A few weeks ago, The Boston Globe included an obituary about our classmate and dear Phi Psi brother, Frederick Sanders. While the news of Sandy’s death was painfully shocking—who among us is comfortable with the rate at which our contemporaries depart?—my sadness was partly relieved by the accompanying newspaper photo. The imminent smile was that of the boy we began to know sixty-six years ago.
While there’s much to be said about Fred’s life post-Amherst—e.g., his WW II military years in Greenland, his long and distinguished career on the faculty of MIT, a precious and extended marriage to Nancy Brown—two things strike me as deserving special mention. Firstly, from his childhood on the shores of Lake Michigan, he was a strong sailor. In somewhat recent years, this interest included races from Newport to Bermuda and, occasionally, beyond. These ventures were unrelated to his career as a meteorologist, but most of us realize the folly of being indifferent to the weather while at sea!
Second, true to the man’s heart was his life-long love of music. On many a late afternoon, I remember finding him at the piano at Peggy Moore’s where we had rooms our sophomore year. Not only was he composing from an early age, but the love of choral singing lasted to life’s end. His funeral, as had been the last of Fred’s choirs, was at Marblehead’s Old North Church. In addition to Nancy and two siblings, he left two sons and a daughter, all tolerably nearby.
He made us all proud of the candy-maker’s son from Detroit.
—David J. Maitland ’44