Eleanor Katherine Sanford


Eleanor Katherine Sanford passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on December 7, 2020. She was lovingly known as “Mama” to all 10 kids, 160 grandchildren, great grandchildren and great -great grandchildren. In her camp there were no Indians, we were all CHIEFS! Mama loved knowing her family moved as a unit on one accord. Everyone who met her was drawn to her strength and love. Strangers would trust her immediately by opening up to her with their challenges and life stories with comfort and wanted to be a part of the family. Eleanor was born on March 03, 1946.

Eleanor was proceeded in death by her parents George and Catharine (Honey) Powell, husband James T. Sanford, Jr., her children: Helena Jenkins, Jeremiah (Uncleman) Sanford, and Sandy Sanford; her grandson Ricardo (Cardi) Smith, and Great-grandson Ricardo (Mannie)Mills; and her siblings George Powell, Jr., Ozella Neal, Helena Taylor, Phillip Powell, Luther Powell, Joseph Powell, Rocky Powell, and Jacqueline Williams.

Eleanor leaves to cherish her memory her siblings: Arthur Powell and Arletta Noble; her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren (see list).
Eleanor will be most remembered for her loving encouragement. She created a welcoming home and had the spirit of acceptance. So much knowledge was gained from her over conversations around the dinner table and in those most trusted private moments as well. Eleanor made everyone stronger, better and wiser, devoting her entire life to her children. She was the rock of the family and the go-to person for everything.

Eleanor wore many hats. She was a chef, making everything from scratch and with love. She was a caregiver to many, a nurturer, a nurse. Eleanor was also very passionate about always doing the right thing and she looked for the best in people and would tirelessly fight for justice at all costs. She often joked that if she had not have been blessed with her own children, she would have been a Black Panther so she raised us to be strong and love one another.

Eleanor was also a counselor, a mediator, a teacher and a prayer warrior. Her greatest legacy came from her faith as she loved and trusted the Lord and taught her family to do the same. Eleanor made sure to pour Jesus into people so that when they came in contact with her, they left her presence knowing that they were stronger and wiser. Mama was LOADED with Godly wisdom.
Mama will be missed by so many. The entire family will ensure to carry on her life’s work: staying strong, sticking together and loving each other.

Eleanor met her husband James Sanford in 1958, fell in love, married and together created the Sanford dynasty.

“Who rocked the house, the Sanford’s rock the house and when the Sanford’s rock the house, they rock it all the way, all the way, all the way DOWN!!”

Public Visitation 5-7:00pm Friday, December 18, 2020 at MARLAN J. GARY FUNERAL HOME, THE CHAPEL OF PEACE NORTH, 2500 Cleveland Ave.

Visitation 9:00am and Funeral 10:00am Saturday, December 19, 2020 at Victory Deliverance Church, 1718 Myrtle Ave.

Interment at Glen Rest Memorial Estates.


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Online Obituary Donation in memory of Eleanor Katherine Sanford

Condolence Messages

  1. Thinking of you in the loss of your sweet dear mother, Miss Eleanor Sanford. We were really sadden to hear of her transition. We thank you for allowing our staff here at Premium Health Care to service your family. Miss Eleanor was such a joy to have as a patient. You all have our heartfelt Condolence and we pray your faith will give you strength. The Sanford Family will remain in our thoughts and prayers. May God Bless you all.

    Valarie Gist &
    The entire Staff of Premium Health Care

  2. My deepest condolences for the Sanford family. Mrs. Sanford was truly an amazing woman that loved her family with every ounce of her being. Although she will be missed, find peace in all the many great memories she shared with each of you. My prayers are with you.

    Melanye Collins

  3. Our family has lost a true patriot in Aunt Eleanor. I am certainly keeping you all in my prayers. I love my family.

  4. My Heartfelt condolences go out to Jonelle and her entire family. I pray your strength in the Lord. GODSPEED ♡♡♡♡

  5. Kathy Hawkins Brown

    Jonelle and Sanford family. My heart is broken to hear of the passing of Mama. She was such a loving. Catering and spirited woman full of strength. She was God sent. She welcomed me into the family with open arms. She spoke the truth. She took car of my grandkids when they were young. I knew they were safe in her care. My thoughts and prayers are with you and the family. May God’s love comfort you all through family and friends. With love and prayers for strength during this this time. I love you all my family.

  6. My deepest condolences to the Sanford family. Mama Sanford will be truly missed by all. I always wondered how all of the Sanford siblings were so close and then I met Mrs. Sanford. She was so full of life and her light shined through any and all darkness. The last time I visited her she was joking and laughing trying to figure out why her IPad cord wasn’t working. Rest in Heaven Mama Sanford.

  7. Jethro Edward Owes

    My Condolence Ms. Zina Sanford and family may God be with you thru this tough time.

  8. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”. My deepest condolences to Jonelle and family. I pray that the Lord give you strength and comfort during this difficult time.

    Love Jasmin and Tequila

  9. Keyana Jackson-Haney

    Renee Dawes and Family. I cannot find the words to express how deeply saddened I am for your loss. Your mother, Mrs. Sanford was the epitome of strength and truth. In every encounter I had with her, I can say she taught me something. My hear hurts. I pray for your peace and strength during this time. Sending my love and condolences.

    Keyana Jackson-Haney

  10. Frances Mitchell

    To the Stanford Family:
    I am sorry for your lost. I loved my old friend . I haven’t seen or talk to her in many years. But I haven’t forgotten her and remember the fun we used to have together when we were neighbors. I cannot come to her home going. I am keeping your family in my prayers. Love you .

  11. Cherri (Brown) Collins

    To Jonelle and my extended Sanford family. Sending prayers for Strength during this difficult time, I have so many great memories of mama, she was a Phenomenal women of Faith, Her family was her life, one thing for sure she loved to see her grandbabies dance . It breaks my heart that she won’t be here physically, but it gives me great joy to know where she has gone. GOD has gain a wonderful Angel. Well rest Mama you will be greatly missed. I love you all.

  12. Victoria B Powell

    From the George Powell Family we send our Condolence. We Love you All and our prayers are with you now and all time. My God carry you through this . Vikki

  13. Henry DeBerry,Jr.

    My heartfelt condolences are extended to Sanford family.

  14. My deepest sympathy goes out to the entire Sanford family. Mama is and will always be a very special lady. She had a spirit that would draw you in if you ever had a chance to be around her. Her strength and love for her family ran so deep. She will be missed.

    “So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.”
    John 16:22

  15. Deepest condolences to the Sanford family and my dear sister friend Jonelle. I was blessed to have Momma ask me if was the gal that made that cobbler. When I responded “yes ma’am” she told me that was a good pie and she wished she’d gotten more. You know when an elder, Queen, matriarch blesses you with a compliment it goes a long way! I’m so very thankful to know that her lessons of life and family will live on through each one of you as she truly is a beacon of legacy, family and love. May God bless and keep you all wrapped in His arms through this difficult time.

  16. Kita Clark-Powell

    To my good friend Renee and the entire Sanford family, I send you all condolences and prayers during this difficult time and as the days/years passes. Mrs. Sanford you will be missed. Thanks for loving me and allowing me to go to church with you.

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