RALPH DOUGLAS "DOUG" SANSOM ~ Class of 1952
October 15, 1934 - February 22, 2010
Doug was born in Murray, UT on October 15, 1934, to Ralph and Mazie Thomas Sansom.
The family moved to Richland when he was in the third grade. He graduated from Columbia High School in 1952, and attended the University of Utah for 2 years. On September 10th, 1954, he married Betty Lou Conner ('52) in Richland; later they were sealed for Time and Eternity in the Salt Lake City LDS Temple.
He attended classes pertaining to Electrical work at Columbia Basin College, and never ceased to learn. He was an Electrical Apprentice in 1957, worked as a foreman for a crew on the Reactor that President Kennedy came and dedicated - while still an apprentice. He started work for Bonneville Power Administration in 1967. His first "transfer" for BPA was a move to the Midway Substation in October, 1967.
In 1970, he was promoted to Foreman 1, and sent to the Snohomish area. In 1972, he was transferred to Bellingham, where he worked until 1974 as a Foreman 3. From there he was transferred to Vancouver, WA where he was a Foreman 4. He was the last Foreman 4 in the BPA system. In 1977, another transfer, this time to Walla Walla, as Assistant Superintendent, and in 1979 he was promoted to Substation Maintentenance Superintendent. About 1990, under new guidelines, he was assigned as The Dalles Regional Manager, where he worked until retirement in 1997. He worked for BPA for 30 years. He had great enthusiasm for the work he did in his career, especially for BPA, where he made many great lifetime friends.
Doug and Betty had 6 children: Sharon LaRee Springer (Mel), Susan Kathleen Jahn (David), Shanna Lou Calhoun (Scott), Sharlene Elizabeth Stevenson (Richard), Todd Douglas Sansom (Jennifer), and Troy Norwood Sansom (Noell).
He was lovingly known as Papa Doug by his grandchildren, who are Christopher Williams, David Williams, Arika Harris Schienbein, Ash1ee Harris, Devin Springer, Larecia Springer, Conner Springer (deceased), Amy Stevenson Oppie, Courtney Stevenson Clements, Richard Stevenson, Phillip Stevenson, Ryan Jahn, Lindsey Jahn, Brandon Castro, Trenton Sansom, Matthew Sansom.
Great Grandchildren are Tayler Schienbein, Carson Schienbein, Ellie Grace Williams, Paige Williams, Ethan Springer. Another great-granddaughter (Clements) is due in April.
Doug was a family man, through and through, a great husband, a wonderful father, loving grandfather, and excited great-grandfather. He and Betty bought about 60 acres of undeveloped woodlands, and built their" dream home" on it... lovingly known as "The Compound".
He worked very hard in developing the acres, and reveled in the tasks of thinning the trees, cutting firewood, working with his family in planting new seedlings of fir, pine and cedar each spring.
Poor health began to manifest itself shortly after retirement, but when he was able, he would go work hard and with great joy and enthusiasm In October, 2008, they had to make a difficult decision to leave the hills around Goldendale, WA and move to Vancouver, WA where the medical assistance he needed was readily available. Their children in the Vancouver area were excited to have them move closer, and all the family gathered at their home, and supported all the things that made their life easier and more interesting.
He served in the LDS Church in many positions: Elder's Quorum Counselor and President, a High Priest Group Leader, and a Counselor for the Bishopric. He taught lessons in Sunday school and Priesthood classes. He was a Scout Leader. He truly loved all the positions and the people he taught or presided over.
He had a great sense of humor and usually wore a beautiful smile. He had many friends in his work places, and in the Church.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife's parents, Marion and Goldie Triplett Conner, many aunts, uncles, and cousins, and a grandson, Conner Douglas Springer.
Survivors are his wife, Betty, his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren; his brother, Gary Lynn Sansom ('56) and wife Gayle and the nieces and nephews from them, and his wife's sister, LaRee Pratt, and her children and grand-children. There were many children that "followed his kids home, and stayed," some for many years. He was loved by, and he adored his dauschund, Uma, who keeps looking for him each day.
He will be truly missed by many friends and family, and especially his wife and children.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, March 2, 2010 at Einan's Funeral Home from 5:00-8:00pm. Funeral services will be at the LDS Church on Thayer Drive in Richland, at 11 AM, on Wednesday, March 3 with visitation from 10:00am until service time. He will be buried in the family plot at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Richland following the services at the Church. Einan's Funeral Home is in charge of services.