Brian L Sanford, 59, of Indianapolis, died peacefully with his family by his side on Monday March 21, 2016, after a nearly five-year battle with ALS. He was born on Sept. 3, 1956, in Hancock County, to Charles and the late Martha Sanford.
Sanford was a career firefighter, starting his distinguished career at Warren Township in 1983. He became the chief of Warren Township Fire Department in 1999, and served in this role for 8 years. At the time of the Warren Township merger with the Indianapolis Fire Department, he was named Deputy Chief of Emergency Services. Mayor Greg Ballard appointed Sanford Chief of the Indianapolis Fire Department in 2008. He admirably served the city in this role until stepping down in 2014, to assume the position of Chief of Staff of the Director of Public Safety.
Sanford had a profound impact on the city of Indianapolis and the communities in which he served. He had numerous accomplishments and awards. No award was more meaningful than the Sagamore of the Wabash, presented to him by Governor Pence in 2014. This award is given to a person who has shown “Humanity in Living, Loyalty in Friendship, Wisdom in Council and Inspiration in Leadership”.
He was a devout member of Indian Creek Christian Church and volunteered with his wife in the child-care ministry. Despite all the contributions to the fire service and the city of Indianapolis, his true passion in life was his children and grandchildren. Attending their sporting events, school functions, and general activities will always remain the ultimate highlight of his life.
He is survived by his wife, of 39 years, Diane (Kennedy); his two brothers, Steven and Rod; his three sons, Ryan (Natalie), Michael (Jalyn), and Mark (Lori), and his eight grandchildren, Garyn, Ashlyn, Gianna, Kai Shuai, Carter, Warren, Tyler and Nolan.
Visitation will be at Flanner and Buchanan- Washington Park East in the Community Life Center, 10612 E. Washington St. Indianapolis, IN 46229 on Thursday, March 24, 2016, from 1-7 p.m. Memorial services will be held at Indian Creek Christian Church, 6430 S. Franklin Rd. Indianapolis, IN 46259 on Friday, March 25, 2016, beginning with a 9 a.m. visitation and 10 a.m. Celebration of Life service. Burial will immediately follow the service in the Crown Hill Cemetery Heroes of Public Safety Section.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be directed to the Chief Brian L. Sanford Memorial Scholarship Fund.