Charles D. Sandford, president of supplier BAG MAKERS, Inc. (PPAI 111408), passed away on December 2 following a year-long battle with cancer. He was 70 years old.

Chuck, as he was known, joined his wife, Chief Executive Officer Maribeth Sandford, at BAG MAKERS in 1992 and was named president shortly thereafter. He helped steer the company through nearly three decades of rapid growth and success.

In a statement issued late Friday, Maribeth said: “I am joined by the entire BAG MAKERS family in grieving the loss of a great man who was beloved and respected by employees, customers and friends throughout the promotional products industry. For 25 years, Chuck helped guide our company with his strong business acumen, principled integrity and compassion. He was enormously proud of BAG MAKERS and our employees. Those of us who had the honor of working with Chuck will remember his leadership, generosity and fairness. He will be greatly missed.”

Sandford was also active in the couple’s horseracing venture, Chuck and Maribeth Sandford, LLC. The Sandfords’ racehorse, Take Charge Indy, won the Florida Derby in March 2012 and competed in that year’s Kentucky Derby. The horse suffered an injury at the Derby, coming in at No. 19, but went on to win the Alysheba Stakes at Churchill Downs a year later. Also, through a donation from BAG MAKERS, Take Charge Indy helped raise funds for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, a charity that provides financial assistance to former jockeys who have suffered catastrophic on-track injuries.

A celebration of life was held on Monday in Merango, Illinois. Sandford is survived by his wife; sister Cheryl Bayness and her husband Roger; Maribeth’s children, Paul Fleming and his wife Stephanie, and Jennifer Madai; nephew Jeremy Bayness and his wife Jennifer; nieces, Jennifer McFadden and her husband Scott, and Brittany Pawlikowski and her husband Blake; grandchildren, Anne Marie Bean and her husband Ben, Ben and Mia Fleming, Amanda Madai, and Aubrie Thompson and her husband Kevin; and great-grandchildren, Josephine and Isabelle Bean, and Aurora Thompson.