Tommie (Tom) Eugene Sanford

tommie (tom) sanford

August 25, 1929 ~ January 11, 2024

Born in: Longview, Texas
Resided in: College Station, Texas

Tommie (Tom) Eugene Sanford, Ph.D., a long-time Bryan-College Station educator and businessman, died peacefully at home on January 11, 2024. Born in Longview, Texas on August 25, 1929, he was 94 years old and battled a series of illnesses in his final years.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Velma Love Thomas and Jesse Manfield Sanford,  his siblings Dean, Juanita and Dorothy and former wife, Virginia Welch Sanford. He was also predeceased by his first wife Maxine Buchanan, the mother of his daughters Elaine and Kellye. Tom and Maxine met and married while completing undergraduate studies at the University of Texas.

He is survived by his wife of 38-years, Barbara T. Sanford, Ph.D., and her children and their spouses —  Kimberly and husband Joel Smith, son Kenneth and wife Valarie Loveless. He is also survived by his daughters and their spouses — Elaine Zubiaga and husband Julio Zubiaga, Kellye Sanford and husband John Fritz Lanham. He also leaves 9 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren.

After several years as a meteorologist in the Air Force and obtaining his Ph.D. at Texas A&M, Tom built a long career teaching science  and math at Bryan High School, Blinn College and Texas A&M University.

A modest and unassuming man of many talents, Tom built a second career as a business owner, Insurance agent and real estate broker. But his greatest love was teaching. He recognized talent in others and helped foster it.

Tom valued time at church and with family and friends. He was active in his congregation, encouraged his children’s academic success, coached their softball team, and applauded their piano recitals. Known for his dry wit, he was liked by people all ages.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, January 21, 2024 at Callaway-Jones Funeral Center, 3001 S. College Ave. Bryan, Texas 77801.


Funeral Service: January 21, 2024 2:00 pm

Callaway-Jones Funeral Home & Cremation Center
3001 S College Ave
Bryan, TX 77801


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  1. Even though I didn’t get to see him often, I will miss my favorite uncle. He and Mom were so close. I can seem Mom now leaning lovingly on him, and that’s probably how she will greet him in Heaven. Although not a lot of time was spent with him through the years, each is a special memory—from messing up the toenail on big toe when I was a kid (sliding on a rug down the hallway) to beating him in checkers in our last couple of visits. Jesus called home a couple of winners in he and Mom. We so regret not being able to come for the service, but Barbara, Elaine, Kelly, know that my heart and love is with all of you.

    • Barbara & family…I am so sorry for your loss. Know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

  2. I am so sorry for you loss Barbara. I know your strong faith will bring you comfort-and I will keep you and your family in prayer.

  3. I only spoke to Tom on a couple of occasions and when I did I felt like he truly took an interest in what I had to say. Barbara I know how hard these last few years have been watching the man you love fade away but you are strong and have faith that he is at peace now. My thoughts will be with you and I am here if you need a shoulder to lean on.

  4. Barbara, I think Tom was probably one of if not the best teacher I ever had. He was so patient and so kind. He truly taught me..algebra of all things. I know that couldn’t have been easy for him. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss and your family’s loss. You are in my prayers and I am holding your heart in my heart.

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