Deceased February 16, 2021

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In Memory

John Judd “Sandy” Detterick, who died Feb. 16 in Denver, almost didn’t go to Amherst. The family story is that, after admission to the College, he had second thoughts and was reluctant to climb aboard the train that pulled into a station in northern New Mexico in the late summer of 1958. 

But he did take that train to Amherst, where he majored in English, joined Beta Theta Pi, played football for a year and rowed crew for three. 

Sandy took a year off from Amherst for travel in Europe, which failed to take place. Threatened with being drafted into the Vietnam War, and too late to return to Amherst, he spent a year back in Las Vegas at its Highlands University. 

There he met Bobbye Ann Schulze. Their marriage of 58 years began after Sandy graduated with the Highlands class of 1963. They raised a family of two daughters and two sons: Elizabeth Ann, John, James and Mary

Sandy rose from bank teller in Las Vegas to head one of the largest financial conglomerates at the time, Sears Financial Corp. in Chicago. In his mid ’50s, Sandy became head of the board of pensions for the Presbyterian Church USA. In 1998 he was elected executive director of the council of its General Assembly. 

In 2006 Sandy retired to Las Vegas. He hiked, joined the search-and-rescue organization and preached as a lay minister. In 2014 he received a diagnosis of cancer and six months to live; instead, he survived another active six years.

Sandy loved the outdoors. After graduation he took fraternity brothers Jim Tashjian ’63 and the late Dave Perry ’63 on a 60-mile hike through the Pecos wilderness to Albuquerque, an adventure Jim fondly remembers. Fittingly, Sandy’s memorial service was held outdoors in Las Vegas in the spring.

Neale Adams ’63