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Calling Hours

Fredendall Funeral Home
Saturday June 19th, 2021
4:00pm - 8:00pm

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Funeral Service

Altamont Reformed Church, Altamont, NY
Sunday June 20th, 2021

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James Alexander Sands

ALTAMONT- James Alexander Sands died suddenly and accidentally at home on June 13, 2021. He was known as James or “Alex” by his friends, classmates and business associates. He was a creative, kind and the sweetest person you could have known. His smile lit up his face and his enthusiasm was infectious. His passions were cycling, hiking, photography, cooking and the creations of his family’s architectural design build business.

He was proud of the community work that he and his family carried out in the Village of Altamont. Whether it was hanging up Christmas decorations or the hanging of the flower baskets and placing pots of flowers in the village center. He marveled that his family had been doing this for over 30 years. He always said a touch of beauty goes a long way and saw beauty in everything around him.

James Alexander also loved traveling around the US visiting family and friends and also his many trips to the British Isles and Europe. 

He also loved architecture, the culture and the food he experienced in his travels. He especially loved his family home on Martha’s Vineyard and the new family guest house that he helped build over the past year. 

He always tried to catch every sunset and sunrise whether it was on the Vineyard, in the Village of Altamont, at the Helderberg escarpment or looking west from his Saratoga Springs residence.

Upon graduation from Guilderland Central High School he and his dad drove his uncle’s vintage Chevy suburban (10 mpg) across country to some of the many colleges and universities that he was accepted at: College of Charleston; University of South Carolina; University of Alabama; University of Mississippi; Baylor; University of Texas; University of Colorado and the University of Oregon.

He settled on the University of Mississippi or “Ole Miss”, home of William Faulkner and Jon Grisham. At Ole Miss he started the Ole Miss Cycling Club and enjoyed all things SEC football-tailgating, baseball and the camaraderie of the SEC Council. He also was a member of the “Sig Ep” fraternity where he made life-long friends. He loved the college town of Oxford Mississippi. After graduation he traveled and then joined the family design/ build business.

He is survived by his dad and mom, John and Sherry Makepeace – Sands, of Altamont New York; his brother Dr. John “Max” Sands and his wife Dee and daughter Sophie Sands of Raleigh, North Carolina; his sister Kendra Makepeace Sands and Scott Lindrup of Park Slope-Brooklyn, New York; and his many aunts, uncles and cousins from Florida, New York, Michigan, Georgia, Texas, Indiana, Colorado, Alaska and especially California which he loved.

Calling hours will be held on Saturday, June 19, 2021 from 4-8pm at Fredendall Funeral Home, 199 Main Street, Altamont . A funeral service will be held on Sunday, June 20, 2021 at 2pm at the Altamont Reformed  Church, 129 Lincoln Ave., Altamont, followed by a reception at the church.


To John and Family, I was so sorry to hear of your son's passing...... I'm sure my son Todd (who passed away 15 years ago) and James will become fast friends in Heaven..... It's been so many years since I've seen you John.....Hopefully we will meet up one of these days.... God Bless you and your family John ....... Dennis Hurley dth24cs@yahoo.com

Dennis Hurley Jun 20 2021 12:00 AM

A candle was lit in memory of James Sands

Dennis Hurley Jun 20 2021 12:00 AM

I'm so very sorry for your loss, and I'm very sorry that I cannot be there. Alex was an incredible friend and a wonderful person. He lived life to the fullest, biking, hiking, traveling whenever he could. I often referred to Alex as my 'sunset friend' to my friends and family because he would always reliably send me pictures of beautiful sunsets and sunrises from his favorite hiking and biking spots. My favorite memory of Alex is when we realized that we were both coincidentally in Portland, OR. We found a grassy spot at the top of a nearby mountain and enjoyed a couple of Treehouse beers and enjoyed the excellent (but smokey) view of Portland. He was the easiest person to talk to and always had kind and encouraging words. He will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him.

Matt Schuler Jun 19 2021 12:00 AM

Please accept out sincere condolences. So sorry for your loss. David Van Wie & Dottie Pohlid

vanwie.d@ix.netcom.com Jun 17 2021 12:00 AM

My condolences and prayers to the Makepeace-Sands family. May Alex rest in eternal peace. Michelle Gallagher (Butler)

Michelle Gallagher Jun 16 2021 12:00 AM

A candle was lit in memory of James Sands

Michelle Gallagher Jun 16 2021 12:00 AM

Friends and Family uploaded 1 to the gallery.

Friends and Family Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM