Cover photo for Dr. David Sanford's Obituary
Dr. David Sanford Profile Photo
1967 Dr. 2022

Dr. David Sanford

October 26, 1967 — November 3, 2022

Knoxville, TN

David George Sanford, 55, passed away Thursday, November 3, 2022. He was born October 26, 1967, in Knoxville, Tennessee, to the late Georgia Sharp Baker and Charles Sanford and he was also the stepson of the late James Baker. He is survived by his beloved wife and children, Amy, George, and Mira all of Knoxville, Tennessee; a sister, Lisa (JD) Sanford Howard of Knoxville, Tennessee; a special aunt, Jessie Malin of Rector, Arkansas; a sister-in-law, Alice (Mark) Elkins of Middlesboro, Kentucky; and his in-laws, Judy and Dewey England of Harrogate, Tennessee. His niece and nephews, Collier Elkins, Caroline Elkins, Luke Howard, and Robert and Daniel Hall also survive him. His brother, Alan Sanford, preceded him in death. David leaves behind a devasted host of relatives, friends, and colleagues.

David was a graduate of Middlesboro High School, Lincoln Memorial University, and the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. After completing his internship at St Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana, and ophthalmological residency at the UK Chandler Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, he came home to the mountains to open his practice. For twenty-five years he cared for patients in Middlesboro, Harlan, and throughout the region. Dr. Sanford relished both the privilege and opportunity to make a difference in the lives of his patients by helping them to see better. He was known not only for his skill as a surgeon but for his humility, kindness, and his terrific sense of humor. “Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity.” ― Hippocrates

David grew up in Middlesboro, Kentucky, where he met and married Amy. In the decade before George and Mira were born, David and Amy traveled and worked together while anxiously awaiting the day when they would become parents. David loved a hobby and throughout his life he passionately pursued piano, guitar, radio DJing, flying, dirt bike riding, running, hiking, and tennis. With every venture he assembled a fellowship of enthusiasts whose comraderie and friendship sustained him. His greatest joy was watching George and Mira grow and develop their own passions. From swimming and lacrosse to cross country, Lego, and video games, if his kids wanted to try it, he was all in. David was also a thoughtful and committed longtime member of the recovery community.

David’s funeral will be held at Sevier Heights Church on Sunday, November 13, 2022 at 3:30 pm.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Violet’s Village at or to Steps House Inc at

This obituary is a courtesy to the family of Dr. David George Sanford by the Anderson-Laws & Jones Funeral Home of Harlan.

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

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Starts at 3:30 pm (Eastern time)

Sevier Heights Baptist Church

3232 Alcoa Hwy, Knoxville, TN 37920

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