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02/23/20 - NNHS Newsletter - Jerry Sandford

Jerry Sandford
(04 June 1931 - 11 Feb 2020)

Goldsboro (NC) High School Class of @ 1949

Dear Friends and Schoolmates,
 We have received even more heartbreaking news today.  Jerry Sandford, a.k.a. Bungles the Clown and Ronald the Ghoul, passed away in Hampton on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 at the age of 88. In whichever role we loved most, Mr. Sandford was a huge part of our childhood and adolescence.

 From Sean Kotz of VA via   My Cousin, Cheryl White Wilson (James Blair HS / John Marshall HS - '64) of VA - 02/20/20, 8:32 PM:

It pains me to announce the passing of Jerry Sandford who played Ronald the Ghoul on WVEC for more than a decade beginning on Friday, Nov. 13, 1959. Many Bowman fans will also know his work from his version of Shock Theater and his portrayal of Bungles the Clown as well. I met Jerry back in 2008 when I was producing Virginia Creepers, our documentary on VA and DC horror hosts. He was a sweet guy, full of life and very funny. I have attached a rough cut section of the film that relates his famous coffin story. He was very beloved and for good reason.

Virginia Creepers Clip--Missing Shock Theater Coffin

   Oh, Cheryl, what devastating news! Who among us cannot recall working, "Goooood evening, Friends" into any conversation we could?

From the Daily Press - 02/23/20:

                     Jerry Sandford
      HAMPTON - Jerry Sandford, 88, of Hampton, passed away on Tuesday, February 11, 2020.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 62 cherished years, Lois; his son, Philip; his parents, Harwood and Sudie Sandford, and his sister, Trudy Sandford.

He is survived by his son, Jeffery, and wife, Laura; and his grandson, Grayson.

Jerry was born on June 4, 1931 in Petersburg, Virginia. Shortly thereafter, the family moved to Goldsboro, North Carolina, where he spent his formative years until graduating from high school.

He then entered East Carolina College and obtained a B.S. degree in Education. While there he met and later married the girl of his dreams, Lois Simpson.

At that time, and because of the Korean War, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, was sent to Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island, where he was commissioned Ensign, and was assigned to the US Amphibious Force in Little Creek/ Norfolk, Virginia. He served on several troop transport ships (APA), with the mission of landing military troops on foreign beaches. He considered his period of military service a special time in his life.

Jerry Sandford

Four years later he was honorably discharged from the Navy and moved to Hampton, where he began a career in broadcasting in 1957 as an announcer at WVEC Radio. At that time there were numerous radio stations, but only two commercial television stations. WVEC applied for and obtained a license for Channel 13, an ABC Network affiliate. Thus, he had the opportunity for a dual career in radio and TV. In 1959, Jerry's role at WVEC expanded when he became, "Bungles the Clown" and hosted a live afternoon show. Some may remember his scary character, Ronald, on the Friday evening show, "Shock Theatre," and the Bungles Wave.

During this time he obtained a Master's Degree in Educational Supervision from The College of William and Mary, and after leaving WVEC in 1973, he returned to his educational roots when employed to direct information and publications for the Hampton School Division. He retired after 23 years as director of community relations and clerk of the Hampton School Board. However, the retirement was brief because he was asked to assist in the communications department of Newport News Public Schools for a brief period of time - that brief period turned into 11 years.

Jerry and Lois were active in St. Mark's United Methodist Church; he by teaching Sunday School, and she by serving in church circles. They both sponsored the youth fellowship for several years.

The Outer Banks became the family's second home each summer with wonderful memories, especially for Phil and Jeff, of fun in the sun and great seafood. Jerry loved reading, classic cars, (especially convertibles), watching Masterpiece Mysteries, and working in his flower garden. He loved all kinds of flowers, but the rose was his favorite. Jerry will be remembered for his beautiful smile and generous spirit. He never met a stranger.

There will be a Celebration of Life on Sunday, March 1, from 1-5 pm, at the Commanding General's Residence, 33 Fenwick Road, Fort Monroe. Because this is an historic property, no high heels are allowed. Inurnment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, friends are requested to contribute to the American Red Cross or their favorite charity.

Arrangements by R. Hayden Smith Funeral Home. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at

Published in the Daily Press on February 23, 2020.

View Guest Book

February 20, 2020

I will miss my dear friend Jerry, who was unfailingly gracious and charming throughout the decades we worked together on behalf of our respective employers, and for many years prior when I was among Bungles' most loyal fans. It was a delight to catch him in residence at Roberts Antiques, where I could always count on hugs whenever either of us was coming or going. He was a gentle man and a gentleman, and I will never forget him. Sweet dreams and much love to you, Jerry. ❤

~ Melissa Trevallion Hespenhide

February 21, 2020

He was a big part of our growing up in Hampton. He will be missed. I had the pleasure to meet and work with him in 1986, and he was a sweet man. Thoughts and prayers to the family.

~ Carol Hunt

February 21, 2020

I can remember being tiny, like 2 or 3 years old and going to the kiddie show (matinee) at a Newport News theater and Bungles made a live appearance! I went off! I was SO excited! I remember that to this day! God bless him and his family. Prayers going out.

~ Kathy Henning

   Our deepest sympathies are extended to Mr. Sandford's family, friends, and many fans at this difficult time.

  Y'all take good care of each other! TYPHOONS FOREVER! We'll Always Have Buckroe!

                          Love to all, Carol





Carol Buckley Harty
7020 Lure Court
Fayetteville, NC 28311-9309

Servant of God, Well Done!

Words by Charles Wesley (28 Dec 1707 - 29 Mar 1788)

Music by George J. Elvey (27 Mar 1816 - 09 Dec 1893)

(The Methodist Hymnal, 1966, #288)

Wesley wrote this hymn in 1770 on the occasion of the death of clergyman George White.
Elvey's tune, "Diademata", has been set to several other hymns, notably "Crown Him with Many Thorns" and "Soldiers of Christ, Arise".

 Servant of God, well done!
Thy glorious warfare’s past;
The battle’s fought, the race is won,
And thou art crowned at last.

With saints enthroned on high,
Thou dost thy Lord proclaim,
And still to God salvation cry,
Salvation to the Lamb!

O happy, happy soul!
In ecstasies of praise,
Long as eternal ages roll,
Thou seest Thy Savior’s face.

Redeemed from earth and pain,
Ah! when shall we ascend,
And all in Jesus’ presence reign
With our translated friend?

"Servant of God, Well Done!" midi courtesy of - 01/13/06

"Servant of God, Well Done!" lyrics courtesy of - 01/13/06

Greg Olsen Paintings courtesy of - 03/15/05

Squiggle Bar Divider Line lip art courtesy of - 04/26/05

John Marshall High School's Justice Scale clip art courtesy of Cheryl White Wilson (JMHS - '64) of VA - 10/13/05 (replaced 02/23/09)
Thanks, Cheryl!

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