Steven Philip Sanford

February 22, 1962January 25, 2021

Steven Philip “Deeb” Sanford, 58, of Lynchburg, died on Monday January 25 after a brief struggle with cancer.

Steve was the son of Betty Sanford Lupton and the late William Eugene Sanford Sr., and was born on February 22, 1962 in Lynchburg.

Steve attended Paul Munro Elementary School, James River Day School, Virginia Episcopal School and was a 1981 graduate of E.C. Glass High School. After attending the University of Alabama for two years, Steve returned to Lynchburg and earned a Bachelor’s degree from Lynchburg College in Business Administration.

A lifelong technology “nerd”, Steve started working in the electronics field immediately after college. He worked in California as a systems programmer and later returned to Lynchburg, then Baltimore and Charlotte to work in sales and network administration for Glen White Associates. Steve lived and worked in Charlotte as an independent network engineer for the last ten years of his career.

Steve’s love of technology extended beyond the workplace. He was known among friends and family as the “go-to” guy for all technology matters, including PC repairs, home and car stereo installations, and even dance party music events. Friends will remember Steve’s pioneering crea-tions of mix tapes of his favorite James Brown and Kool & the Gang tunes.

Steve could start a party with his world-famous laugh. He always welcomed newcomers with the same enthusiasm his friends enjoyed. He was happiest watching Alabama football games with friends at home, at The Sports Page on Lake Norman or at the Cavalier in Lynchburg. Steve loved Alabama football and football in general. When Steve returned to Lynchburg in 2017, he and his sister Crystal kept the neighborhood hopping during football season with Alabama and Carolina Panthers parties, which often included football pools, team mascots and merchandise.

Steve was devoted to his family and looked forward every year to Beach Week at Hilton Head with his many nieces and nephews. His favorite pastime recently was “Covid Date Night” on the deck at Oakwood with his mom, Betty.

In addition to his mother, Steve is survived by his three, loving big brothers: Keith Sanford (Julia) of Lookout Mountain, Georgia, Kirk Sanford of Chattanooga, Tennessee and Bill (Marianne) of Lynchburg, nieces Grace Sanford and Annie Sanford of Chattanooga, Julia and Mallie Sanford of Brooklyn, New York, Lizzie Sanford of Baltimore, Maryland and Louisa Reinhart (Spencer) of Golden, Colorado, and nephews Charles Sanford (Meg) of Lookout Mountain, Georgia, Phillips Sanford and Alex Sanford of Chattanooga and Lawson Sanford of San Diego, California, and grand-nephews, Brougher and Marken Sanford of Lookout Mountain, Georgia.

The family would like to thank all of Steve’s friends and members of the Lynchburg community for their love and support over the last few months. The family would also like to thank Steve’s caregivers, especially, Dr. Kevin Patel, and the doctors and staff at Centra Health for their com-passionate care and support for Steve during this time.

There will be a private ceremony for Steve in Lynchburg on Saturday January 30, followed by a Celebration of Steve’s Life to be announced at a future date.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Crystal Anne Sanford Fund at the Centra Foundation or to Virginia Episcopal School.


  • Crystal Anne Sanford Fund at the Centra Foundation
  • Virginia Episcopal School


  • Celebration of Steve's Life at a future date


Steven Philip Sanford

have a memory or condolence to add?

Carolyn Wood (Burbank)

January 31, 2021

May God shed His light on your entire family during your time of loss! My memories of Steve are all filled with laughter. Whether you called him Steve, “Deeb”, or “Cotton” back in the day, he knew how to make you laugh! Though we only sporadically kept up in the later years, he was, by all accounts, an even better man than the youngster I knew. Rest easy, now, friend.

Dean Nash

January 29, 2021

I came to know Steve (then called "Cotton") back somewhere around the summer of 1970 in Cabin 2 at the Lynchburg YMCA's Camp Bibee on Buggs Island Lake. We spent several weeks that summer riding horses, learning marksmanship, archery, swimming, water skiing and all other fun stuff kid's dreams were made of back then. We kept in touch on an off over the years, meeting occasionally at camp reunions, but more so in the last 10 years or so through technology and social media. We shared some really good times as youngsters and had a chance to relive some of them along with Bill only a few years ago. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this difficult time. Godspeed Deeb!

Rich and Emilee Lindsay

January 28, 2021

Rest easy friend, you laugh and friendship will be missed by many.... ROLLTIDE!!

Suzanne Shetler Cheek

January 28, 2021

To (as I will always call her) Miss Betty, Kirk, Keith and Bill,
Sending you all love and prayers for strength and peace. Have so many wonderful childhood memories of my “colonial court” buddies. I can picture Steve in his wire rim aviators watching Star Trek in the den of your house...or helping Crystal and I build a fort in the huge tree in your front yard...riding bikes or playing down at the Templetons. He was like having another brother!! Crystal, Susan and I always laughed at how the three of us all had ONLY brothers..
He was such a sweet soul and he will be dearly missed!!!
Fly free sweet friend and we will see you again !!!...I know there is a sweet reunion in heaven with Crystal.

Thinking of you all.....and sending prayers to each of you 🙏❤️

Michele & JW Stinnett

January 28, 2021

JW was devastated to hear about Steve. They have been friends for a very very long time. I met Steve a few years back - he never met a stranger. Our hearts and prayers are with you at this time.

Take care. Peace for your grief,

Michele & JW Stinnett

Angie Tucker

January 28, 2021

I am so sorry to hear about Steve’s passing. May God wrap his arms around the Sanford family in the coming days. Peace and Comfort to all who knew Steve.
His laugh is the most memorable trait. There was never a dull moment when DEEB was around. I loved his mix-music too. He had such a big heart !

Angie Tucker
The Woodlands, Texas

Carisa Wilkerson

January 28, 2021

I am so sorry to hear about Steve and sending hugs and prayers to your family. I have fond memories of the family Thanksgiving holidays with air hockey in the basement and football in the den. He was always so easy to be with and put people at ease for which I was always thankful.

Su Flint

January 28, 2021

Deeb never knew a stranger, was always incredibly kind and exuded joy! He was an awesome companion for any concert, music event or festival. In addition to his full and wonderful laugh I will remember his kindness, appreciation of friends and willingness to jump into fun at any opportunity.

Horace & Diane Russell

January 28, 2021

Deeb, was such a sweet soul! Oh that infectious laugh of his would brighten any day. We will treasure the many memories. He will be sorely missed by all. Love and prayers to family and friends.

Joni Pearson

January 28, 2021

Always FUN times when Deeb was around!! He loved to share his love of music by making several cds for friends. I loved your smile and that infectious laugh!! There is a brighter star in the sky now! I love you Deeb!