Richard James Sandford III “Rick”, 53, of Ione, Oregon passed away at Pioneer Memorial Hospital on Dec. 6, 2022.
He was born in Honolulu, HI on November 11, 1969, to Richard J and Sandra L Sandford, Jr. while his father served in the US military. Rick was a 1989 graduate of Pendleton High school, and he married his best friend, Sylvia M Ladd on April 29, 1995, in Ione amongst hundreds of friends and family members. They were blessed with two daughters, Lillian (Lilly) and Ivy who kept his love of supporting his family very busy. He shared in their love of music, movies, raising animals, sports, travel and having celebrations for all holidays and achievements as often as possible.
He was friend to many, brother, nephew, son, grandson, uncle, daddy, but never a stranger.
Rick worked several years for Les Schwab Tires in Hermiston, making life-long friends from co-workers and customers. While working at ODOT- Heppner then most recently PGE Boardman Coal Plant for the last 13 years; he continued his strong work ethic and love for doing things right (The Sandford Way). No matter where he went, he said good morning and tried to help people putting himself second but living life to the fullest.
He had a wonderful knack for creating “amazing automobiles”; whether classic restoration or his new love of building “Rat Rods” with his closest friend Robert Hill. They created Half Ass Rat Rods car club, sharing their builds on Facebook and U-tube. They were always looking at old car parts and thinking of how to make them into something amazing to share at car shows and build offs they attended. He loved designing and fabricating metal and sharing this with his friends and his two daughters. He always said though, his best creations were his “girls”. In every photo and video of Rick you can see his huge smile, hear his contagious laugh and see his love of life. He had a magical way of sharing that positiveness with all he met.
He was a member of the Heppner Elks Lodge #358 and the Willow Lodge, No. 66 of the Independent Order of Oddfellows. Rick loved his community and has ever since he and Sylvia moved to Ione to join her family in 1994. They worked side by side in several small businesses, and soon his daughters will add one in his honor for Fighting Heart Disease.
Rick is survived by the love of his life and wife of 27 years, Sylvia, his daughter Lillian Sandford (fiancé Kyle Bender), daughter Ivy Sandford, his sisters Lisa Forsythe (Tom), Amy McMahon(Patrick), Heather Reyes (Joseph), uncle Danny Martindale (April), uncle Jack Prince (Darla), aunt Barbara Robinson, aunt Judy Moll, sister-in-law Christine Sullivan(James), brother-in-law Richard Ladd, sister-in-law Lara Triplett (Kirk), brother-in-law Clayton Lissow (Angela), mother-in-law Barbara Lissow, father-in-law Alex Lissow, and many many nieces, nephews, cousins and honorary family.
He is preceded in death by both his parents, all grandparents, and several other family members. A Celebration of Life for “Sandford” will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, February 25 at the Ione Legion Hall. “All who knew him, loved him. All who met him, understood him. All will mourn him.” -Sylvia.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Richard James Sanford, please visit our floral store.