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Lionel Gaylord Sandberg

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Lionel Gaylord Sandberg

Jacksonville, AL

Gayl Sandberg, of Jacksonville, AL, died on Monday, May 12, 2014. He was 87 years old. He was born April 17, 1927, in Dearborn, MI, to Carl Lionel and Marion Sandberg. Some of his earliest memories were of playing on the estate of Henry Ford, where his father was chief landscaper. The family moved out to Oregon and Gayl graduated with a landscape architect degree from Oregon State. He married Betty Smith in Portland and they had three kids, Ellen, Jon, and Rob. He joined the Army Air Corps after World War II and his time was spent in a photography group, developing pictures of the Manhattan Project and the nuclear testing at Bikini Atoll. Dad’s work with the Department of Agriculture meant transfers all over the region, with homes in Sunnyside, Walla Walla, Odessa, Chelan, Harrington, and Omak. He was hired on the Okanogan National Forest to prepare it for the opening of the North Cascades Highway. He designed the Washington Pass Overlook and Klipchuck Campground. When he retired, he and Betty became full time RV’ers. They visited every one of the 48 contiguous states and most of Canada. Betty died in 1997. Dad continued traveling, spending the winters doing landscaping for Nature Conservancy sites in the southwest. He married Janet Wright in Alabama and settled there in 2002. Janet died three days before Dad, and he died three hours after her funeral. They were in the same hospital and each was unaware of the other, due to health conditions.

The family’s memories of Dad include his love for the outdoors. He rode in the mountains every weekend during the summer. He was an avid fisherman, loving to fish out by the net pens in the Columbia River. He loved to camp, teaching his kids the skills needed in the woods. He had a good voice and loved to sing in church choirs. He was honored to be Mr. Ghostrider in 1987, for 20 years in that organization. He loved to dance, from ballroom at the Elks Lodge, to jigs in an eight foot camper. He loved life.

He is survived by his daughter, Sandi Buzzard of Omak, WA; sons, Jon Sandberg in Kansas and Rob Sandberg in Kennewick, WA; and stepson, Allen in Alabama. He has one granddaughter, Sammi (JD) Philleo in Wyoming; and two great-grandchildren, Abby and Wiley Philleo.

Gayl Sandberg was cremated and had requested No Services. His ashes will be spread over his beloved horse country.

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