James Sterling Sanford, 91, beloved husband of Marian Lee Doepken Sanford, passed away on May 19 at his home. He was born on May 27, 1929, in Detroit Michigan to Sterling Skillman Sanford and Marcelline Hemingway Sanford. He is preceded in death by his siblings, Carol Hemingway Coolidge and John Edmonds Sanford. He is survived by his wife and his children, Katherine Sanford, Mark (Amy) Sanford and Jeffrey (Margitta) Sanford and his grandchildren, Justin Koenigsknecht, Sean McCormick, Madison McCormick, Blake Sanford, Bradley (Bethany) Sanford, Bridget Sanford, Christopher Sanford and Caroline Sanford.
Jim graduated from Grosse Pointe High School and attended Alma College for 3 years and joined the Navy in 1951. He served on the USS Essex aircraft carrier as an avionics electrician during the Korean War. After his tour of duty he returned to Alma College for his fourth year. He returned to the Detroit area and worked for Chrysler Missile and General Motors – Chevrolet Division, retiring from GM in 1992 as a Quality Control Engineer after 30 years of service.
Jim spent every summer of his life, except the one year he was in the South Pacific, at his family’s cottage, making a final move to the property in 1999 with his wife Marian. He had a love for sailing, choir, barber shop, acting, and loved telling stories and sharing his passions with his family. Wherever he went, he became a valued member of the community engaging with the Detroit Economic Club, Witenagemot Society, The Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park, Senior Men Club of Grosse Pointe, The Players, Crescent Sail Yacht Club, and the First Presbyterian Church of Harbor Springs. He also enjoyed volunteering at Manna, Women’s Resource Center, Brother Dan’s, and took on leadership roles as a board member to the Michigan Hemingway Society and the Friendship Centers of Emmet County.
With Jim’s love for his community, those wishing to make a charitable donation in his memory are asked to consider the Friendship center of Emmet County or the First Presbyterian Church of Harbor Springs.
There will be a private family service for Jim.
Arrangements are in the care of Stone Funeral Home, Inc.
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