John David Sanford, 88, passed away from natural causes, Dec. 20, 2022, at Homelake Veterans Center, Monte Vista, Colo., with family members in attendance. He was born in Fort Worth, Texas, on April 25, 1934.
John, who was known and called by his middle name, David, grew up in Taos, N.M., where he enjoyed the Taos lifestyle with his family and friends. During those years, Taos was considered the Wild West which suited David extremely well. He recalled many adventures and loved to tell stories of riding horses (especially his horse Kick-a-poo) in town, at work, or while exploring the New Mexico wilderness.
John David thrived due to the watchful guidance of his God-fearing parents. His mother, Mary Lou Thomas Sanford, was a local artist and homemaker. His father, William Evan Sanford, was an entrepreneur managing or owning different small businesses in Taos. With their combined minds of creativity and logical thinking, John had the best of both worlds.
After graduating from Taos High School in 1952, the Korean War which started in 1950 was still going on. John’s father and grandfather fought in the World Wars. John enlisted in the US Air Force. He was sent to Clark Air Force Base located on the island of Luzon outside of Manila, Philippines in April 1953. While stationed there, he met Fabiola Ablong. “Vi” was her nickname. They married and promptly had three daughters. He was honorably discharged in 1958.
The family moved back to the US to Las Cruces, N.M. He enrolled at New Mexico State University on the GI Bill and graduated 3 years later with a BS in Agriculture and Animal Husbandry in spring of 1961. He was determined to get going with life.
John moved his family to Alamosa. His long-term goal was to create a cow/calf/hay operation. The first property the family moved to was located east of Alamosa in which this goal was not realized. The second property was located south-west of Alamosa in the Waverly District. John purchased this land where he set up his ranching operation. John also taught 7th and 9th grade science classes in the Monte Vista School system. He taught for 13 years.
In 1968, another daughter was born. This daughter was 10½ years younger than her next older sister. She was a nice surprise!
John made changes in his professional life. He quit teaching and went into real estate sales. He then started working for Hesston Corporation managing farm equipment stores. John, Fabiola, and their youngest daughter, Susan May, moved to Idaho, and then they moved to Nebraska. After Hesston was bought by Fiat; John was out of a job. He and the family moved back to Alamosa and after a time, they moved to Cortez, Colo., to manage a John Deere store and then out to California for real estate sales.
Preceding John in death was his wife Fabiola, father William, mother Mary Lou, sister Patsy, brother Bill, and his youngest daughter Susan May McCreery.
John is survived by his children, Mary Jean (Pete) Stewart of Van Nuys Calif., Janis Sanford-Deacon of Cheyenne, Wyo., Terrie Anne (Scott) Lenzini-Russell of Alamosa, Colo. His grandchildren Willy (Wendy) Bone of Cheyenne, Wyo., Shawna (Bear) Magness of Cheyenne, Wyo., Tyler (Alex) Magness of Del Norte, Colo., Evan (April) Lenzini of Salida, Colo., Christina (Will) Lenzini-Mace of Lyons, Colo., Sam (Liv) McCreery of Loveland, Colo., Dan (Madi) of Greeley, Colo., and Hannah McCreery of Loveland, Colo. There are seven great-grandchildren.
John has touched many lives along his way. Please accept an invitation to bring your memories and join the family and friends for his Celebration of Life Memorial Service and Party.
John D. Sanford Celebration of Life Memorial schedule:
Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023
1:30 p.m. – Service – Homelake Veterans Center Chapel, 3749 Sherman Ave., Monte Vista, CO 81144
2:30 p.m. – Graveside – Homelake Cemetery, immediately after the service (Dress warm)
3:30 p.m. – Celebration of Life Party – OutCalt Conference and Event at SLV Ski Hi Complex (doors to the east), 2389 Sherman Ave., Monte Vista, CO. It’s a party with food and music!