William Harold (Bill) Sanford died peacefully at home on April 9, 2021, exactly one month short of his 83rd birthday. He was born May 9, 1938 in Waco, Texas to Marguerite and Clyde H. Sanford, and spent the best part of his youth in Corpus Christi, Texas, and the best part of his adult years in Austin, Texas.
A multi-talented, good-humored man from a small family of very modest means, Bill created a wonderful life focused on higher education and learning for himself and others. He developed many interests and skills all his life–classical music, piano, choral singing, drawing, painting in various media, photography, individual sports, golf, home repair, building, electronics, mountain hiking, international travel, nature study and dogs.
After graduation from W. B. Ray High School in Corpus Christi, he put himself through The University of Texas at Austin undergraduate program by working as a bank teller, finding time to be a member of the elite A Capella Choir under Morris Beachy. He taught Mathematics in high school in Corpus Christi while working on a Masters in English, then received a fellowship to complete a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Education (1969) at U.T. Austin. He taught in universities in Arizona and Texas before serving for 25 years in leadership roles in Academic Affairs at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, where he greatly enjoyed the privilege of working with educators in all fields of study across Texas.
Bill credited most of the good moves of his life to other people who opened doors for him as they recognized his talent and hard work, and to sheer luck. In turn, he inspired and mentored many people.
He is survived by his wife and partner of 46 years, Julie Porter Sanford, his daughter Marguerite Newcomb of San Antonio, brother Richard Steven Sanford of Houston, grandson Aaron Ray Newcomb of Brooklyn, New York and his wife Claire, and nieces, nephews, grand nieces, grand nephews, in laws, and MaxCorgi his dog. He will live in our hearts and memories.
In his long struggle with pulmonary disease, the family was privileged to have generous support of friends and amazing care from the staff at Hospice Austin and Blue Water Homecare. Funeral support is by Green Cremation Texas Funeral Home, 937 Reinli Street, Ste 27, Austin, 78751, Tel. 512 537 1973. A private remembrance gathering, and interment will be scheduled later. Anyone wishing to make a tribute donation for Bill is asked to support Capital Idea, an Austin-based nonprofit providing free education and assistance to low-income students in healthcare, professional trades, and information technology.