Joseph Arnold Sanford

September  11th, 1935 March  13th, 2024
Kingston, WA
Joseph Arnold Sanford

"Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.' ”
John 11:25-26


Born on Sept. 11, 1935, Joseph Arnold Sanford was raised in Brim Creek, WA and attended Vader Elementary School where he met a girl that he initially teased and later fell in love with.  Joe married Faye on Oct. 23, 1953 and they recently celebrated their 70th Wedding Anniversary together.  They had 4 children, Joe(Cindy), Bill(Cindy), Kathy (Gary Blesie) and Mike (Shiela).  They have 16 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren and 1 great great grandchild with another on the way.  He left us on March 13th to join his daughter, Kathy, who proceeded him in death.  Joe joined the Seattle Police Department in 1959 and retired as a Sergeant in 1991.  Joe was then hired to develop the new Marshal's office for the Seattle Municipal Court system where he worked for an additional 6 years before finally retiring for good.   Joe and Faye found a piece of property in Kingston, WA in 1985 and build their dream home on it in 1988.

In lieu of flowers, you can make a donation to the Shriner's Children's Hospital.  Joe and Faye have supported this organization for decades.  It was very near and dear to him.  Website at



Memory wall

Post your condolences or share your Memories.

April 7, 2024
That was a lovely ceremony and celebration of life by the family for Joe Sanford. I worked for Joe and with him in Narcotics and Homicide. I called him Uncle Joe, while my partner Hank Gruber called him Papa Joe, both terms of endearment and respect. Joe ALWAYS had our backs.. He was always a friend and the best supervisor I worked for in the 26 years I spent at SPD. I remember him calling for a meeting with our squad. He started out by saying, "let's get this straight, you don't work for me, I work for you. You all know your jobs and what to do. I just want you to let me know what I can do to make your job easier". How refreshing his attitude was. Another thing that was impressive, on several occasions, I recall suspects handled by Joe, thanked him for treating them with respect. We all could always count on Joe. His families loss is shared by all of us who knew Joe. We will miss him, and never forget him. I also loved his sense of humor and the practical jokes..........
Rudy Sutlovich
March 30, 2024
Everyone loved Joe. My two sons grew up calling him “Uncle Joe”. After any years one of them asked me. “Is he really our Uncle?”
I worked for and with him for years. Learned how to be a Policeman from Joe. I will miss him. Condolences to the Sanford family

Dan and Linda Stokke
Green Valley, AZ
Dan Stokke
March 20, 2024
I will remember Joe Sanford, Sr. as a devoted family man who loved to tease people and who had a big heart.
While I was part of the family, he would drop by and invite me to go with him to Long Acres where he had some work to do. Then we would stop for some treat before he brought me home.
While Joe Jr. and I were students, he would drop by with a bag filled with groceries.
I remember him telling me about a new breed of horse in Britain that could distinguish red lights from green lights. In the retelling of it to my Dad, he guffawed and told me that animals cannot see color, something new to me at the time. Joe Sr. had a laugh when I told him what my Dad said.
He was a remarkable person with a keen sense of curiosity which served him well in his work with SPD.
My prayers are with all of his family who will dearly miss him.
Traci Drake
March 18, 2024
"uncle Joe" what an honor and pleasure working with you in Homicide Always the jokester and a true gentleman, who loved his wife. So sad when I read of your passing. You will be missed. rest in forever peace.
Ila birkland
March 18, 2024

Uncle Bud and aunt faye were my God parents . I can’t remember a time in my childhood or in my adult life that they weren’t there for me and my brothers and sisters, and in my adult life me and my kids.
Every important family function every time we had something important that we needed them, or if we just missed them and wanted to spend some time with them they were always there for all of us.
Uncle Bud and Faye walked me through two of the hardest most difficult times of my life… One of which was when I got colon cancer four years ago
Uncle Bud was my hero and he and Aunt Faye were the pillars of our whole extended family.
He always made everyone feel like he was their very favorite ❤️
He always tried, and succeeded in making the world a better place because he was in it
He will be deeply missed
I’m sure there is great rejoicing in heaven right now because he is home.
I’m sure Kathy and Bud are together catching up
Until we meet again, Uncle Bud , thank you for all the love that you poured into my life
I love you so much
(Juanita Sanford)
Juanita (SANFORD) Kolbeck
March 18, 2024
The pain of losing my brother is a constant reminder that we need to live life to the fullest and cherish those we hold dear. You were my inspiration to be a better person. Having a brother like you was one of life’s greatest blessings. I will always have you in my heart, but you will be missed greatly.
Richard Sanford
March 17, 2024
My late husband, Gene, and I first bonded with Joe and Faye during the planning of our children's (Bill and Cindy) upcoming wedding in 1976. I will always cherish that recollection.

Joe and Faye willingly traveled to deliver homemade blackberry pies to family gatherings at Fort Flagler State Park. They were still warm. Best pies ever!

Thank you for being a part of my life and helping raise wonderful grandchildren. Love always, Ethel.
Ethel Klopfer
March 16, 2024
I remember he was always ready for a laugh. Back in the 90’s grandma and mom worked bingo at the Kingston community center. When they did we (my brother Tony and sister Julianne used to watch unsolved mysteries and grandpa would come one and peek in the windows while we watched. Scared us half to death. Like weekly. Looking back it was funny. Then terrifying. Any time I think back on my childhood home that memory always comes up.
Zach Sanford
March 16, 2024
Mike and I met Faye and Alice on a cruise. This last summer we went to see Faye and met Joe. We fell in love with him like we did Faye. Sorry for the lost of a Great Man and a Friend for a short time. Condolences to the family
Sharyl Sheftz
March 15, 2024
I loved my papa very much. He went above and beyond to make my childhood wonderful. He always spoiled me whether that be a sweet treat or quality time… Or coming to my house with a surprise box of ducks. I have countless memories with him. When I was little my favorite thing was to go to grandma and papa’s house. Papa would never say no to leading me around on Patch, coming with me to grab eggs from the chicken coop, or stealing grandmas unripe carrots to give to Patch to see him make a funny face. He would always take me and my brother on countless adventures. I remember him and Josh would always shoot soda cans at the bottom of the field, one day I was 7 or so he brought me down there to shoot one for my first time, being I had no clue what I was doing I turned around to ask him a question with the loaded shot gun and finger on the trigger… I now know how to handle guns safely and properly now, I also didn’t shoot that day, thank you papa. I was always at their house riding horses, being in the garden, going out to get a milkshake or maple bar. One recent memory of my papa was when I got into a pretty bad car crash, I was in a lot of pain and could barely move. My papa showed up unannounced… as usual with a box of sees candies in his hand. I was sitting on the couch unable to move and he had cut each piece of chocolate in half and was feeding me them. Saying I needed to try each one and that it was the best medicine. I love you to the moon and stars papa. Thank you for teaching me so much, more than any man could. You have set my expectations and bar very high. I love you. I’ll always be your mini.
Naomi Hasen
March 14, 2024
Uncle Bud was such an amazing person and such a wonderful part of the family. It was always obvious how much he loved his family, even extending to our branch of the tree! (My Grandma is Alice Hoven, Aunt Faye’s sister.) I have so many memories but some of the fondest are when I visited their awesome property when I was growing up and even rode horses for the first time! And I think he got me my first slurpee too!
Aunt Faye and Uncle Bud are at the center of so many memories. It meant so much that they showed up to so many activities, including my wedding. It was also so fun when Uncle Bud would ensure Aunt Faye was there for the “girl activities” even when he was “just” a chauffeur. Uncle Bud has left so many lasting memories and passed down so many values.
We love you ❤️
Tiffany Owens
March 14, 2024
Joe Sanford, my grandpa was a legend. The most amazing man I will ever meet. I was lucky to grow up and learn from him growing up next door. That leaves me with so many memories and things I got to do with him.
He was forever a kid at heart and never took life too serious. He was always positive and never had a bad thing to say.

He passed on his knowledge and experience wherever he could. There was something in the way he did it that was truly special. I can’t imagine anyone speaking bad of him.

We played with GI Joes when I was really little. We went to livestock auctions, hunting and fishing, worked at the Christmas tree farm, went to all the sporting events, the first time I ever drove was while he loaded hay in the truck.

Later in life my dad (Bill) initiated him and I into freemasonry together. We went thru everything together and that’s something I doubt has been done before or since. He bent over backwards to help me out of some tough spots. He drove all the way to Shelton or Tacoma to see me when I couldn’t make the trip to him. Just because he wanted to see me.

Looking back, there are so many would’ve, could’ve and should’ve things. I miss him and I’ll spend the rest of my days trying to live up to his example.
Antony Sanford
March 14, 2024
I think I have about 1,000 or more wonderful, fun and impactful memories. I almost don’t know where to start.
I lived with Gramma and Grampa for a bit while I was working and going to school in my early 20’s. He had a mechanical singing fish that flapped and sang ‘Take me to the river’ if you pushed the button. Billy the Big-mouthed Bass. He thought it was the funniest thing in the whole world to stand outside my bedroom door at 0430, before the first ferry and wake me up with that dang fish. He was so ornery!
When my sister and I were little, going to Kingston was the greatest adventure. We loved the animals, bottle feeding the baby cows, and going to ‘Papa Joe’s’ restaurant where Grampa would load us with hot chocolate and syrupy Belgian waffles before sticking us on the ferry and sending us home. There wasn’t a hurt feeling or scrape or bruise Grampa couldn’t cure with a trip to get a treat.
I’ll always associate See’s Candies, maple bars and latte’s at 180 degrees with my grandfather. And hard work, integrity and grit.
He taught me that being present for people was one of the best gifts to give; he attended funerals, weddings, graduations, birthdays. He could always be counted on to be there, a box of chocolates tucked under his arm. He drove from all the way from Kingston to Lacey when I graduated my academy, belt buckle and suit jacket, smelling of his Stetson cologne and looking sharp. I’ll always remember the way he loved his people, his family.
I’m thankful for the many years I had as his granddaughter. It has been the utmost privilege to know him.
I can say with 100% honesty that he is the best man I have ever known.
Thank you, Grampa. You set the bar. There will never be another like you.
Jessica Sanford-Hansen
March 14, 2024
My Great Grandpa Joe was my hero. I didn’t have a father for a lot of my years growing up, or a grandfather for that matter- but it didn’t matter. I had Great Grandpa Joe. Having someone like Great Grandpa is more than I could’ve asked for. He taught me things a father would, took me on adventures a grandfather would, and spoiled me like a great grandfather would.

I have so many important and special memories with Grandpa Joe- one of the ones that stands out the most to me was a day we fished for trout out of his pond for the first time. We were down there for what felt like hours with no luck at catching any fish. I listened to his stories, he taught me how to tie a hook, and showed me how to enjoy the simple things in life. I remember just before we went back up to the house, Grandpa said “Last cast”. Of course, we got a bite. I remember reeling that big trout in and him saying “what a monster”. That was a very special day.

One more memory I am so grateful to have is more recently. Presley, my Daughter, got to meet her Great-Great-Grandpa Joe. I cannot wait to tell her all the stories he and I have together, and show her the pictures of her and him the first, and only time they met.
Josh Hansen
March 14, 2024
I called him pretty good grandpa my favorite memories I have are going on trips to the store to get donuts he really likedto spoil me and my brother I will forever cherish those memories
Dria Sanford
March 13, 2024
I was reminded of a hilarious story that must be shared!

It was Thanksgiving in the 90s.

My parents were still married, and we went to the Sanford Thanksgiving dinner in Kingston.

Gramma and Grampa had forgotten to remove the Friskies cat treats from the dining table where the cats typically grazed when they wanted.

My mother was noshing on the appetizers and, unnoticed to anyone but Grampa Joe, had grabbed a handful of the Friskies treats.

She ate a few, and asked Grampa what they were.

He said "They're Salmon treats! You like them?"

She said "Yes, where did you get them, they're delicious?!"

He said "Well, I have the bag here, (grabbing the bag for her to see, and handing it to her), they're Friskies Salmon treats!"

My mother was horrified.

We all still laugh about it...

I will always miss that sense of humor...

Stacie Sanford
Stacie Seeley (Sanford)
March 13, 2024
One time I was being babysat by Papa Joe (Great Grampa Joe's son) and he brought me a strawberry milkshake.

It was the best milkshake I ever had.

Before that I only liked chocolate but he said strawberry was way better so I tried it.

He always made me laugh, and told funny jokes.

He also bought marshmallow peeps, even though Mom said they were gross.

I fought over them with Tori, my Auntie, and neither of us won! Because we fought we weren't allowed to eat them.

He also always took us to Mexican food and I still love bean burritos cause of Great Grampa Joe.

He took time at my 2nd cousin Josh's wedding to talk to me and joke around. He gave me his gift bag, too.

I miss Grampa Joe!

"The Lexman"
Lexington Seeley (Sanford)
March 13, 2024
I put this photo on the front page because Dad asked me to make it as a gift for Mom. I had taken a liking to Photoshop and he had an idea of using their actual hands reaching out for one another. He then wrote the text to add to it. I put it together and he was delighted. I hadn't seen too much of Dad's romantic side....or his artistic side for that matter.....previously. I was impressed.
Joe Sanford, Jr.
March 13, 2024
Grampa Joe was my hero, tied with my father, his son Joe.

When I was 5 or 6 years old, my Auntie and Uncle had a birthday party for either their daughter or one of the cousins at their house. All the kids received flashlights. I got a purple one, because purple was my favorite.

Us kids watched a movie, and I recall one of my cousins' cousins chewed up her flashlight, and I told her not to do that because she was ruining it.

I had to use the bathroom and when I came back to the room where the movie was playing, she had replaced my flashlight with her chewed up one.

I became incensed...I screamed and pitched a huge fit. Not a single person believed me when I said she had chewed it and swapped them when I was using the restroom.

Grampa Joe believed me.

The next day, I came home from school and there was a stuffed mouse on the half-wall inside the door by the answering machine.

It was grey and had a candy cane and scarf.

The phone rang about 10 minutes after I got home, and it was Grampa Joe. He asked me if Patience was there. I was confused and asked who that was. He said "Patience the Mouse" came to be my friend and teach me patience and tolerance, even when people are mean to me.

I said there is a mouse here, but didn't know it's name. He said "That's Patience the Mouse, and he is there to help you be patient with those who do you wrong."

I had that stuffed animal until my youngest son threw up on it...and I never forgot how Grampa Joe was the only person who believed me about what happened.

The man was an angel among humans, and always knew truth from fabrication.

He knew other times I was unjustly treated by people, and always knew the truth without being told.

As a little girl, all I ever wanted was to marry a man like him.

No man ever measured up, but one came close!

He will be missed to the moon and back.

Stacie Jo
Stacie Seeley (Sanford)

Family tree

Frances Faye Sanford
Frances Faye Sanford
Joseph Sanford


What was Joseph's favorite Quote or Saying?


We will have a time to come together and celebrate the life of a great husband, father, grand father and friend.   We will have a short ceremony, some coffee, some dessert and some stories.    Blessings........
Redeemer Methodist Church
9900 NE Shorty Campbell Rd, Kingston, WA. 98346
April 6, 2024/2pm
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