Clifford Sanden

Obituary of Clifford Sanden


April 9, 1917-December 16, 2020


It is with sadness, that we say goodbye to our 103 year old Dad, Clifford Sanden.  He left us just in time to have morning coffee with our Mom, Helen (Thorssen) Sanden. He had missed her for 24 years.

Clifford was born near Standard April 9, 1917, the eldest grandson of the Reiffenstein family of 13. Our Dad grew up on the family farm west of Hussar where he built a work ethic second to none. He worked alongside his parents, Jens and Anna Margaret Sanden (Reiffenstein), and younger brothers and sisters. He loved school but left at 15 as he was needed at home on the farm.   A new two-ton 1939 Chevrolet truck was his start to a local trucking business hauling grain and coal.  All was shoveled in and out by hand until he designed and built his own loader. 

As a vivacious young teacher, our Mom captured the heart of the humble, honest, and quiet Clifford, and they were married in 1947. He purchased the farm from his parents, and together they worked hard, side by side, raising their 7 children in a busy and happy home!  “Home was where they loved to be!”

Clifford was a shop man– a natural engineer, mechanic, and builder. He was a perfectionist and learned to make something new from nothing. He built tools, machines, toys, and buildings, including our beautiful home on the hill. Clifford served his community as a 4-H Leader, a Director of the Hussar Credit Union, Treasurer of the Hussar Seed Cleaning Plant for 25+ years, and as handyman and friend to his dear neighbors.

Peter took over the farm, giving Dad the opportunity to retire gradually.  Mom passed away in 1996.  It left a huge hole in Dad’s heart, but he continued on……he enjoyed sharing produce from his huge garden, and his woodworking projects, including his famous fence post vases, “Cliff Hangers” and shoe horns.  Sadly, his son, Charles Sanden, passed away in 2010.

At age 96, Dad moved to Wheatland Lodge in Strathmore; then to Sagewood in 2019, and we thank them for their wonderful care.

At 103 Clifford has survived many, including all his siblings, Marion (Lloyd) Clark, Irving, Harvey (Irene), Vivian Ritchie, and Emil;  and  Helen’s siblings, Francis (Bill) Hallgren, LeRoy (Gwen) Thorssen, Irene (Harvey) Sanden, and Doris (Dave) Usher. He is survived by his sister-in-laws Ruth Sanden(Irving) and Esther Sanden(Emil); and dozens of loving cousins, and nieces and nephews spread across the globe, including Denmark.

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you “all” for being so good to our Dad……your visits, your treats, and, through the years, your wonderful care and attention.

Dad loved his babies, and there were “many”!  His dry sense of humor will continue to make our hearts smile!  We will treasure his “always wise” advice!  “Pay attention” is “a keeper!”

To celebrate Dad’s life, he leaves his children and their spouses, 20 grandchildren and their spouses, and 24 great grandchildren.

Allan Sanden (Bernice), Brenda Sanden c. Greg (Michelle) Sanden (c. Ava, Jack); Andrea (Daryl) Stayura (c. Izzy, Mary); Krista (Matt) Borgstrom (c. Charles, Franklin); Brianne (Mike) Lenzin (c. Claire, Paige); Donna (Keith) Sanden Nelson; Betty Sanden c. Nicole Sanden (c. Julie); Jennifer Leonard; Jill Sanden; Andrew (Stephanie) Sanden (c. Nicholas, Benjamin); Peter (Debbie) Sanden c. Lindsay (James); Stephanie Sanden (Vinny) (c. Malik); Trisha (Brent) Conrad (c. Lawson, Sawyer, Madison) ; Chelsey (Rob) Conrad (c. Travis, Ali Jo, Hannah); Gail (Don) Jensen; c. Jason (Christy) Jensen (c. Caprie, Millie, Jex); Stacey (Jon) Rose (c. Eva, Janelle); Grant (Melanie) Jensen; Wendy (Richard) Clark c. Ellen (Ryan) Cunningham;  Susan (Randy) Moncks c. Kathryn (Brendon) Arnold (c. Scottie); Sarah Moncks (Jarod); Lauren Moncks (Blair), Kristen Moncks. 

Thank you to everyone who celebrated Dad’s life with us at his 100th birthday party April 9, 2017. Dad and Mom’s ashes will be scattered together on the farm on a warm spring day when his family can all be together again.


In Dad’s Memory, donations, if desired, can be made directly to:

Wheatland Hospice Society

P.O.Box 2154

Strathmore, AB



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