Crystal Anne Sanford, 53, of Lynchburg, died peacefully on Sunday, February 10, 2019, at Lynchburg General Hospital, surrounded by her family, after a long pulmonary illness. Moments before Crystal passed, her family told her how much everyone loved her. She answered, "I know" and nodded her head. Crystal was the daughter of Betty Phillips Lupton and the late William Eugene Sanford Sr., and was born on July 12, 1965, in Lynchburg. Crystal attended Paul Munro Elementary School, Seven Hills School, and was a 1983 graduate of E.C. Glass High School. After earning a BS degree in Computer Science from Sweet Briar College, Crystal moved to Raleigh, North Carolina and began a thirty-year career in information technology, working as a systems engineer and project manager for Kensington Technologies, Electronic Data Systems and Hewlett-Packard. A highlight of Crystal's career was a multi-year systems implementation assignment at the Pentagon for the U.S. Navy. She was scheduled to work at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, but fortunately was detained at her hotel during the attack. Crystal quickly assimilated into her adopted home-state, becoming an ardent Carolina Panthers fan. She always rooted for Duke basketball, (because it was her brother's alma-mater) and became a devoted NASCAR follower. She brought all of these allegiances back with her when she moved back to Lynchburg in 2014 and always had a firm grip on the TV-remote during football season. In addition to her mother, Crystal is survived by her four, loving big-brothers, Keith Sanford (Julia) and Kirk Sanford, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Bill and Steve Sanford, of Lynchburg; nieces, Grace Sanford and Annie Sanford, of Chattanooga, Julia and Mallie Sanford, of Brooklyn, New York, Lizzie Sanford of Baltimore, Maryland, and Louisa Sanford of Denver, Colorado; nephews, Charles Sanford (Meg), Phillips Sanford, and Alex Sanford, of Chattanooga, and Lawson Sanford of San Diego, California; and one grand-nephew, Brougher Sanford of Chattanooga. Crystal's happiest times were at the beach or in Lynchburg during holidays with her nieces, nephews and friends. As the only "aunt" in the family, Crystal's home was always open to the kids for as long as they wanted to be there! The family would like to thank all of Crystal's friends and members of the Lynchburg community for their steadfast love and support over the last few years. The visits, calls and messages from friends made Crystal happy and helped her endure the pain caused by her disease. The family would also like to thank Crystal's caregivers, especially, Karen Mahanes, and the doctors and staff at Lynchburg Pulmonary Associates and Centra Health for their compassionate care and support for Crystal and her family during this time. Friends are invited to join Crystal's family on Saturday, February 16, 2019, at 11 a.m. for a memorial service at the Virginia Episcopal School Chapel, followed by a celebration of her life at Oakwood Country Club in Lynchburg. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Centra Foundation, 1920 Atherholt Road, Lynchburg, VA 24501, and write Crystal Anne Sanford Fund in the memo section of the check. Folks can also donate online at and write Crystal Anne Sanford Fund in the comment section. Whitten Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Park Avenue Chapel, is serving the family. To send online condolences to the family, please visit

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