Delbert Ray Sanford, 81, a Montana gentleman, a jet pilot, a carpenter, a jack of all trades, a family man, passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, in Sandpoint, Idaho.
A celebration of his life will be held this summer in Sagle, Idaho. Interment will be held at the Washington State Veteran’s Cemetery in Medical Lake, Wash.
Del was born on Feb. 12, 1937, in Baker, Mont., to Roger and Nellie Sanford. He grew up and attended schools in Kalispell. Del served in the United States Navy as a pilot early in the Vietnam War. Del married Rita Sanford in 1955. Del worked for Lockheed as an engineer in Cali-fornia. He worked on the Hubble telescope and is said to have lost a wedding ring on a rocket headed for space.
Del later married Rhoda Mayo in March 1984 in Reno, Nev. They lived in San Jose, Calif., and later in England for three years. Del retired in 1993 and moved to Laclede, Idaho.
He was a member of the American Legion and enjoyed playing golf on the Elk’s Men’s League. Throughout his life he enjoyed skiing, hunting and playing racquetball.
Del is survived by his wife, Rhoda Sanford of Sagle; five children, Connie (Steve) Mathis of Sherwood, Ore., Susan (Rick) Ishibashi of Yuba City, Calif., Sylvia Taylor of Priest River, Idaho, Roger Sanford of San Jose, and Rae Sanford of Yuba City; two stepdaughters, Jenny Lopresto of Sagle and Desiree Aquirre of Sagle; nine grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Harry Sanford; an infant sister; a grandson, Niko Aquirre; and stepson, Rex Mayo.
Lakeview Funeral Home in Sandpoint is handling the arrangements. Please visit Del’s online memorial at lakeviewfuneral.com and sign his guest book.