William “Bill” Dennis Sanford, Sr. age 93, a longtime resident of Troy, Alabama, passed away April 3, 2020, at home surrounded by loved ones. A family graveside service will be held Monday, April 6, 2020, at Green Hills Memorial Cemetery with Father Chris Boutin officiating and military honors to follow.
Mr. Sanford is survived by his wife of 69 years, Cornelia Kreis Sanford; son, William Dennis “Denny” Sanford, Jr. (Jill) of Troy; daughters, Cathy Brunson (Bill) of Troy, Denise “Dee” Kelley (Doug) of Vestavia Hills, Julie Rockett (John) of Fairhope, and Melissa Johnson (Chuck) of Troy; 11 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Louie Broach and Lola Gladys Brown Sanford; and six sisters.
Mr. Sanford, wearer of many hats, leaves quite a story for telling. At age 17, he enlisted in the United States Navy, just on the tail-end of World War II. He served proudly as a radio operator until 1948, then returned home to fulfill a promise made to his mother to graduate from Hueytown High School. He continued his studies, one year with Birmingham Southern University, a degree from Troy State Teachers College, and then on to receive a master’s degree in education from Auburn University. He also continued his military service, re-enlisting in the Army National Guard, where he was honorably discharged as Major in 1966. Mr. Sanford’s first love, professionally, was teaching. He was an educator at Troy High School for seven years and an adjunct professor with Troy State University for 11 years. Mr. Sanford was an accomplished athlete and sports enthusiast, playing football as a defensive back and quarterback for Troy State, an amateur fast-pitch softball player for a semi-professional league in Montgomery, and a reputable sports official, most notably for basketball. He also served as the first recreation director for the City of Troy’s winter and spring sports. With his growing family in mind, Mr. Sanford sought a new career, and for 35 years he served in the insurance business. In 1982, he and his son bought Farmers and Merchants Insurance Company, later changing the name to SanBuck Insurance. He was a distinguished member of the Troy Rotary Club, founding member of the Troy Exchange Club, and past president for both the Pike County Chamber of Commerce and the Troy Country Club. When he wasn’t serving his community, he could be found on the ground golfing, in the sky flying, or penning his next book. His tales were plenty, his swing fierce, and now, his wings, never better.
The family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks and appreciation to caregivers, Ethel Brundidge, Lillie May, Annette Brundidge, Canesha “Money” Whatley, and Gloria Stark. Also, to the staff of Encompass Hospice, with special thanks to Ali Doan.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his honor to a favorite charity of choice. Friends and family can sign the guestbook online at greenhillsfuneralhome.net. The staff of Green Hills Funeral Home is honored to serve the Sanford family.