Jeff Sansaver, 63, passed away at home Sunday, April 15, 2018.
He was born June 17, 1954, son of William and Wilma, and grew up on the south side of Wolf Point, #5 in a family of 10 children.
Playing ditch, Boy Scouts and sports were a formula for the good ‘ol days, where he shared laughs and learned the values of life.
His first job was at the age of 10 and he loved to buy presents for his brothers and sisters at Christmas time.
The family moved to Seattle, Wash., when he was 15 and became the star running back in 3A high school (the largest at the time). He has many newspaper clippings which highlight his football career (which included junior college with his brother, Mark).
Jeff eventually came back to Wolf Point and enjoyed playing softball with a well known group of champs known as Dad’s Bar. They won 11/13 tournaments one year as he loved turning singles into doubles with his blazing speed. He was also the M.V.P. of a basketball tournament right around that time, scoring 55 in one game.
Work was by far the precedent for him though as his business skills really took off due to his go-getter attitude.
In 1982, he would marry his sweetheart, Barbara Jean Ediger. Three children would follow: Jesse, Alonna and Andrea.
As the pressures grew due to a new family, a boss mentality took over as he created his excavating company, “Mechanical Systems.” He worked on the Fort Peck, Crow and Pine Ridge Indian reservations. He also traveled to California, Nevada and Yellowstone National Park.
His community contributions included, but were not limited to, Wolf Point’s baseball field, football field and rodeo arena (which won best material seven years straight), also Frazer’s football field, and many days of volunteered work for churches in the area. All of this while battling Muscular Dystrophy (an atrophy of the muscles) which he became aware of in 1987.
In the winter of 1998-99, he coached the W.P. men’s basketball team that had won only two games the previous season. His leadership shined as the team made it to divisionals, only falling shy of the state tournament. His coaching techniques consisted of defensive pressure, unselfishness and thinking as a unit, because to him basketball was the game of life. He also raised what would become the 2001 b-ball team, taking them to many tourneys, often on his own dime. He was famous for calling time-outs only to make a joke and send everyone back onto the court in a tight game.
Jeff was a man of many laughs who never complained. A generous person who knew the values of what it was to be a humanitarian. He helped many people get back on their feet, even as he underwent the process of losing his own ability to stay upright. His wife became a major player in his life as they battled Muscular Dystrophy and all of its trials.
A hunter in his younger years, he turned to his front window for peace of mind. Gazing over Wolf Creek, he loved to watch the eagles fly and would sit in his wheelchair and admire nature’s beauty while his grandchildren, who he loved dearly, would crawl up his chair to sit with him. Jeff lived a full life and is undoubtedly waiting for us with a smile and a good laugh when it is our time to cross over the great threshold into the afterlife.
He is proceeded in death by his father, William; and eldest brother, Bill.
He is survived by his precious mother, Wilma “Tubby;” his wife, Barb; children, Jesse, Alonna and Andrea; four special grandchildren, Clare, Amya, Damari and Huyanna Pearl; sisters and brothers, Kyle (Darrell) Vinyard of Washington, Ross (Keri) of Wolf Point, Noel (Doreen) of Wolf Point, Debbie (Jerry) Vinyard of Washington, Brian (Janie) of California, Mark (Kelli) of Wolf Point, Alexis (John) Garsee of Washington and Kelly of Washington; along with 10 nephews, 14 nieces, 16 great-nephews and 16 great-nieces.
His funeral service will be held Friday, April 27, at 5 p.m. at the Wolf Point High School gymnasium. A private inurnment will take place at a later date.
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