Donald “Don” Sanger, 67, of Windsor, Colorado, passed away on January 6, 2019, at Pathways Hospice at McKee Medical Center in Loveland, Colorado. Don’s passing comes after a courageous battle with Parkinson’s Disease and multiple complications following a back surgery in July of 2018.
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Don was born to Jacob and Clara “Berniece” (Minks) Sanger on July 16, 1951 in Julesburg, Colorado at Sedgwick County Hospital. He lived his entire life on the Sanger homestead until moving to Windsor in 2007.
Growing up, Don enjoyed boating, water skiing, hunting, and fishing. He also liked working on his old cars, although this seemed to be a full-time job as they were always breaking down, especially when out on dates. During his high school years, Don played on two 8-man football championship teams and also competed in the Colorado State Wrestling Tournament his senior year, where he ended up finishing second. He graduated from Revere High School in 1969 and went on to study at Colorado State University where he graduated in 1973 with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Watershed Science.
Growing up, Don lived a short distance from the love of his life, Joyce (Loos), and married her on September 11, 1971 in Julesburg, Colorado at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church. Don and Joyce lived on the Sanger homestead and raised their two sons, Rodney and Ryan. Although neither of the boys decided to follow his farming career path, he was extremely proud of their accomplishments and the men they turned out to be. Don’s strong work ethic was instilled in his sons, and they continue to carry on that tradition with their own children.
Don farmed most of his life until Parkinson’s disease forced him to retire in 2004. Don and Joyce moved to Windsor in 2007 to enjoy retirement and be closer to their kids and six grandkids. Even though farming was hard work, Don truly enjoyed being a farmer (even though the rain never seemed to come at the right time or in the right amount). Don and Joyce owned a lake house at Lake McConaughy in Ogallala, Nebraska where they loved to spend time with their family. Even though they sold the lake house in 2007 when they moved to Windsor, they always missed and talked about their enjoyment at Lake “Mac”.
Don’s most prized accomplishment and interest was his wonderful, loving family. He enjoyed watching them grow, finding their interests, and praising their accomplishments. When his health allowed, he would attend every sporting event and school activity his grandchildren participated in. He truly loved watching them and, even in failing health, wanted to know when they had activities so he could keep up with how they did.
Don is preceded in death by his father, Jacob Sanger, mother, Clara “Berniece” Sanger, and brother Rodney Eugene Sanger who passed away as a young infant. He is survived by his loving wife, Joyce of Windsor; sister, Diana Sanger of Greeley; his sons Rodney and wife Julie Sanger, and Ryan and wife Amy Sanger, all of Windsor; and his grandchildren Makena, Kylie, Allison, Brady, Kaden, and Chase Sanger all of Windsor.
A rosary will be held at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church, 1250 7th Street, Windsor, Colorado 80550 on January 14, 2019 at 10:30a.m. and be immediately followed by the Funeral services at 11:00a.m.. At the conclusion of the Funeral service, we’ll proceed to Lakeview Cemetery at 32815 Hwy 257, Windsor, Colorado 80550 for Don’s final resting place. Lunch will be provided at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church following. Please join us in celebrating Don’s life and sharing stories.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Pathways Hospice or the Windsor High School Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter, both in care of Mark’s Funeral & Cremation Service, 9293 Eastman Park Drive, Windsor, CO 80550.