Frank was born January 11, 1926, in Wirt, Minn. to Jay and Vivian (Adams) Sanford. He was the eighth of twelve children. All his siblings predeceased him. He spent his early years in various communities in Northern Minnesota.
At the age of 18 in January 1944, Frank joined the Navy finishing his military service October 1948. He saw action in the South Pacific while serving on USS Suwannee, an aircraft carrier, and the USS Hollister, a destroyer.
While home on leave in 1947, Frank met and courted a red haired young lady named Leona Kelley. Six weeks later they tied the knot and last December 30 they celebrated 67 years of marriage.
In 1954 Frank moved his family to Montana, settling in the Thompson Falls area where they lived off and on for many years while he worked on the Harlow Ranch and later Reller’s/Louisiana Pacific Mill in Trout Creek. During those times away from Thompson Falls they lived in Florida, Minnesota again and Utah, moving back to Sanders County and settling in Plains in 1992, with a final move to Kalispell in 2007.
Frank is survived by his loving wife, Leona Kelley Sanford; his children, Michael and Pamela Sanford of Plains, Katherine Mathers of Plains; Jennifer and Lonnie Stevens of Denver, Colo., Timothy Sanford of Kalispell, Daniel Sanford of Kalispell, Jessica Lenz of Kalispell; grandchildren, Tracy, Shawn (Becky), Pamela, Vincent (Deborah) and Scott (Samantha) Sanford of Plains, Elizabeth (Brad) Kramer, Zack (April) Mathers and Aletheia (Ben) DaGiau of Plains, Arthur (Ruth), Spenser and Marty Stevens of Denver, Colo., Nik and Erik Lenz of Kalispell; numerous great-grandchildren and several great-great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service was held at Canvas Church in Kalispell Saturday, June 6, 2015.
Frank loved the Lord and he was a good and faithful servant. He will be sorely missed by his family and friends.