Gerald Simon Sands passed away April 12, 2021, in Glen Allen, Va., at the age of 83.
On Nov. 24, 1937, in Savannah, Ga., Gerry was born to David Sands and Eva Levine Sands. As a kid, he enjoyed working with his hands, from weaving shrimp nets and painting figurines to constructing buildings and cars with his erector set.
Friendly and outgoing, Gerry graduated from Benedictine Military School and attended Georgia Institute of Technology. He served in the United States Coast Guard for six years. One of his favorite duties was working the ship deck, where he enjoyed listening to the radio broadcasts from far away countries and continents.
He completed his studies at Armstrong College and the University of Georgia, graduating from the latter in 1960 with a degree in mathematics. Having envisioned a future as a teacher, his plans took a turn when a campus advisor encouraged him to interview for a computer systems design position at E. I. DuPont. He landed the job and began a 42- year career across four states, multiple manufacturing plants and countless business trips.
Gerry discovered his perfect match and in 1964 he married Dianne Goldstein of Greensboro, Ga. In between raising a son and a daughter, he spent his time refinishing furniture, building home additions, dabbling in photography (he converted a closet into a dark room) and keeping up with the latest tech.
Upon retirement from DuPont, Gerry enjoyed working for the Social Security Advisory Council, helping retirees navigate and understand the intricacies of the program. He achieved regular status at his neighborhood Starbucks, where the barista would have his drink waiting for him upon arrival. Gerry could be seen zipping around town in his Prius, listening to Apple podcasts. He also took up wood carving and, the self-described animal-disliker, fell in love with a stray tabby and became cat dad to his beloved Rex.
Gerry is survived by his wife Dianne of Glen Allen, Va.; daughter Robyn Sands of New York, N.Y.; son Mark Sands of Richmond, Va.; grandson Eastwood Strilka of New York, N.Y.; sister Brenda Sands Novak of Atlanta; and his cat Rex of Glen Allen, Va.