Remembering Joan Sands

Joan Sands — for more than 30 years an English, reading and special education teacher in Westport — died Monday in Sarasota, Florida, after a long illness. She was 91.

A 1950 graduate of Skidmore College, where she majored in English, Joan later earned a master’s in education from Fairfield University.

Joan Sands

She and her husband Richard Sands, an orthodontist, moved to Westport in 1956. They were founding members of Temple Israel.

Joan loved literature, and was a member of numerous book clubs. She also enjoyed tennis, the beach and being out on the water.

Joan and her husband were avid patrons of the arts and lovers of jazz, classical music, opera, ballet and theatre. They traveled extensively both before and after retirement.

Joan and Richard moved to Sarasota in 1994. They were active in cultural and educational organizations including the Jazz Club of Sarasota, the United Way Foundation Council and Temple Sinai.

She is survived by her daughter Caren, sons Gordon and Jeffrey, 6 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.

A celebration of Joan’s life will take place in 2021. Email Gordie Sands ( for details.

Gifts in memory of Joan can be made to Cure Alzheimer’s Fund online or by check (34 Washington Street, Suite 310, Wellesley, MA 02481). (Hat tip: Dave Harrison)

2 responses to “Remembering Joan Sands

  1. RIP Mrs. Sands—you were one of the good ones.

  2. Werner Liepolt

    Joan was a kind and generous teacher who always saw and brought out the best in her students and colleagues.

    My condolences to her family and all those who were dear to her.