Dr. Douglas M. Sanford, 87, Watertown

WATERTOWN, NY — Dr. Douglas Malcolm Sanford, 87, of 718 Ball Ave., Watertown, died peacefully Thursday, March 7, 2019, at SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, surrounded by his family.

Dr. Sanford was an ear, nose and throat specialist in Watertown for 34 years.

Born Dec. 22, 1931, in Ogdensburg, he was a son of St. Lawrence County Judge Donald E. and Isabella P. Dollar Sanford. He graduated in 1949 from Ogdensburg Free Academy as valedictorian and in 1953 from the University of Louisville (KY) College of Arts and Sciences with a bachelor’s degree in zoology.

He married Mary Rose Peyton on June 12, 1954, in the Methodist Church in Charlestown, IN, with the Rev. Staten Lightfoot officiating.

He graduated in 1957 from the University Of Louisville School Of Medicine, was an intern at Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, from 1957 to 1958, and completed his otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat) residency at Walter Reed General Hospital, Washington, DC, in 1961.

He served in the Army from Aug. 14, 1958, to May 31, 1967, and was chief of the ear, nose and throat department at Munson Army Hospital, Fort Leavenworth, KS, the Gorgas Hospital in the Panama Canal Zone and Womack Army Hospital, Fort Bragg, NC.

Dr. Sanford was board certified in otolaryngology in 1964 and was in private practice in Watertown from 1967 to 2001, with an office at 161 Clinton St., and later at 826 Washington St. He was on the medical and surgical staffs of the former Mercy Hospital and the House of the Good Samaritan, now Samaritan Medical Center. He introduced microscopic ear surgery in Northern New York and was instrumental in organizing the Watertown Ear, Nose and Throat Group with the late Dr. Frederick G. Peckham.

Dr. Sanford also served a five-year term on the House of the Good Samaritan’s board of trustees, was president of the hospital’s medical staff from 1980 to 1981 and was chairman of the Ear, Nose and Throat department and operating room committee for several years. He also was chairman of the ENT department at Mercy Hospital from 1967 to 1977 and chairman of the operating room committee from 1975 to 1985.

Dr. Sanford was a member of the Medical Society of Jefferson County, the Medical Society of the State of New York and the American Medical Association and a Fellow of both the American College of Surgeons and American Academy of Otolaryngology.

He was an Eagle Scout, a Boy Scout first aid merit badge counselor and a member of Ives Hill Country Club, Jefferson County Historical Society and Northern Choral Society. As a member of First Presbyterian Church, he sang in the chancel choir, rang in the handbell choir and was an occasional pianist and organist. He served as a deacon, a trustee, a ruling elder (two 3-year terms) and chairman of the personnel and stewardship committees and, with his wife Mary, co-chaired the church’s bicentennial celebration in 2003. The couple were world travelers, visiting 62 countries and all 50 state capitals. They also enjoyed playing piano duets.

Dr. Sanford had a generous spirit, always providing for others. He enjoyed living in his house in Watertown, and family vacations on the St. Lawrence River. He loved attending graduations, weddings and special family occasions.

Surviving are his wife of nearly 65 years, Mary Rose (his “honey bun”), four children, Janet Peyton Sanford Kowalski, Buffalo, Douglas Malcolm Sanford Jr., Rockville, MD, David Clark Sanford, Pawcatuck, CT, and Martha Lynn Sanford Curtin, Alfred; a sister, Ruth Sanford Alpaugh, Chambersburg, PA; 15 grandchildren; one great grandson, who’s birth was honored at First Presbyterian Church just a few days ago in February, another great-grandchild on the way and several nieces and nephews.

A brother, Donald E. Sanford Jr., died Feb. 13, 2004. A sister, Jane Sanford McCurdy, died July 3, 2016.

Calling hours will be 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, March 18, 2019, at the D.L. Calarco Funeral Home, Inc. A memorial service will be held Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at 11 am First Presbyterian Church with Reverend Casey Carbone officiating. Burial will be at the convenience of the family with military honors.

Contributions may be made to the First Presbyterian Church, 403 Washington Street, Watertown, NY  13601 or Northern New York Community Foundation, 131 Washington Street, Watertown, NY 13601, for a scholarship to be developed in Dr. Sanford’s name.

Online condolences may be made to www.dlcalarco.com