Sidney "Sid" Sanford

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Sidney "Sid" Sanford passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, May 11, at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center. He was a lifelong resident of Valparaiso and loved it so much that he never considered living any place else. To his friends, he was known as Sid. To his daughters, Dad or Poppa. To his many grandchildren, Pop-Pop or Papa Sid.

He was an attentive husband to his wife of almost 35 years, Joyce. He was a well-regarded business owner, being the proprietor of S&J Automotive in Niceville for 30 years. He absolutely loved fishing and being on the water. He was a licensed boat captain and when not on the water he could be seen at the T-pier in Val-p casting a net for mullet, chatting with the big blue heron, and befriending the nesting ducks. He was a big animal lover, rescuing multiple cats from life on the street.

Sid's passing will be felt by the many people whose lives he touched. He is survived by his loving wife, Joyce Rider Sanford; his three daughters, Carol (Russell) Pool of Canton, GA, Cathy Sanford of Baton Rouge, LA, and Deidre "Sonni" (Phil) Rief of Mary Esther, FL; his nine grandchildren, Devin (Krystal) Schipper, Corey (Ashley) Schipper, Carissa (Bobby) Newby White, Heather Johnson, Kimberly Newby Howald, Amanda (Kenan) Simpson, Phillip Newby, Diana Pool, Jacob Pool, and Aniston Sanford, and his 18 great-grandchildren. His extended family included his sister-in-law, Dianne Sanford of St. Paul, MN, niece Geri (Tracy)DeWald of Blaine, MN, and nephew Chris (Alex) Sanford of Fort Worth, TX. Sid is now reunited with his mother, Grace Sanford, father, John Sanford, and brother, Joe Sanford.

Sid's family would like to extend their heartfelt appreciation to Sid's closest friends, Jeff and Lori Paice, Bill Loftis, Allen and Linda Reeves, Chris Polk, Mike "Crash" Bagent, Bert and Joyce Marthis, and Greg Murry - who actually went out fishing with him on Wednesday - one last fishing hurrah.

At Sid's request, he is being cremated through Heritage Gardens and the family will have a private service to scatter his ashes. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to SOCKS ( or to his daughter Cathy's gofundme page to help with her heart transplant expenses (

Posted online on May 24, 2023

Published in Northwest Florida Daily News