On March 28, 2005, the second president of the Navigators died of pneumonia-related health complications.
Dr. Lorne Sanny, 84, was also suffering from serious health issues including the recent diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, when he passed away.
According to the Navigators, a global ministry with members in over 70 countries, Sanny was the "builder of the Navigators" and helped make the ministry's motto - know Christ and make Him known - become a reality.
"[Sanny] gave it focus, direction, and purpose. He was a godly man, one of the most humble men I've known, and a wise leader who had a sense of where The Navigators ought to go," said Jerry White, who became the third president of the Navs in 1986. "I saw him last week, and we reflected on God's leading. He told me, 'Jerry, I've accomplished everything God wanted me to do. It's hard to leave the family, but this is right.' While we will miss Lorne, he was ready and considered this to be a promotion."
Mike Treneer, who replaced White as International President of The Navigators in January, said, "While our hearts grieve with Lorne's family at the loss of a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather, we rejoice with Lorne Sanny at his victorious entrance into the presence of the Savior he loved and served so faithfully and fruitfully."
"The Navigators were privileged to be led for 30 years by a devoted servant of Jesus Christ, a committed mentor of many, and a gifted teacher of God's Word," said Treneer.
Sanny was born to Charles and Emma Sanny of Granville, Iowa, on November 22, 1920, and raised in LeMars, Iowa. His commitment to Jesus in his teen years proved to have a lasting impact on his faith in future years.
He joined The Navigators while studying at the Bible Institute of Los Angeles. And for 15 years, Sanny served as the understudy for the Navigators' founder and first president Dawson Trotman.
According to the Navigators' press release, Sanny became the "natural successor" for the Navs when Tropman drown in 1956.
During Sanny's 30-year tenure as president, The Navigators grew from a staff of 171 in fewer than a dozen coutnries to 2,580 in 71 countries. Today, 4027 Navigator staff work in 110 countries, among 214 people groups, and in 161 languages.
Even after his resignation, Sanny continued as chairman of the ministry's U.S. Board of Directors until 1993, and developed the Navigator Business and Professional Ministries, the marketplace outreach.
His many accomplishments included the development of follow-up material for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and the Christian Management Association named him Christian Manager of the Year in 1987. Late last year, he was awarded Discipler of the Year by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
The public memorial service will be held Sunday, April 3, at 2:00 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Castle at Glen Eyrie, The Navigators' worldwide headquarters, with a reception following .
The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, gifts be sent and designated to the Sanny Glen Eyrie Fund in care of The Navigators, P.O. Box 6000, Colorado Springs, CO 80934. The fund's purpose is to sustain the future discipling ministry of Glen Eyrie, a passion of Sanny.