Ian Daniel Sanford, loving and beloved son of Bob and Suzee Sanford, passed away May 27, 2021 at the Wyoming Medical Center, surrounded by those who loved him most. Cremation has taken place and a memorial will be held at a later date.
Ian was born January 10, 1998, in Casper and attended Casper schools. Ian’s dream was to spend his life in the military, following in the footsteps of his heroes: maternal grandfather Lee Beekley (Air Force, Korea), paternal grandfather Al Sanford, (Navy SeeBees, South Pacific, WWII), cousin Jared Lee (Army, Afghanistan), and cousin James Morgan (Army, Poland). He distinguished himself at Natrona County High School in the JROTC Mustang Battalion, under First Sergeant Mack Riggs, competing on both the Rifle Team and Drill Team and presenting the colors at sporting events and veteran funerals. He enlisted in the Army National Guard as soon as he turned 17 and completed his basic training in the 434th Field Artillery Brigade at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, between his junior and senior years. In 2017, Ian married Madison Utecht in Casper, Wyoming.
After serving three years in the Wyoming Army National Guard, Ian was devastated to be medically discharged and unable to deploy to Iraq with his Battle Buddies and Forever Brothers. Upon their return to Wyoming, they honored Ian as their Forever Brother by including him in their get-togethers and he loved spending time with them, reliving their adventures with them. Our family wishes to thank them for their support and love for Ian.
Ian has always been a blood and plasma donor through BioLife, and he wished to be an organ donor after death. His wishes were carried out and thanks to the Donor Alliance, his heart, lungs, liver and kidneys were flown to different parts of the country to share the gift of life with others. Ultimately, Ian’s donations can impact over 75 direct transplant recipients and their loved ones.
Ian’s mom and dad introduced him to the outdoors and wonders of Wyoming from birth, taking him on his first ice fishing trip at 6 weeks old. He loved the Wyoming outdoors and enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, and shooting with family, friends and sometimes just with his dog, King. He spent several summers competing in the trapshooting leagues with his maternal grandparents, Lee and Marie Beekley. He was kind and compassionate in his love for his family, friends and animals, and had a wicked-sharp wit and sense of humor.
Ian was preceded in death by his dad, Bob Sanford, in 2011 and both paternal grandparents, Al and Betty Jean Sanford, in 2017. He is survived by his loving mom, Suzee Sanford; older brother and hero, Tyler (Chelsie) Sanford; little sister and family cheerleader, Libby Sanford; maternal grandparents, Lee and Marie Beekley; aunts and uncles: Maureen (Dave) Lee, Andrea (Jeremiah) Morgan, Pat and Kathy Thomas, Karen and Dan Gall, Mark and Heather Sanford; cousins: Jared (Allyson) Lee; Katelynn (Andy) Dugan; Karalee Thomas; Craig Thomas; Jackson (Jill) Lee; James (Lexie)Morgan; Kailyn (Kevin) Morgan; Carter Gall; Hayden Gall; Grace Sanford; Torrey Sanford; Bennett Sanford; 2nd cousins Aubrey Lee and Sloane Dugan; nieces Parker and Avery Sanford; best friend and Forever Brother, Bryson Baker.
In memory of Ian, the family would ask that you introduce a young person to the wonders of Wyoming, that he or she can develop a lifelong appreciation for the infinite beauty Wyoming offers. Please consider becoming an organ and tissue donor. Go to donoralliance.org for more information.
Arrangements are entrusted to the care of Bustard & Jacoby Funeral Home, 600 CY Avenue, Casper, WY 82601.
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