DAVID WALTER SANFORD
June 12, 1954 – January 26, 2014
David Walter Sanford, 59, passed away suddenly Sunday, Jan. 26, at South Lyon Medical Center in Yerington.
David was born to Robert (Bob) and Martha Sanford on June 12, 1954 in Fallon, NV, and lived for a brief time in Tonopah, NV before the family made its home in Yerington. He attended local schools and was a graduate of Yerington High School with the Class of 1972. While in high school, he was an outstanding basketball and track athlete.
In 1972, David attended the University of Nevada-Reno where he majored in Journalism, graduating in four years with honors. He then returned to Yerington to join the family operation of the Mason Valley News: “The Only Newspaper In The World That Gives A Damn About Yerington”. He left the newspaper for a period of time to work with the Sierra Pacific Power Co. as an operator at the Ft. Churchill Power Station in Mason Valley.
He rejoined the Mason Valley News staff in 1989. David rose quickly through the ranks from sports reporter all the way to editor and eventually publisher.
It was at this time that he met and married Tamra Lawrence and they recently celebrated their 24th wedding anniversary. He became a stepfather to a daughter (Rachelle) and three sons (Larry, Boone and Shawn) instantly; and the couple later welcomed their son Zachary. They also adopted a young Russian girl, Irina.
David will be remembered by many youngsters from Yerington High School who played for him when he was the head girls varsity basketball coach – a calling that took him and his teams to four Nevada State Championships in the mid and late 80s. He later coached other youth sports teams and became active in the community as a board member for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Mason Valley, the Mason Valley Chamber of Commerce, a board member for the Nevada Press Association, served as a Lyon County School Trustee and on the Elders Board for the Yerington Vineyard Fellowship Church.
He and his older brother Jim purchased the MVN from their parents in 1998 and ran it as a partnership until a sale to the Reno Gazette-Journal/Gannet in March 2000.
“In the Nevada journalism community, we were all saddened to hear of David’s passing,” said Sherman R. Frederick, owner of Battle Born Media. “David contributed much to the fabric of life in Yerington and Nevada. He will be missed.”
David, Tamara, Zach and Irena moved to Reno for a time where Zach followed in his dad’s footsteps as an outstanding prep basketball player and top-notch pitcher for the Reno High School Huskies who captured the State Championship during his junior year. They followed their son’s endeavors all over and knew every other player on his teams and their parents.
The love that David had for his family, friends, and community was only exceeded by the love that he had for his Savior, Jesus Christ. His relationship with his Lord and the joy and peace he knew was evident to everyone who witnessed his new life. The family and friends he has left behind find great comfort knowing he is at peace in the presence of his Lord.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Bob and Martha Sanford, and several uncles, aunts and cousins.
David is survived by his wife Tamara of Yerington; son Zachary of Reno; stepchildren Rachelle (Paul) Kinsey and Larry (Sarah) Lawrence both of Carson City, Boone (Monica) Lawrence of Fallon and Shawn (Jessica) Lawrence of Houston, TX, and Irina of Pahrump; sister Janie (Ron)Braun of Murfeesboro, TN; brother Jim (Lisa) Sanford of Yerington; mother and father-in-law Betty and Jerry Perkins of Yerington; grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday, January 21, at the Yerington Vineyard Fellowship, 307 Broadway Ave., in Yerington, to be followed by a reception at the Catholic Center. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to Joseph’s Storehouse via the Vineyard Fellowship.
Family and friends are invited to sign and leave messages on his online guest book at www.FRFH.net; sympathy cards can be sent directly to his wife Tamra at 431 Silver Star Court in Yerington. Arrangements and cremation are under the direction of Freitas Rupracht Funeral Home, 25 Hwy 208 Yerington, Nevada 89447, (775) 463-2911.