Irving Lawrence Sanford, Jr., 88, went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Tuesday, April 11, 2023, at his home in Midlothian, VA. We held his hands as he slipped away from us into eternity. He was the finest human being I ever knew. I was privileged to be his wife for thirty-eight years and my children were blessed to be loved by him; a love they returned.
Irving was born on February 24, 1935, in Petersburg, VA to Irving and Lucille Hudgins Sanford. He was predeceased by his parents, a sister, Jacquline Sanford, and my daughter, Mia Baggett Thompson.
Irving is survived by his wife, Barbara Sligh Sanford; his beloved son, Scott Gregory Sanford; and my children, T. J. Baggett (Erin) and Blair Baggett Ramsey (Danny). He also leaves nine grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.
Irving graduated from Petersburg High School where he was a quarterback on the football team and, in his words, a less-than-enthusiastic scholar. He attended VPI (VA Tech) for two years when, again, in his words, he ran out of money and good sense on the same weekend; thus becoming “Half a Hokie”. He loved Tech and devotedly followed all their sports programs. He attended his last Tech football game in 2022 at the age of 87. Irving proudly served in the United States Army, 7th Armored Division in Germany, Fliegerhorst Kaserne, Langendiebach. When thanked for his service, he invariably replied, “It was my pleasure”.
Irving was also proud of his 35-year career with the C&P Telephone Co., beginning as a lineman and retiring as a Field Engineering Supervisor. Whenever I attempted to “backseat drive” he reminded me that he had a 35-year safe driving certificate from the telephone company!
Irving was a member of All Saints Anglican Church in Pawleys Island, SC, where he lived for 16 years. Over his lifetime he gave tirelessly of himself to his family, churches, and communities, serving on C&P’s Pioneers and Community Relations teams and several civic organizations. He coached youth league football in Dinwiddie Co. and Enon. Any boy who did not have a ride to practices and games was picked up and returned home by Irving and his co-coach and treasured friend Tyler Scalone.
Irving was an avid golfer and made his first and only hole-in-one on the 17th at Pawleys Plantation in Pawleys Island, SC, at the age of 81.
He faithfully and hysterically read the “Obituaries”; his favorite was about a man “who never intentionally peed in the shower”.
We are sincerely grateful to Virginia and Desiree from Home Instead and to a professional, devoted Hospice team from Bon Secours. We cannot say enough good about his Veterans Affairs physicians, therapists, and all the wonderful people at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center. God bless you all for your loving care of our Irving. To Blair and Danny, we are forever indebted for our security, strength, and home.
Irving was a deeply good man, a devout Christian, a family man, and a friend. He was patient, loving, kind, forgiving and generous. His sense of humor and reputation as a true gentleman is legendary.
Irving wrote, “Seek not my body in the ground, for it is with the wind and sea and by His Grace, my soul rests in the House of the Lord forever”.