Obituary of Douglas James Sanford
Douglas James Sanford, 69, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on February 8, 2024, in Haines City. He is survived by his wife, Denise; daughters, Emilee Huerta (Patricio) and Whitney Griggs; granddaughter Emilia Huerta; grandsons Cheyenne Tyson, Dakota and Hayden Hill; nieces, nephew, and other family members. He is preceded in death by his parents James Edward Sanford and Flossie Lee Sanford and, his brother, Russell Sanford.
Doug was born on October 14, 1954, in Winter Haven but grew up in Haines City. He graduated from Haines City High School in 1973 where he was a standout offensive guard for the football team. He is said to have been one of the best players in the history of Hornet football. He earned a football scholarship to the University of Tampa and then Moorehead State University in Kentucky.
After college, he returned home to Haines City and began working in the family business, Sanford Welding. In the 1990s, he got the opportunity to work as a welder in Saudi Arabia and Dubai for Equipment Specialists. When he returned, he took over the family business when his father retired.
Pulling up to Sanford Welding, you could be sure of a couple of things: If you needed something welded and welded right, you were at the right place. Doug was arguably one of the best welders in the area. Secondly, he’d always be happy to see you. He was generous with his smiles and loved to laugh. Friends often stopped by the shop to say hello, tell stories and reminisce. He cherished being from Haines City and the lifelong friendships that he made here.
Doug was larger than life with a personality you couldn't help but love. He loved being on the water and deep sea fishing with his friends, especially while catching dolphin. He loved and enjoyed spending time with his family. Most of all, he loved the time spent with his granddaughter, Emilia, and answered to Lollipop (Poppy).
Doug’s Celebration of Life service will be held Saturday, February 24, at 11 a.m. at Oak Ridge Funeral Care in Haines City.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Douglas Sanford, please visit Tribute Store