Sherwin "Sonny" Gandee, died on Sunday, July 21 in Grosse Ile, Mich. He was 84.
Sonny was born in Akron, Ohio in 1929 to Sherman and Betty Gandee, along with twin, Sherman (Joe) Gandee Jr. He also had two sisters, GeGe, and Joy. He attended Garfield High School in Akron and Ohio State University where he played his life's passion, football. In 1949 Sonny married his high school sweetheart, Marilyn Grecni (deceased 2008).
In a strange twist of fate, Gandee began his professional career with the league's lowliest team, the Dallas Texans, but the Detroit Lions acquired him two games into the 1952 season. He played the remainder of his career (1952-1956) with the Lions as a linebacker and defensive end. He appeared in 53 regular season games, was a member of two World Championship teams, 1952 and 1953. In 1966 he was inducted into the Summit County Sports Hall of Fame in Akron, Ohio.
After retiring from the NFL he was owner of "Sonny Grandee's Celebrity House" in Wyandotte, now carrying the name of R.P. McMurphy's. He also worked in the automotive industry until retirement at which time he moved to Florida until returning to Gibraltar in 2008. He was a long-time member at the Grosse Ile County Club where he enjoyed many days on the course and evenings at the club mingling with friends and his family. He was also a long time member of the Elba-Mar Boat Club and used it as home base for his fishing expeditions which led to some of the biggest fishing stories of the Detroit River. Gandee was a resident in the downriver community for over 50 years and had most recently been living in Gibraltar and Grosse Ile.
Sonny is survived by his wife, Jo Burgett-Amo; son, Sonny Gandee Jr. (wife Catherine); his daughter, Gail Collier; and his sister, Genevieve Anderson. He is also survived by grandchildren, David Collier (wife Rachel), Sonny Gandee III (wife Stephanie), Kelly Collier, Cory Collier, Corey Chandler (wife LaKeisha); and great-grandchildren, Devon Collier, Corey Chandler II, Sonny Gandee IV, and Emerson Gandee; step-children, Brian Orlandi, and Cassandra Pallaghy. Among his survivors are local residents, Gregory C. Anderson (wife Jamie), Sherman Gandee Jr. (wife Anna Marie), Kevin Gandee (wife Patty), and Shelle Gandee Shaikh.