Richard H. Sands '49 died February 10, 2012.
(view alumni profile - Log-in required)

RICHARD H. SANDS ’49

Our father, Dr. Richard H. Sands, died on Feb. 10, 2012, a week shy of turning 85. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Dick was raised with the values of family and community service. Throughout his life, Dad lived his motto, “Lend a hand.”

Dad followed brother William ’44 to Amherst in 1944 but soon left for the U.S. Navy, where he entered the hospital corps and played clarinet in the swing dance band. Returning to Amherst after the war, Dick double-majored in biology and chemistry, played soccer and joined the Kirby Theater Guild, the college band and the Lord Jeffery Amherst Club. He stayed on after graduation as departmental assistant in history and music instructor in the Amherst public schools.

Dad graduated in dentistry from Columbia University and set up an orthodontics practice in Westport, Conn. He was devoted to his profession, publishing papers, cofounding the New-Conn Study group, serving on the boards of professional organizations and organizing conventions. Dad stayed active as a Little League umpire, handing strikeouts to batter Gordie ’79 and walks to pitcher Jeff ’82. He was also an active volunteer to his communities in Westport and then in Sarasota, Fla., where he retired. His military service gave him a love of travel, and he and his family traveled extensively throughout the world. 

Dad loved Amherst, returning to reunion nearly every year and volunteering for the college. Dad was close to Ed Wall, dean of students from 1968 to 1982, and spent many years reading applications, interviewing prospects and hosting barbeques for accepted students. Amherst became a family legacy: also attending were his two sons, nephews Robert ’74 and Peter ’86 and cousins Joe ’52 and Anthony Gordon ’84.

            He is survived by Joan, his beloved wife of 59 years, daughter Caren, sons Gordon and Jeffrey and seven grandchildren.

—Gordon Sands ’79

—Jeff Sands ’82


Log in to post comments