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Obituary: Sanford, Kirk Whitmore

Fri., Dec. 7, 2012

Age 92

SANFORD, Kirk Whitmore (Age 92) Passed away peacefully on Saturday, December 1, 2012 at his residence in Fernie, British Columbia, Canada.

Mr. Sanford was born on March 27, 1920 in Spokane, Washington, the son of Allyn “Red” Marlott and Gwendolen Whitmore Sanford.

After a childhood and local schooling in Spokane, including graduation from North Central High School in January 1938, he ran a Spokane Daily Chronicle motor route in northern Idaho (from Coeur d’Alene to Sandpoint).

When World War II broke out, he tried to enlist in the Canadian Air Corps (a recruiting station was located in the Davenport Hotel), but was rejected because of his eyesight.

Subsequently he was inducted into the US Army Air Corps as a Signal Corps Technician.

After stateside assignments and training in Utah, California, Missouri and Pennsylvania, he was sent to Shanghai.

This was immediately after the atomic bombs had been dropped on Japan and the Japanese were still occupying China.

He was discharged in February 1946, and returned to Wisconsin to join his wife, Lorene, and newborn son (Richard).

Shortly thereafter Kirk returned to Spokane with his family and started work for the local telephone company, Pacific Northwest Bell, as a splicer.

He advanced to positions as a deskman, chief deskman, cable tester, and finally as chief line assigner.

His expertise gained him special temporary assignments throughout the state of Washington, including Seattle, and even an extended assignment in New York City troubleshooting its antiquated system.

In 1977 he retired from the telephone company to spend full time supporting his critically ill wife in her battle with cancer.

After Lorene’s death, he became a landed emigrant in Canada in 1979, fulfilling a dream to live out his life in the Columbia Valley at Fairmont Hot Springs, a family favorite vacation spot.

His relocation included an additional seven years of employment as the Fairmont Hot Springs chief buyer of supplies.

Final retirement occurred in 1987.

In addition to his two diverse professional careers, Mr. Sanford enjoyed traveling the world, studying various foreign languages, and was a staunch supporter of the American Field Service, an exchange program for young people to promote better world understanding.

He had a true love for the many peoples of the world and was always trying to improve communication between all.

Mr. Sanford was the beloved husband of Lorene Johanna Christensen Sanford, the loving and devoted father of his two children, Richard and Gregory, and the cherished grandfather of Joshua, Lance, and Brandon.

He is also survived by his brother Gerry Sanford, now residing in Emmett, Idaho.

Mr. Sanford’s final resting place will be Riverside Memorial Park in Spokane, Washington.

In lieu of flowers or gifts, donations may be made to the donor’s favorite charity.

For more information on Mr. Sanford, you may email


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