Richard Thomas Sandford, 85, died on Dec. 17, 2019, at Trinity Medical Center in New Port Richey, Florida, after a long illness.
Richard was born on April 10, 1933, to Frank and Mildred (Chase) Sandford and was the last surviving of their nine children. He attended Beacon city schools and was one of the youngest varsity football players in the history of Beacon High. He loved Notre Dame football and fishing with his children, brothers and nephews. He married Norman Jean Finkle, who survives.
Richard enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1952 and was a veteran of the Korean War. He was stationed as a firefighter with crash rescue on Okinawa and obtained the rank of sergeant. His buddies called him “Smiley.” Following his service, he worked at IBM for 23 years.
Richard was descended from Brigadier Gen. John Morin Scott, the first secretary of state of New York and a delegate to Continental Congress. He was also descended from Dr. Charles McKnight, a surgeon and staff officer to Gen. George Washington.
Besides his wife of 64 years, he is survived by his children, Kathleen Muthig (Frank) and Michael Sandford, his granddaughter Rhiannon Shields (Ron), and two great-granddaughters Irelynn and Lakin.
A memorial service is planned for the spring. Memorial donations may be made to the Beacon Historical Society (beaconhistorical.org).