Michael Elliot Sanford, 78, of Wausau, passed away on Wednesday, January 8, 2020.
Born September 5, 1941 in Washington DC to Robert and Thelma Sanford. At the age of seven his family moved to Wausau. Mike graduated from Wausau High in 1959 and then went on to UW Madison, where he graduated with a degree in Chemistry. Michael worked for Sinclair Oil Co. in Harvey, Illinois for 3 years before moving back to Wausau where he worked for 40 years in the research lab for Marathon Corporation, which eventually became known as Lignotech.
Michael loved reading and made his weekly trips to the Wausau Library. He continued reading Scientific American magazines and abstracting the articles within their pages. He loved hiking, biking, skiing, traveling, word games, and visiting family. Michael was a person who possessed common sense, inner peace and a calm attitude. Most importantly, Mike had a firm faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ.
Michael is survived by his loving wife, Toni of 45 years; one daughter, Jackie (Jim) Henning of Grafton; five sons, Greg Sanford of Hartford, Jon (Carrie) Sanford of Jackson, Tony (Lizz) Pittsley of Orlando, FL, Matthew Sanford of Missoula, MT, Daniel (Celeste) Sanford-Laform of South Paris, ME; 12 grandchildren, Nicole (Zach) Karceski, Megan Henning, Daniel Henning, Molly Sanford, Laura Sanford, Caleb Pittsley, Caitlin Pittsley, Elliot Sanford, Anina Sanford, Gillian Sanford, Swift Sanford-Laform, and Thistle Sanford-Laform; one great-grandchild, Kylie Karceski; one brother, Robert (Lynn) Sanford of Arizona; as well as his sisters, Karen (David) Beenken of Minnesota, Kristi (Ken) Goetsch of Montana, Mary (Adrian) Sanford-Bourque of Wausau and Beth Gabriel of Minnesota.
He was preceded in death by his parents and one grandson.
A memorial service will take place at 1:00 pm on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at Helke Funeral Home, 302 Spruce Street, Wausau. Rev. Steve Grunwald will officiate. Visitation will take place from 11:00 am until the time of services at the funeral home. Family and friends may go to www.helke.com to leave an online condolence.