Cover photo for Billy Ray Sanford's Obituary
Billy Ray Sanford Profile Photo

Billy Ray Sanford

January 11, 1937 — November 6, 2021

Billy Ray Sanford

Billy Ray Sanford was born in Winona Texas on January 11, 1937. He left this earth on November 6, 2021. His parents; Virgil Sanford and Pearl Jackson Sanford, always made sure the baby of the family knew how special he was. He was part of a large loving family with his brothers Allen and Ralph and his special sisters Virginia Kidd and Marie Shirato. Billy Ray attended Gladewater school district and was well known for his skills on the football field. Sporting the number 55 as the captain of the team.

Shortly after high school Billy Ray married his first wife Barbara Sanford. They later went on to have two wonderful children. His first born Tina Caton and his son Michael Ray Sanford. Not a day went by that he didn't speak to and think of them both. Later in life he married his soul mate Mary Barber and they danced across Texas in a glorious fashion. He would on occasion tell a story about how they were driving and he pointed out wildflowers on the roadside. He told Mary before she came into his life he would never have noticed such beautiful things.

All that knew "Papa" knew what a joker he was. Never without a smile. He loved to spend time at his home in the country. Even with one arm he loved to find a reason to get on the tractor. He and Mary always loved mowing the pine field and sitting at the cabin by the fire.

Papa very much loved his kids, but his two granddaughters; Emily and Kelly, always held a special place in his heart. His family was the most important part of his life. He always felt blessed to have Mary's kids as part of his life as well. He cherished them like his own; David, Joseph, John, Mary Margertte, Maria, Kelly and Anthony. Never a day passed without being surrounded by loved ones.

Billy Ray is survived by his wife Mary Barber, daughter Tina Caton Sanford and husband Abram Caton, granddaughter Emily Caton and wife Megan Seal, granddaughter Kelly Caton Origel and husband Edwin Origel. He is preceded in death by his son Michael Ray Sanford, parents and siblings. "Christ is my hope"

A visitation will be held on Sunday, November 7, 2021 from 5:00-7:00 pm, where a Rosary Prayer Service will conclude that visitation. Mass of Christian Burial will take place Monday, November 8, 2021 at 2:00 pm at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Union Grove. Interment to follow in the Sanford Family Cemetery in Winona.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Billy Ray Sanford, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Sunday, November 7, 2021

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central (no DST) time)

Croley Funeral Home - Gladewater

401 North Center Street, Gladewater, TX 75647

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Mass of Christian Burial

Monday, November 8, 2021

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central (no DST) time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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