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Philanthropist Sandifur, 92, Killed In Crash

Self-made Spokane millionaire C. Paul Sandifur, founder of Metropolitan Mortgage and Securities Co., died Friday in a car accident.

He was 92.

The retired financier and his wife, Jennie Sandifur, 82, were killed when their car collided with a motor home on U.S. Highway 395 two miles south of Chewelah, the Washington State Patrol said.

Jennie Sandifur was driving at the time of the accident, the State Patrol said. The couple died of head and internal injuries, despite wearing seat belts, the State Patrol said. Their car was destroyed in the collision.

An Everett couple in the motor home - driver Shirlee Akin, 51, and passenger William Akin, 55 - were hospitalized but not seriously injured.

The crash occurred shortly after 4:30 p.m. Friday.

The Sandifurs were heading north when their Subaru crossed into the highway’s southbound lane and collided with the motor home, according to the State Patrol.

C. Paul Sandifur’s illustrious business career began shortly after he moved to Spokane in 1937 and stopped selling life insurance.

He and his brother, Charles H. Sandifur, who was 77 when he died in 1989, bought a service station at Third and Bernard, then developed an automobile dealership.

Automobile financing led the brothers into real estate and the founding of Metropolitan Mortgage, which has been operating for 42 years.

Over time, the firm mushroomed into a conglomerate with numerous subsidiaries, holdings in almost every state and assets of about $700 million.

The company is now run by C. Paul Sandifur’s son, Paul Sandifur Jr. of Spokane.

The Sandifur family is known for its generous contributions to Spokane arts and education.

Metropolitan Mortgage invested heavily in restoration of The Met, a downtown theater for the performing arts.

The company has also provided a major endowment to Eastern Washington University’s business school, creating the C. Paul Sandifur Sr. Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship.

Funeral arrangements were not immediately available.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo