Max G. Sanford

Jul 27, 2014

A Simple Man

Maggie Valley — Max Gardner Sanford, affectionately known as "Dude," 74, passed away Saturday, July 26, 2014, at his home after a valiant battle with cancer.

Max was a native and lifelong resident of Haywood County and a son of the late Robert Gilmer and Leola Hill Sanford. Max was an expert craftsman and builder, leaving a legacy of beautiful homes at the Maggie Valley Country Club. He truly enjoyed his work and if he wasn’t building homes, you could find him tending to his rose garden. Max also enjoyed singing with his granddaughter and teaching her many things about life. He was also a United States Army veteran. Most of all, Max was a proud husband, father and, especially, grandfather.

Max is survived by his wife of 48 years, Cheryl Sanford; two daughters, Lana Sanford, of Asheville, and Jennifer Vesper, of Maggie Valley; one son, Aaron Sanford, of  Maggie Valley; one granddaughter, Alexandra Grace Vesper, who was the “light of his life;” three sisters, Audrey Moore, of Virginia, Jane Lonsway and her husband, Donald, of South Carolina, and Lorraine Caldwell and her husband, Harrison, of Lake Junaluska; two brothers, Leon Sanford, of Boise, Idaho, and Farrell Sanford and his wife, Stella, of Lake Junaluska. Max is also survived by several nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Tuesday, July 29, in the Waynesville Chapel of Wells Funeral Home with the Rev. Davis Plemmons officiating. The family will receive friends following the service at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to CarePartners Hospice Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 25338, Asheville, NC  28813.

An online memorial register is available at