Fred Eugene Sanford, 65, retired Oklahoma Game Warden and Vietnam veteran, left this world and stepped into Glory on Thursday, Oct. 18.
Sanford was born at rural Barnsdall on April 28, 1947, to Lumus Elbert Sanford and Gracie Mae Hickinbotham Sanford. He was reared and educated in Barnsdall and graduated from Barnsdall High School with the class of 1965.
He attended OSU Technical School in Okmulgee and joined the United States Air Force
in 1967. He trained as a navigation equipment repairman and served at Lackland AFB in TX, Keesler AFB in MS, Holloman AFB in NM, Clark AB, Philippines, and Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam.
He was honorably discharged in 1970 and went to work at Petrolite in Barnsdall. A passionate lifetime hunter and fisherman, he was employed as a Game Warden in Garfield County in 1973 by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
He transferred to Nowata County and was married to Stevana Stevenson Legg on Dec. 26, 1977, in Barnsdall. In 1990 he transferred to Osage County, later adding Washington County to his assigned territory. He and his wife moved to Bartlesville in 2001 and he retired from his "dream job" in 2003.
Fred loved to teach kids how to hunt and fish, teaching numerous hunter safety classes and conducting fishing clinics in the Barnsdall area. Most of the hills in this part of the country have his footprints on them. He was also known for his good manners, wit and charm and his unique "Freddie-isms." Fred greatly enjoyed his many hunting and fishing trips to Colorado, Wyoming, Kentucky and Missouri with his game warden brothers.
He was a member of Bartlesville Southern Baptist Church, Bernie & Dexter's Bunch Sunday School Class, the American Legion, NRA, Oklahoma Game Wardens Association, and the North American Wildlife Enforcement Officers Association.
He is survived by his wife of the home, Stevana, one son, Bradley of Houston, TX, one daughter, Lisa Boggs and husband Dwayne of rural Ramona, his mother, Gracie Sanford of Barnsdall, two brothers, John Sanford and wife Lori of Brunswick, GA, and Terry Sanford of Barnsdall, one sister, Mary Mason of Barnsdall, one grandson, Cody Boggs and wife Vickie of Superior, CO, one granddaughter, Stefanie Boggs Stoops and husband Zakk of Collinsville, two great-grandchildren, Ethan and Elise Boggs, his aunt, Dora Davis of Nowata, and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and many friends.
He was preceded in death by his father, Lumus Sanford.
A celebration of his life will be held at Bartlesville Southern Baptist Church at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, under the direction of Stumpff Funeral Home. A greeting time will follow in the Fellowship Hall. In lieu of flowers, donation may be made to the Bartlesville Southern Baptist Church Building Fund. 5111 S.E. Nowata Road, Bartlesville, Oklahoma 74006.
Friends who wish may sign the online guest book and leave condolences at www.stumpff.org.