Submitted by his Family
Tim’s firefighting career started in the early 1980s with the Birch Run Fire Department in Birch Run‚ Michigan. In 2002‚ he joined Clinton Area Fire and Rescue as a volunteer firefighter in St. John’s‚ Michigan. He was a third generation firefighter.
Tim was known for his sense of humor‚ hard work‚ and dedication to his department‚ job‚ and his family. He was the kind of person that you could never forget; always made you smile‚ and was never at a loss for words.
When he was going through his pre-certification classes‚ his firefighting brothers and sisters dubbed him Grandpa‚ because of his gray hair and being the oldest in the class. He took great pride in his new name.
Sadly‚ on June 22‚ 2007‚ while fighting a house fire‚ he suffered a massive heart attack. He passed away en route to the hospital at the age of 56. He left behind his wife of 31 years‚ Marie; and three daughters‚ Shannon (Tim) Freeland‚ Lisa (Derek) Smith‚ and Amy Sanborn.
After 34 years of service‚ he had retired from General Motors the previous year and was looking forward to living the retired life‚ playing lots of golf‚ hunting‚ traveling to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula‚ and spending time with his wife‚ who had also just recently retired.
In July 2007‚ at the annual Clinton Area Fire and Rescue Steak Fry‚ Tim was named Firefighter of the Year for 2006-2007 by his fellow firefighters‚ for his outstanding courage‚ bravery‚ and dedication to serve and protect.
Tim was very proud to be a member of the Clinton Area Fire and Rescue and the service that he provided to his community. There will always be an empty place in the hearts of his family‚ friends‚ and fellow firefighters. Tim was and will always be our hero.
More Video: Timothy L. Sanborn Hero Tribute