1953 – For a Block Mason in Michigan, work typically screeched to a halt over the winter months. To support his family, Bill Sandhoff Jr. (Grandpa) traveled south to Tampa to seek employment. He wrote letters to his wife, Luci, telling her how he could pick ripe grapefruit from the scaffolding as he worked. After traveling to Florida for 3 winters, Luci and Bill decided it was time to pack up their young family and move to Bradenton where Luci’s uncle was able to find them a place to live. Grandpa found work with the same contractor he had worked winters for in Tampa and went on to sub-contract as a Block Mason, building several large developments including Bayshore Gardens and Cape Vista.
July 1956 – Grandpa’s 1st project as Bill Sandhoff Masonry Contractor
Original ad with an old 5-digit phone number.
At 9 years old, Bill Sandhoff III (Dad) loved to help his Dad out on the job site. Bill, Jr. (Grandpa) told him that if he could wake up, have his lunch packed and be ready to go at sunrise, he could go to work with him during the summers. Dad jumped at the chance. He was tasked with cleaning up the job sites around Cape Vista. He drove a truck around the site (at 9 years old) loading up the broken blocks, sweeping off slabs, and cleaning and putting away tools. He was very conscientious about doing a good job. When not on the job site, the Sandhoffs enjoyed serving at their Church, playing softball, and water-skiing. Throughout the 60's and 70's Grandpa and Dad worked together on hundreds of new construction projects, both large and small, only taking a break to serve their country in the Vietnam War.
July 1960 - Grandpa, Dad and Uncle Don in front of their red Studabaker work trucks.
The Sandhoff Family on the Manatee River. From Left to Right (Bill III, Bill Jr., Janet Sandhoff Mixon (top), Luci Sandhoff, & Don Sandhoff.
At 40 years old, Grandpa (who had already served in WWII and the Korean War) was tired of seeing young men on the news burning their draft cards, so he decided to re-enlist doing what he knew best - construction. As a 40year old navy Seabee (Construction Battalion) in a foreign place, Grandpa did much more than serve as a contractor. He also served as a father figure to many of the younger men in his battalion.
Inspired by his father and always ready to mentor, encourage and lead, Dad enlisted at age19. Following boot camp and training in California, father and son linked up in Vietnam where they built bases for the US Marines.
1987 -Veterans Day News Paper Article about Grandpa and Dad
1969 - Grandpa and Dad in DaNang Vietnam
After serving their country together, they came back to Bradenton and got right back to work building homes, condominiums, schools and shopping centers from Sarasota to Tampa. Sandhoff Construction employed over 100 hardworking men and women during the 1980’s and 90's. Dad and Grandpa were both servant leaders always ready to jump in and help when needed.
Jobsite photos from the 80's and 90's
Today, the third generation of the Sandhoff family continues to carry on a tradition of excellence by building high quality construction projects without compromise, developing long-lasting relationships with our clients and honoring our skilled tradesmen for the value they bring to our company. Over the last 60 years, many builders have come and gone, but thanks to the integrity and work ethic that Grandpa passed down, Sandhoff Construction is thriving and paving the way for the 4th generation.
Bill Jr. (1928-2008) & Bill III in front of Grandpa’s Prized El Camino 1983
John, David and Bill III in front of that same ElCamino 34 years later
2000 - 3 generations, 1 team