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Frances Mae Sanford

Frances Mae (Waits) Sanford, age 99, passed away peacefully on January 3, 2023 in Queen Creek, Arizona at the home of her daughter and son-in- law, Janice and Paul Hatch. She had been living with them since the passing of her husband, Lester in 2014 in Tucson Arizona.

Frances was born May 30, 1923 in Oakland, California to Clyde Waits and Frances Merle Hartson. She was the oldest of four children. She grew up in Susanville, California and graduated from Lassen Union High School.

Her senior year she worked at the Western Union. After she graduated, she worked at the local theater as an usherette and box office cashier. Then she got a job at Spaulding Drug Store.

She met her future husband, Lester F. Sanford, his last week in Susanville. He was there taking flight lessons before enlisting in the Army Air Corps. They were together every day that week before he had to leave. Les returned to Susanville to continue their courtship and they got engaged. Les was stationed in Clovis, New Mexico when, after two years of writing letters, he decided they should get married and not wait until the war ended. Frances agreed and took the train from Reno to Clovis, where they were married February 27, 1944 by the base chaplain. Three months later Les got his orders to serve overseas.

Frances went back to Susanville to work. They were separated eighteen months and reunited at the end of the war. During their married life they lived in California, Colorado, Oregon, Texas and Arizona. They welcomed five children to their family. First three sons followed by two daughters.

Frances is survived by her five children, Gary Lee (Sylvia), Rodney Clyde (Kim), Craig Fernon (Cindy), Janice Adell (Paul Hatch), Nancy Lynn, twenty grandchildren, and fifty five great grandchildren.

Her father, Clyde Waits, mother, Frances Merle (Hartson), sister, Bertha Adell (Chatfield), brothers, Elwin Clyde (Bud, Buddy), and Donald Edward, all preceded her in death.

Family was always first in her life and she loved them dearly. She looked forward to being with them forever. She showed love and concern for all with whom she came in contact.

Funeral services will be held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints located at 32584 N. Gary Road, San Tan Valley, AZ at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 4, 2023. The viewing will be from 8:00 to 8:45 a.m. The burial will take place that afternoon in the Binghamton Cemetery located at 4001 N. Alvernon Way, Tucson, AZ. Flowers may be sent to Horizon Funeral Home at 7530 E. Main St., Mesa, AZ 85207.


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