Com­mu­nity leader San­de­fur, 81, dies

Texarkana Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By Greg Bischof

For Ben G. San­de­fur, be­ing op­ti­mistic seemed to al­most to be nat­u­ral part of who he was him, ac­cord­ing to two friends and em­ploy­ees who knew him for decades.

“Ben was by far the most op­ti­mistic per­son I know,”said Steve Oden, who was one of San­de­fur’s neigh­bors, friends, along with be­ing his at­tor­ney, for more then 50 years. “Ben never seemed to have a bad day. He was al­ways happy and he loved the com­mu­nity.”

The long-time lo­cal banker and real es­tate de­vel­oper died Fri­day morn­ing peace­fully in his sleep fol­low­ing a 10-year ill­ness. He was 81.

Dur­ing his life here, San­de­fur served as United Way chair­man, pres­i­dent of the Texarkana Cham­ber of Com­merce, Texarkana Col­lege Board of Trustees pres­i­dent, Texarkana Col­lege Foun­da­tion Board mem­ber, char­ter pres­i­dent for the Vol­un­teer Ser­vices Bureau of Texarkana, Lead­er­ship Texarkana board mem­ber, Saint Michael’s Hos­pi­tal Foun­da­tion board mem­ber and Co-Chair for the Cap­i­tal Cam­paign for the Bunch-Wood­view Alzheimer’s Cen­ter.

San­de­fur also served as the first non­lawyer ap­pointed to the State Bar Griev­ance Com­mit­tee for this re­gion. He also served on other boards and com­mit­tees, lo­cal and statewide, too nu­mer­ous to count. He was a dea­con for Trin­ity Pres­by­te­rian Church and later a mem­ber of First Pres­by­te­rian Church, Texarkana, Ark.

Both San­de­fur and his wife Nancy were greatly hon­ored by the com­mu­nity as the win­ners of the C.E. Palmer Award in 1988.

“Ben was my boss at First Na­tional Bank and State Bank,” said Den­nis Lan­dreaux. “In my pre­vi­ous job, I had made loans, but Ben hired me with­out any real bank­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and he was a great boss, a great leader and a great friend and he was also a very avid duck hunter. Ben was a fun guy, a smart guy and the way I think I will al­ways re­mem­ber Ben in my mind, will be in this image of him lean­ing up against a tree, wait­ing for the sun to come up and for the ducks to come out and fly over. I was proud to know him and I was very for­tu­nate to get to know him on a per­sonal ba­sis. He was also a very great com­mu­nity leader and this town will miss him so very much.”


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