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March 21, 2013
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Obituary: Albert M. “Al” Sanches

June 26, 1928 - March 18, 2013

Albert M. “Al” Sanches , 84, passed away peacefully at his home in Silver Springs, Nevada on March 18, 2013. Al was born June 26, 1928 in Montrose, Colorado, to Jose Ramon and Helen Robbins Sanches. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Elvina “Viney” Dietz-Sanches. Al and Viney married in Tucson, Arizona on December 17, 1948. They have four children: sons, Charles “Chuck” and wife, Janet Sanches of Fallon, Albert “Corky” and wife, Linda Sanches of Carson, City, Michael “Mike” Sanches of Salt lake City, Utah and daughter, Elvina “Susie” and husband, Clayton Palmer of Layton, Utah; grandchildren Robby, Daniel, Wendy, Nina, Katie, Mary and Sarah; great-grandchildren, Haley, Jacob, Nicholas, Chase, Larissa, Poetica, Tylor and Bailey Ann.

Al Sanches was born on the eve of the Great Depression and spent his early childhood years living a hardscrabble life on the high prairie of southwestern Colorado, caring for his two younger brothers. Like so many of his generation, hardship forced Al, a mere boy, to grow up before his time and he set out on his own at age twelve to make his way in the world with nothing but the clothes on his back, his saddle and an indomitable spirit.

Al eventually made his way to California, where still a youth, he did his part for the war effort delivering blueprints by bicycle in the Mare Island Naval Shipyard. Al tried to join the Navy but was asked to leave when Uncle Sam learned he was too young. Eventually he enlisted in the Army Air Corps- too late to fight in WWII- and was one of the original members of the United States Air Force when it was established in 1947.

A natural born cowboy, Al rodeoed on the side even after joining the service. He met the love of his life, Elvina “Viney” at a rodeo dance in Tucson, Arizona, where they were married in 1948 and set up housekeeping. Al finally got his chance to fight for his country in the Korean Conflict in 1951 as a tech-sergeant in the 45th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron. Over a 22 year military career, Al saw duty stations as far flung as England, Madrid, Spain and Mallorca. His last Air Force assignment was with the 858th Radar Squadron- at NAAS Fallon in 1961. After leaving the service Al settled his family in Fallon and in the 60s and 70s; he and Viney and the kids managed and owned and worked Wilshire, Gulf and Western Mountain Oil service stations and Al’s Radiator Shop there and in Lovelock. Outspoken, civic minded and involved in his community, Al ran, though unsuccessfully, for the offices of County Commissioner and Sheriff of Churchill County.

In 1978, Al went to work for the Nevada State Department of Corrections as a maximum security guard. He and Viney relocated to Carson city in 1980 and Al retired from state service in 1993 to spend more time golfing and course marshalling at the many Carson City courses. Not one to simply fade into retirement, Al took on another challenge in 1995 when he and Viney acquired a five acre apple orchard in Silver Springs where, to date, they have produced several bumper crops of volcanic rock, (Al built these into an impressive stone wall) and horned toads, but not many apples.

Al truly loved animals. A huge flock of Silver Springs pigeons will miss Al’s daily birdseed buffet and will probably have to relocate to some nearby park and go back to decorating statues. And... if all dogs (and cats) go to heaven then Al will have a lot of company there, reuniting with the countless canines and felines he has cared for throughout his life.

Never spare with his opinions or advice, Al will be remembered by his family and friends as a champion of the little guy and as a husband , father, grandfather and friend whose soft and generous heart belied his gruff and often contentious persona. at his core, Al Sanches was a fiercely independent, uncompromising man tempered by the adversity of his youth, who, despite his many faults, loved and provided for his wife, and children. He was proud of all his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and was always willing to lend them a helping hand when it was truly needed.

There will be no funeral or memorial services for Al and the Sanches family request donations be made in the name of Al Sanches to Churchill Animal Protection Society, PO Box 5128, Fallon, NV. 89407.

Arrangements are under the direction of The Gardens Funeral Home, 2949 Austin Highway, Fallon, NV 89406, (775) 423-8928


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The Nevada Appeal Updated Mar 21, 2013 05:37PM Published Mar 21, 2013 05:34PM Copyright 2013 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.