First Responders 08

John E. Sanford

October 29, 1948 ~ March 7, 2020 (age 71)


John E. Sanford of Marshall died on Saturday, March 7, 2020 at the age of 71 following a long illness.  He was at home surrounded by his family.

John was born on October 29, 1948 in Coldwater and graduated from Tekonsha Schools.  John joined the United States Army in 1967 and served during the Vietnam Conflict.  He was honorably discharged in 1969.  On July 14, 1979, he married Patricia A. Power in Battle Creek.

John was a Sheriff’s Deputy for the Calhoun County Sheriff Department for over thirty years. He most enjoyed the outdoors and had a passion for hunting and fishing.  John also enjoyed woodworking, classic muscle cars, and westerns.  He loved his dogs and was a proud and loving grandfather.

He is survived by his wife Patricia; children, Brian (Vera) Sanford, Kari (Richard) Barnes, and Krysten (Andrew) Swihart; and grandchildren, Samuel and Sophia Barnes and Andy and Maeve Swihart.

A private service will take place for immediate family.  Memorial contributions in John’s memory are requested to Oaklawn Hospice or the VA of Battle Creek.  Assistance with memorials is available at the Kempf Family Funeral and Cremation Services.  Leave a personal message for the family and sign the online guestbook at

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