Often we think of the description “Renaissance Man” as someone who is involved with multiple activities and performs them with creativity and passion. Robert E. Sanford, Sr. was just that, but specifically with a focus on community volunteerism. Bob was a life member of the American Legion Post #214, for over 50 years, a member of the VFW Post #4662, and the VFW Color Guard for 25 years. He was a 67 year member of the Warwick Fire Department and Captain of the Fire Police from 1969 to 1971. Bob was an active member of the Warwick Ambulance Corp. for 61 years. He also served on the Ambulance Corps of Mamakating, Rock Hill, Chester, and Pine Island. In addition, he was part of the Masonic Lodge #54 for over 50 years.
Over the many years, Bob received awards for his distinguished work including: the 2002 EMT of the Year for Orange County, the Robert J. Uplinger Distinguished Service Award from the Warwick Lions Club for 2013 and the Outstanding Community Service Award in 2014 from the Warwick Rotary.
This all represents a life of giving and commitment to the community and county. Bob was also a devoted husband. His wife, Sandy, was truly his partner and great love. He was a much loved father, grandfather and great granddad.
To have met Bob you would never know the depth of his service and that was due to his true humility.
We will miss one of our greatest volunteers and citizens. He was a man who owned the responsibility of being a part of his community. He was an integral part of Warwick, one that makes it such a safe and remarkable place to live.
To see the salute by the Warwick Ambulance Corp and Warwick Fire Department at his service was a reminder of his dedication and a fitting farewell. Michael Sweeton’s eulogy captured the man we appreciated and loved.
We have lost a dear friend of Warwick. His legacy and love surrounds us. He was always there for us – a brother, a friend, a protector, and we were so very blessed.
The above column, written by Village of Warwick Mayor Michael Newhard, has been published in the Jul. 19 issue of the Warwick Valley Dispatch.