Friday, January 23, 2009

Gene Sanford - Friend, Petanquer, Good Man - Passed Away

Today I received a phone call from Sharon Hunter. She told me that Gene, the love of her life & her best friend, had passed away on Wednesday at 7:43 p.m.

Gene Sanford, 51, had complications from his asthma which necessitated a hospital visit. Shortly thereafter associated difficulties brought on a seizure and heart attack.

I first met Gene and Sharon five years ago. They comprised the core initial group of the Detroit Petanque Club. In those days, it was Gene, Sharon, Tony-T, me, James, and Sharon. We had been playing on the sandy pistes down along the Detroit River (Pre-Detroit Riverwalk). Gene was always with his Sharon, and together they played a very strong petanque team. In a very short time Gene and I became good friends, and we'd talk about all sorts of things while awaiting our throws. I can proudly say that Gene, though constant practice, became an excellent tireur (shooter). When most of the club members were shying away from cold weather playing, I could always count upon Gene to be ready for a good game of boule.

I'll miss him.

Sharon told me that she is in the process of making Gene's funeral arrangements. When she knows more information, I'll be sure to share it with you.

Attached are some (of many) photos I have of Gene over the years:


Gumper said...

My sincerest condolences on the passing of your beloved Gene.
He was truly a good man and competitor, and a blessing to have known.
Know that he has moved on to a better, happier place, free of suffering, sorrow and all else that this vale of tears places upon us.
It is we, who in our grieving also give forth in joy for the light Gene brought into our own lives.
He is fondly remembered, now and forever.

Wayne Miller

Anonymous said...

My condolences to you as well. I don't want to spoil Wayne's thoughtful and eloquent words so I just say that we I will put Gene and you in our family's prayers.
Joe & Denise

Anonymous said...

I am in shock reading this.
Gene was a great guy and I'll always remember his contagious smile.
Most sincere condolences to you, Sharon.

hdarpini said...


I'm really saddened by Gene's passing. I have a lot of happy memories playing with Gene and you along the River Walk and a few times in Royal Oak. You guys always made our games a bit brighter. My prayers are with you.


Anonymous said...


My heart goes out to you and your family! I was delighted to get to know Gene, even as brief as it was this past year, and this comes as a terrible shock and loss. Gene was a loveable man, a great josher on the courts, and an excellent competitor. He will be remembered well, and missed dearly..

-Mark Weisgerber