Riverside Funeral Home of Albuquerque - Albuquerque
225 San Mateo NE
Albuquerque, NM 87108
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Donna A. Sanford

1956 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Donna A. Sanford Obituary
Sanford, Donna A.

Our beloved daughter, sister, mother, and grandmother, Donna Anne Sanford left her earthly body at age 59. The Lord took her home on Thursday, April 21, 2016. Donna suffered several strokes over the last two months. She fought bravely until she could endure no more.

Donna was born on November 12, 1956 in Albuquerque, NM. Her mother, Alicia Ortiz was originally from Santa Fe, NM. Her father Don Eiland was from Birmingham, Alabama. She married the love of her life - Don Sanford, who she met in Oceanside, California. Family meant everything to Donna and she showed it by the unconditional love she gave her two daughters, Jessica and Nicole. Donna's greatest happiness came from her four grandchildren - Donny, Allan, Alicia, and Aidan. She taught them how to live each day to the fullest, how to have fun, how to love, and how to forgive. She also taught them practical things like how to cook and manage money!

Donna was a scholar as well as a New Mexico History expert. She had a deep love for Billy the Kid and could tell you anything about him. She was immensely proud of being from New Mexico because of its rich culture. She worked at PNM for 30 years where she made many lifelong friends. Her most recent position as a manager in PNM's asset department allowed her to travel the country with a group called NJUNS. Her intelligence, wit, and outgoing personality gained her dear friendships from coast to coast. Donna was an advocate for equal rights for all. She strived to empower women in the workplace and beyond. Donna volunteered with YWCA mentoring young women who were incarcerated. She hoped to see our first female president elected this year. She was a strong Catholic and Democrat, always supporting those who care for the less fortunate. She loved music from the era in which she grew up, especially Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, and Stevie Wonder. She was like a second mom to many of her daughters' friends. There are so many people whose lives she touched with her positive and loving light. She preached and practiced kindness and peace.

Donna is survived by the following family members from Albuquerque: her daughter and son in law - Jessica Sanford Lopez and Arthur J. Lopez; her daughter - Nicole Sanford; her grandchildren - Donny Lopez, age 15; Allan Sanford, age 11; Alicia Lopez, age 11; and Aidan Sanford, age five; her mother Alicia Ortiz Eiland; her brother Stephen A. Eiland; best friend Corinne Davis and daughter Heather; her uncle Rudy Ortiz and aunt Vanna Ortiz; her first cousins Marlisa and Ray Gomez, Mark Ortiz, Martin Ortiz, Marquita Ortiz, Alexis Ortiz, and Elena Ortiz; her loving Santa Fe family includes her aunt Eleanor "Betty Lou" and husband Phil Bove, uncle Eli Gonzales, and aunt Eleanor Ortiz; her first cousins Miche Bove, Matthew Bove and wife Randy, Richard Gonzales and his partner Sheree, Greg and Joyce Gonzales, Miquela Ortiz Sena and husband Tom; uncle Jerry Ortiz and wife Glenda from Pueblo; cousin David Gonzales and wife Shirley from San Antonio; aunt Chris Ortiz and cousin Tina Ortiz from Denver; uncles Tom Eiland, Joe Eiland and Joe's wife Shirley from Mobile, Alabama; uncle John Eiland from Clanton, Alabama, and sister in law Robin Sanford and her son Ryan from Oceanside, California.

Donna was predeceased by her wonderful husband and soul mate, Donald A. Sanford; father, Don E. Eiland; parents-in-law, Raymond Sanford and Eleanor Roy of California; brother William Eiland; uncle Eddie Ortiz; uncle Patrick Ortiz; aunt Consuelo Gonzales, and family friend John Paul Davis.

Please join us to celebrate Donna's life. The rosary will be held at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, 4/27/2016 at Riverside Funeral Home - 225 San Mateo NE. The funeral will be held at 8:30am on Thursday, 4/28/2016 at Annunciation Parish - 2532 Vermont NE, followed by the burial at the historic Fairview Cemetery at 700 Yale SE. Friends and family are welcome and encouraged to return to Annunciation Parish after the burial for a reception so that we can laugh and cry with beautiful memories of our sweet Donna. After 23 years of waiting, Donna is now walking barefoot on the beach in Heaven with her dear husband, Don.
Published in Albuquerque Journal on Apr. 27, 2016
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