November 30, 1920 – February 26, 2013 The Lord called his precious servant Laura Belle Sanford to her heavenly home on Tuesday, February 26, 2013, at the age of 92, surrounded by her loving family at Denison Nursing and Rehab. Laura was born to parents L.L. and Ida Mae Mason on November 30, 1920 in Barton’s Chapel, Texas. She was the youngest of five children and talked often about being her “Daddy’s Boy” when it came to working the farm. The family moved to Perrin, Texas, when Laura was in high school and that is where the family remained. Her sister, Iva Jane, told Laura it was time to leave Perrin when she was in the 10th grade, so they moved to Gulfport, Mississippi, where she worked in civil service at Kessler Air Force Base. They moved back to Jacksboro, Texas and later moved to Denison, Texas, where her life truly began as a wife, mother and tremendous caregiver.
On June 13, 1953, she married Jim Sanford who preceded her in death just a year ago in February, 2012. Together they raised two sons and a daughter. Laura retired from Levi Strauss & Company in 1978 and was an active member of Cherry Mound Baptist Church until her illness no longer allowed. After retirement, Laura and Jim continued their work on the farm and Laura became the ultimate grandmother. Summers were spent entertaining her grandchildren, tending to her incredible garden and lawn, and total involvement in church activities.
Laura is survived by her son Lee Stevens and wife Pam of Quinlan; daughter Sherry Kelley of Bells; seven grandchildren, Craig Stevens and wife Jacquie of Allen; Renee Cribbs of Rowlett; Anthony Stevens and wife Melony of Rockwall; Leah Holland and husband Joey of Denton; Jordan Carter of Rowlett; Jared Kelley and wife Carrie of Denison; Justin Kelley of Bells; nine great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Jim, son Richard Stevens and four brothers and sisters.
Funeral services for Laura will be at 10:00 A.M., Friday, March 1, 2013 at Mullican-Little Funeral Chapel, Bells. Officiating the service will be Reverend Mike Hermanson and Reverend Roy Duff, burial will be at Cherry Mound Cemetery. Pallbearers will be grandsons and nephew Don Garner. The family request that memorials be made to Cherry Mound Cemetery Association, c/o Joseph Harrison, 229 Harrison Rd., Denison, Texas 75021.
Heartfelt thanks and appreciation are extended to the staff of Denison Nursing and Rehabilitation and Guardian Hospice for the loving care given to our mother during the last 3 ½ years. Special gratitude is extended to Magen Gurley who loved and cared for Laura like her own grandmother.
The family will be at the funeral home from 6-7 P.M. on Thursday, February 28, 2013 and other times at the Kelley home in Bells.