The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

February 14, 2014

Homer J. Sands

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The Daily Star

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SMYRNA — Homer J. Sands, 88, most recently of Smyrna, passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, at the Villages in Summerfield, Fla., where he had wintered for numerous years.

Born on May 24, 1925, in Nineveh, Homer was the son of Orin A. and Mildred Hawkins Sands. 

He graduated from Afton High School with the Class of 1943. While at Afton, Homer played sports, including football and basketball. 

Following graduation, he joined the U.S. Navy to serve his country in World War II from November of 1943 until his honorable discharge in May of 1946. 

Homer returned home and enrolled at Cornell University to earn his bachelor’s degree. 

An avid drummer, Homer played drums in a dance band while in high school and also played for the Cornell marching band while attending college. He graduated from Cornell with the Class of 1951 and took a job with Farm Credit in Springfield, Mass. 

In 1953, Homer transferred to the Norwich office where he worked until Feb. 1, 1957. He then began his lengthy career with the National Bank and Trust Company, from which he retired on July 1, 1987, as a vice president. After retiring from NBT, he worked for 10 years at I.L. Richer as credit manager. 

Homer was also an instructor at SUNY Morrisville and was chairman of the Morrisville College Foundation from 1994 to 1998. 

He was a member of the United Church of Christ First Congregational Church for 60 years and served on the Norwich school board, Delaware Otsego Railroad board of directors and with the Salvation Army. He also served as Town of Plymouth assessor for a time and as a member of the Plymouth Volunteer Fire Department.

In December of 1947, Homer married Marjorie Wayman of Afton. They had two children, Linda and Larry. 

Following his graduation from Cornell, they moved to Springfield, Mass., where they lived until returning to Norwich in 1953. 

On Oct. 14, 1972, Homer married Carol Barrows Sands. They had two children, Jonathan and Nathaniel. They lived on West Hill in Norwich until 1987. 

In 1987, after retiring from NBT, Homer and his family moved to Plymouth Reservoir, where they lived from 1987 to 2001. In 2001, they moved to Smyrna to be close to their son, Jonathan, and his farm. 

Homer enjoyed spending time on the farm. He spent as much time as he could helping with day-to-day operations. 

He loved driving tractors, feeding the animals, cleaning the barn and he spent time in the forest harvesting firewood. 

Homer also loved spending time with his family. He took yearly trips to Vermont and spent time with his daughter, Linda both at her residence in Spring Valley and at the houses on West Hill and Plymouth Reservoir. He was the head chef of Thanksgiving dinners for more than 40 years, many of which included nearly 20 family members and close friends. 

He thoroughly enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren. He loved reading to them and watching them change, learn and grow. 

He will be missed dearly and his life will continue to be celebrated with countless great memories.

Homer is survived by his wife, Carol; children, Larry Sands, of Stowe, Vt., Jonathan Sands and wife, Tania, of Smyrna, and Nathaniel Sands and wife, Beth, of Huntington, Vt.; beloved grandchildren, Wyatt, Elliot, Ashlyn and Taylor; nieces and nephews. 

Homer was predeceased by his daughter, Linda Sands Norton in 2004, and sisters, Betty Westfall, Mary Hohenfeldt and Dorothy Williams and their husbands.

Funeral services for Homer will be at the convenience of his family, with interment later in the Sands family plot in Afton. 

Arrangements are by the R. J. Fahy Funeral Home.