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Obituaries » Alan Sandy

Alan Sandy

March 4, 1932 - May 23, 2019

U.S. Veteran

Service Date: May 28, 2019

There will be a graveside ceremony at Cypress Hill Memorial Park, Petaluma, on Tuesday, 28 May, at 1 pm.


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Alan Sandy was born in Minneapolis, MN to Evelyn Martin Sandy and Alan Sandy, Sr. on 3 March 1932. He attended Blake School, played hockey, and worked summers in construction. At Amherst College he followed a pre-medical program, majoring in Zoology and Psychology, and sang in the glee club. He then served as a jet fighter pilot and air traffic controller in the Air Force, stationed in Morocco; from Morocco he moved to Paris and studied French at the Sorbonne, then returned the long way to the US, travelling for 15 months through Europe, the Middle East, India, East Asia, and Japan. All of these experiences contributed to his interest in languages and cultures. He received a Ph.D. in English from Berkeley and was a professor of English at Princeton and UCLA, and, for most of his career, at Sonoma State University, teaching English literature, American literature, and world literature. At Sonoma State, he was the chair of the first committee on the rights of human subjects in research, and he was the faculty advisor for five students from China, among the first students to be permitted to study in the US after the Cultural Revolution. He always thought he was privileged to be a teacher, and he loved Sonoma County. He was a gardener and bird-watcher. He coached girls’ soccer for many years in Petaluma. Alan was a devoted and attentive father to Joseph and Rachel Sandy and a wonderful spouse to Beverly Voloshin, and he had a circle of good friends. Despite his long decline with Alzheimer’s disease, he retained his optimistic spirit. Alan is predeceased by his brother, the poet Stephen Sandy, and survived by his sister, Susan Sandy Curtis. He is survived by his wife, Beverly Voloshin; son, Joseph Sandy, daughter-in-law Vivian and grandchildren Olivia and Dylan; daughter Rachel Sandy and son-in-law John Rush; and nieces and nephews. The Voloshin-Sandy family thanks the wonderful staff at Creekside Cottage and at Hospice of Petaluma. Those wishing to make a donation in Alan’s memory may contribute to Hospice of Petaluma. There will be a graveside ceremony at Cypress Hill Memorial Park, Petaluma, on Tuesday, 28 May, at 1 pm.