Kelly Joseph Sanford - my father, my best friend, my pride, my mentor and my sanctuary, came as a precious gift to Ken and Jane Sanford on March 23, 1963 in Los Gatos, California.
On May 25, 2017 my dad passed away in my mom's loving and caring arms in our Boise home, surrounded by family members he loved dearly.
Kelly's life was taken away by the most silent and aggressive killer, brain cancer, which came as a shocking diagnosis on April 7 of last year, as mom and I rushed him to the ER in Singapore at 2 AM. I want to emphasize that my dad did not allow the disease to define who he was. He continued being his best self and living his life to the fullest. Even after a six hour surgery at the UCSF and a 42 day aggressive treatment plan in Boise, we all returned to Singapore. Dad eagerly returned to what he felt was one of the best teams he had ever built with talented engineers from Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, the Philippines and China.
After graduating from Chimacum High, dad attended Washington State University and graduated with Bachelor of Science in Material Science and Electrical Engineering in 1986. While attending college, he got up at 3 AM to get to the golf course where he mowed greens before going to classes, earning money to pay 50% of college tuition, and the other half was paid by his father, Captain Sanford. Dad repeatedly reminded me that there is no substitution for hard, honest work; this is how my dad lived everyday.
Dad's first engineering position out of college, was with Lockheed Martin. On December 27, 1988, Micron Technology accepted him into their small family, where he grew professionally and personally for nearly 30 years.
Dad was anything but ordinary - in 2001 he married my mom, half Russian half Korean in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. I am proud to say that I am being raised by the most amazing people in the most amazing family!
Dad was asked to take his professional expertise all over the world. Just in the last decade he flew almost 2 million miles globally. He completed several international assignments. There are two that are special to my heart. in 2003, Glasgow, Scotland is where I made my first steps with dad walking behind me holding my hands. He has walked behind me ever since supporting me in anything I wanted to do. He wanted me to be true to myself and have fun. His arms have always been the safest place on Earth - especially if mom got mad at me.
To his latest 3 - year assignment, dad embarked our family to Singapore where we shared unforgettable experiences. I was privileged to attend the Singapore American School with 3500 unique students from around the world. Last year, my football team won the championship with me as quarterback. Boy - was dad proud!!! I could hear him yell, "Go Alex!" louder than I could hear the announcer from the booth.
I am thankful and fortunate that my every quality, every success, and every journey reflect my dad's involvement, love and support. Whether it be personally or professionally, my dad's life purpose was to impact and influence people in most positive, encouraging and kind ways. Many consider him their mentor, coach, captain and most importantly their friend. Dad loved mountain biking and heavy metal, knew world history and geography. He was meticulously organized, had a great sense of humor, and could converse in Chinese, Japanese and Russian.
Dad's memorial ceremony was held at the Cloverdale Funeral Home on Tuesday, June 6 at 11 AM. A church mass will be held at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception located in Los Gatos, CA on Saturday, June 10 at 11 AM.
In accordance with dad's wishes, Madronia Cemetery in Saratoga, CA is becoming his final resting place on June 10.
A single life produces much radiance when that person follows his dreams and does what is right. The world is better for his having lived. We are better for having known him. Although our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of Kelly and although his life ended too soon, it was an incredible life complete in so many ways.
Kelly is survived by his wife Victoria, son Alex, sister Karen, brothers Bruce, Rob and Kevin and so many here and all over the world who called him friend. Kelly Sanford, Dad, be free.