Caroline G. Sanford

July 15, 1942 - July 25, 2020
Caroline G. Sanford thumbnail
Sunset View Mortuary
Lea VanMerkestyn
Taska Sanford
Betty Nudelman Light a candle


Despite it all, music gave her wings.

Saturday July 25, 2020, Dr. Caroline Gage Sanford died of cancer in her home in Berkeley, California. Born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1942 to George B. Gage Sr. and Carol D. Gage, Caroline graduated from Rhodes College (then known as Southwestern at Memphis). She married Dr. David M. Sanford. Determined to make her own path in the world after having two children, she went on to earn her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Memphis (then known as Memphis State University).  While practicing clinical psychology in the Memphis area, on a lark, she bought herself a guitar for her 40th birthday. From that day forward she dedicated herself to the enjoyment and spreading of Old Time and Bluegrass music. The world is a much noisier and better place for her.

Her daughter wrote “Mom got the hell out of Dodge. Her garden was blooming outside and she thought -screw all this coughing, I want to sing. What a fierce, independent woman full of firecrackers and glass glitter.” She is survived by her two children, Byron M. Sanford and Taska E. Sanford, and her 3 granddaughters. An online memorial will be held August 29, 2020.


In lieu of flowers please donate in Caroline’s memory to the Augusta Music Festival which she loved attending for many years, including an energizing session in the last few weeks of her life. You can donate online here


Once there, earmark your donation for the “Augusta Discretionary Fund.” On the second page, designate your donation “In Memory of Caroline Sanford.” All funds designated in her memory will be used to put together a future week of programming that she would have loved to experience and would love for others to experience.

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Timeline for Caroline G. Sanford

Born: July 15, 1942
June 25, 2020
Overlooking Emerald Bay at Lake Tahoe
Overlooking Emerald Bay at Lake Tahoe
Died: July 25, 2020

Condolences for Caroline G. Sanford

Sunset View Mortuary

Our sincere condolences.

The staff of Sunset View Mortuary.


Lea VanMerkestyn posted on 8/10/20

In memory of Caroline G. Sanford, Lea VanMerkestyn lit a candle


Lea VanMerkestyn posted on 8/10/20

Loved playing music with Caroline. Such a warm and fun person! Prayers and love to her family.


Betty Westmoreland posted on 8/9/20

The Collierville, TN, Historic Town Square Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Jam sends our sincere condolences to Caroline’s family and friends. May she rest in peace when she is tired of pickin’ and singin’ in that angel band.


Teresa Cutts posted on 8/6/20

Caroline is happy singing in heaven now and tending her garden. She was a true Renaissance Woman and a wonderful singing buddy, bead hound, fellow psychologist and so much more. I'm playing "Ripple" today in her memory and "long may she wave" on the Other Side. She will be deeply missed on this one.


Taska Sanford posted on 8/4/20

Your roses are still blooming!


Betty Nudelman posted on 7/31/20

My old friend and singing buddy. I will miss you very much.