Virginia Sanford was born on Jan. 18, 1934 in Orange.

Her parents were Forrest and Myra McDonald. She was married to Sandy Sanford, her high school sweetheart, for 54 years until his death in 2010. She attended and graduated from Lutcher Stark High School. She was accepted into the prestigious Plan II Liberal Arts Honors program at the University of Texas and was active in the Orange Jackets and Mortar Board. After completing her Bachelor’s Degree, she earned a Master’s Degree from Lamar State University. Virginia was retired from the state of Texas Educational system, having served an illustrious career as teacher and educational consultant.

Virginia was a lifelong member of the First United Methodist Church in Orange, and was involved in many capacities. Early in her marriage, she and her husband served as youth sponsors. Her joy for mentoring and teaching youth remained with her throughout her life. Virginia was a knowledgeable bible instructor and loved to share her knowledge with others. She taught the women’s Fidelis Sunday School Class and was a Disciple Bible study instructor for many years. Out of her love for the church, she initiated the praise and worship service and was a co-founder of the Golden Triangle Emmaus Community.

Virginia was a teacher in the public school system in Orange County. She began her career in Bridge City where she taught math to students who were only a few years younger than herself. She became a teacher and headmaster at St. Paul Episcopal Church School. She made a giant impact on the very young, as she lovingly guided them toward knowledge in her role as a first grade teacher at Little Cypress Elementary school. As a role model for many, she ended her career by teaching and serving teachers as an Educational Consultant for Math at the Region V Service Center.

Virginia was very active in the Orange community. As a young woman she served as a Blue Bird and Campfire Leader, Little League mother, swim team mother, stage mother and dance recital mother. She was a board member for the Malloy trust and an active board member for the First United Methodist Church. She and her husband Sandy were devoted docents to the Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center. She loved sharing her knowledge with others and was a sought after inspirational speaker. She held a joy for baking and entertaining in her home and for many years hosted an annual coffee at Christmas with her daughter Tracey. She shared with her adoring husband a tremendous love for the collection of antiques and their annual fall trips to witness the turning of the foliage in New England. The door of her home was always open to all and she felt immeasurably blessed to have had a wonderful and large circle of very close friends throughout the entirety of her very rich life.

Virginia was preceded in death by her parents, three brothers, John McDonald, William McDonald and Fred McDonald and one sister, Nora Riggs. She will be reunited in heaven with her husband Sandy and her two beloved sons, Barton and Christopher.

She is survived by her brother Forrest McDonald of Tuscaloosa, Al.; two daughters, Shelley Davis of Key West, Fl., and Tracey Wild of Nacogdoches; son in law, John Davis; and four grandchildren, Gabriel Sanford Reddoch, John Zachary Davis, Alexandra Wild and Thomas “Trey” Wild.

The family would like to express their deepest gratitude to the staff at Magnolia Court and Accolade Homecare and Hospice in Nacogdoches.

Funeral services will be at 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 10, at First United Methodist Church in Orange. Officiating will be the Rev. John Warren.

Visitation will be from 5:00-8:00p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 9, at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange.

Memorial contributions may be made in Virginia’s name to the First United Methodist Church in Orange at 504 N. 6th Street, Orange, TX 77630.