FRANKFORT — Peter Roy Sandman, 64, of Frankfort, passed away March 30, 2013, at Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital. Pete was born on Aug. 26, 1948, in Las Cruces, N.M., to Roy Lee and Olga Elizabeth (Peterson) Sandman.
In the early ‘50s, his family briefly moved to Coos Bay, Ore., before returning to Las Cruces. Following the death of his father in 1952 the family moved to Frankfort, where his mother grew up after her parents had come over from Norway in the early 1900s.
He followed his mother, a school teacher, between Corunna and Cadillac during elementary school. However, he’d return to Frankfort every summer, which created a lot of memories of sandlot baseball for him. He moved back to Frankfort permanently for high school.
Pete, a 1966 graduate of Frankfort High School, started his career in journalism in 1963 for the Patriot. Journalism came second nature to him as first cousins Paul Peterson, who was the managing editor of the Ludington Daily News for decades, John Peterson, who was the Detroit News bureau chief in Washington and Frank LaRue, who wrote for a number of dailies and weeklies in Michigan, all influenced the young wordsmith.
After high school he won numerous awards including as a sports writer at Central Michigan University (the only one to win three Michigan Collegiate Press Association sports writing certificates in consecutive years, multiple Michigan Press Association awards, the Citizens Savings Athletic Foundation medallion for his “noteworthy contributions” to the sport of soaring through his writings and later was the only American in 1993 to receive the National Soaring Museum Board of Trustees Certificate of Appreciation, among his many other journalistic and civic accomplishments.
During his college days he spent a couple semesters at Mid Michigan Community College, where he served as the college’s first sports information director. He also played on the baseball team and even got in one basketball game. Pete occasionally boasted about his college athletic career.