat for Humanity.
Although one would say he gave tremendously to others, Al would say he was the one who benefited more out of the conversations and friendships he shared. Al is a lifetime member of the Masonic Lodge, Elks Lodge, American Legion and Fraternal Order of Eagles.
Al is preceded in death by his parents, beloved wife Betty Jean and son Robert. He is survived by his daughter Kathy Thomas (Pat), daughter Karen Gall (Dan), son Mark Sanford (Heather) and daughter-in-law Suzee Sanford. Grandchildren, Tyler (Chelsie Klone), Ian (Maddy Utecht) and Elizabeth Sanford, Katelynn Dugan (Andy), Karalee and Craig Thomas, Carter and Hayden Gall, Grace, Torrey and Bennett Sanford and great-granddaughter Parker Ann Sanford. Also survived by sister, Leona Gilmore, sister-in-law Judy Dunbar; and brother-in-law Leonard Ehlang as well as many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Casper, WY. Visitation will be from 12:00 p.m. until time of service. Burial will take place at the Alice Nash Memorial Cemetery, south of Chinook, Montana on Friday, August 18, 2017 following the viewing at 10:30 a.m. and funeral service and reception at 11:00 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Chinook, Montana.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to First Presbyterian Church at 804 S. Wolcott Casper, WY 82601, Mended Hearts Association 2625 E. 6th Casper, WY 82609 or a charity of the donor’s choice. Bustard’s Funeral Home is assisting the family in Wyoming and Edward’s Funeral Home in Montana.
First Presbyterian Church
804 S. Wolcott, Casper WY 82604
Mended Heart Association
2625 E. 6th, Casper WY 82609