Maurice Clair Sandaker, known to family and friends as “Sonny”, passed away Monday, October 29, 2018, at his home at the age of 82.
Sonny was born November 15, 1935, to Clarence & Bertha (Raaum) Sandaker in Williston, ND. He was the oldest of seven children. Sonny attended country school and Williston High School. After high school, Sonny remained in Williston and helped his father on the family farm. At 20 years old, he enlisted in Army National Guard and served for six years.
On October 6, 1956, Sonny was united in marriage to Gladys Botten at First Lutheran Church in Williston. Together they were blessed with four daughters and one son.
Early on, Sonny enjoyed working as a meat cutter and it continued for over 20 years before Sonny settled into farming full time. He started with L & A Grocery Store, and then also worked for The Coop, Williston Packing, and Hillside Meat. Sonny’s fondest of memories always included his friend, Ralph Hanson, when they worked together for many years processing deer for numerous local hunters. Sonny was well known for his amazing breakfast sausage which he always brought out every holiday, to the delight of all his children and grandchildren.
Sonny’s passion had always been farming. He and Gladys bought their own farmland in 1968, just down the road from the farm Sonny grew up on. Sonny loved having his children on the farm, especially during harvest. When needed, he would bring home calves, baby raccoons, and rabbits for the girls to nurse back to health. He made sure his daughters always had a 4-H calf for the fair each year. Sonny retired from farming in 2008, but just this spring he got back into the cattle business with his son Brad.
In Sonny’s spare time, he enjoyed spending time with all his family and friends at their lot at Blacktail Dam. Many holidays and family celebrations have been held there. Sonny and Gladys’ children and grandchildren look forward to the annual Sandaker family gathering every July, the more the merrier! Many fond memories have come from time spent at Blacktail. Sonny also enjoyed attending as many auctions and gun shows that he could. He collected old pickups, old tractors, and guns. Last Christmas, he gave each of his children and grandchildren a gun from his collection. Sonny was a member of the Moose Club, and for many years he helped cut lutefisk at the First Lutheran Church.
In 2012, Sonny and Gladys started spending their winter months at their home in Queen Creek, AZ.
To celebrate Sonny and Gladys 50th Wedding Anniversary, they went on a cruise with all their children and their spouses, along with many grandchildren. Sonny and Gladys just celebrated their 62nd Wedding Anniversary earlier this month.
Having shared in Sonny’s wonderful life, and continuing to honor his legacy are his wife Gladys, five children: Shelly (Steve) Lehrkamp, of Herried, SD; Lori Sandaker of Flagstaff, AZ; Mary (Bob) Kupper of Mandan, ND; Wendy (Vaughn) Bloxham and Brad Sandaker all of Williston, ND. Also, his beloved dog Chloe.
His Grandchildren: Shane (Christine) Lehrkamp, Stacey (Jesse) Greve, Shan (Casey Rossow) Lehrkamp, Nicole Sandaker Masters, Michael Sandaker Masters, Ceisha (Tom) Leingang, Katie (Calvin) Anderson, Jen (Joey) Lafave, Heather (Rob) Breuer, Jacob Bloxham, Joshua Bloxham, and Taylor (Avery) Knoll.
His Great-Grandchildren: Mallory, Haille, Hannah, Kinlee, Todd, Brooklyn, Kylee, Trevor, Parker, Andie, Owen, Ava, Jack, and Kaiden.
Sonny is survived by his sisters: Aone Adams, Linda (Dave) Vickery; brothers John (Marlene) Sandaker and Tom (Nora) Sandaker; sisters-in-law Marilyn Sandaker, Lorraine Nelson, and Jean (Ron) Erdmann; and many nieces and nephews.
Proceeding Sonny in death were his parents Clarence & Bertha (Raaum) Sandaker, his brother Sylvan Sandaker, his sister Beverly Larson, father and mother-in-law Martin & Lottie (Larson) Botten, his brothers-in-law Lyle Nelson and Charlie Adams.
It broke our hearts to lose you, but you didn’t go alone, for part of us went with you, the day God called you home.