Obituary: Marion Sanford, 92, of Shelby

December 29, 2022

Marion Sanford

Obituary: Marion Sanford, 92, of Shelby

Marion Louise Sanford (Popp), 92, died on December 22, 2022.  Marion was the fourth of seven children born to Rueben and Josephine Popp in Lake Leelanau.

Marion’s mother passed away in 1940 leaving her husband to care for seven children.  Like so many families did during the Depression, Marion and her siblings were sent to live in an orphanage.  Marion lived at St. John’s Home in Grand Rapids until she was 15.  Her father had remarried and moved to Muskegon bringing his children to live with him.

Marion attended St. Mary’s Catholic High School in Muskegon and graduated in 1948.  Eventually she took a job as a secretary at Continental, where she met her husband, Stanley Sanford.  Stanley and Marion were married at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Muskegon, in 1952, and raised five children.  They built their family home on 88th Avenue where Marion lived for the rest of her life. Stan and Marion worked hard to maintain their home while feeding and clothing their children.  She could be found picking everything from asparagus in the spring to apples in the fall and everything in between.  The family always had a big garden where she grew vegetables to can and freeze for the winter months.

Marion was a gifted seamstress and sewed most of her children’s clothes.  She also made/designed approximately 15 wedding dresses for brides she knew personally, including two of her daughters, two daughters-in-law and several nieces.  She was very involved in Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, heading up the ladies to put on annual chicken dinners, wedding receptions, and funerals.  She especially loved to decorate the church for Christmas and Easter.

Once the last child was in school, Marion began working full time.  She worked at Beckman Brothers for 25 years as their office manager/bookkeeper.  Marion loved to create things, some call it crafts but it was art.  From her many quilts for family, to ceramics, to floral arrangements, stained glass, paintings, and so much more.  It brought her great joy to make something beautiful and gift it to those she loved.  In her later years she was an active member of the Pentwater Artisan Center where she continued to explore her gift and passion of art.  Her children had the privilege of taking care of her in her home until a few days before she passed, a gift they will forever cherish.

Marion leaves behind: her five children, Fred (Kathy) Sanford, Stan Sanford, Sue Sanford, Mary (Bob) Beckman, and Patty (Tim) Cary. Marion really felt like she had eight children because she loved her children’s spouses as much as her own, we often joked that maybe even more!  She also leaves eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren whom she adored.

Marion was preceded in death by: her husband, Stanley Sanford; her parents, Rueben and Josephine Popp; and all of her brothers and sisters and their spouses, Harold and Yvonne Popp, Bernard Popp, Marva and Ward McCarthy, Richard and Donna Mansfield, Dick and Doris Lein, and Warren Popp.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m., Friday, December 30, 2022, at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, 1372 South Oceana Drive, Shelby with Fr. Phillip Sliwinski presiding. Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, December 29, 2022, at the Harris Funeral Home, 267 North Michigan Avenue, Shelby with a praying of the Holy Rosary beginning at 7 p.m. Interment will be in Mount Hope Cemetery in the Spring.

In lieu of flowers, consider memorial donations to: Crystal Valley Care Fund, P.O. Box 451, Hart Michigan 49420 or Oceana County Newsies, 913 S. Oceana Drive, Shelby MI 49455.

The Harris Funeral Home, in Shelby, is in charge of arrangements.

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