Emeritus Sand

November 23, 1928 - February 13, 2007
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Emeritus Professor Virginia Sand, a much loved and well respected geologist, educator, mother and grandmother, died late Tuesday evening, February 13, 2007 following a brief illness. Born at Evanston, Indiana, on November 23, 1928, she was a daughter of the late James Kenneth Murphy and Gladys Becker Murphy. Following …

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Emeritus Professor Virginia Sand, a much loved and well respected geologist, educator, mother and grandmother, died late Tuesday evening, February 13, 2007 following a brief illness. Born at Evanston, Indiana, on November 23, 1928, she was a daughter of the late James Kenneth Murphy and Gladys Becker Murphy. Following graduation from high school, Ginny completed her undergraduate studies from Northwestern University in May, 1950, as the first female in the school’s history to graduate with a Geology degree. While at Northwestern, she was a member of the Gamma-Phi-Beta Sorority. Also in May, 1950 Ginny married Martin B. Sand. The couple met while attending a wedding for mutual friends. Together they would relocate to Canton, Ohio, where the late Mr. Sand sold Studebakers. A few years later, Ginny and Martin relocated to New Philadelphia where they opened the Mart Sand Pontiac Dealership. Ginny kept busy, rearing three daughters, giving Spanish lessons from her home, and fostering an environment for her daughters to learn, grow and become independent thinkers. During the latter part of the 1960’s, Ginny enrolled at the main campus of Kent State University where she earned her Master of Arts degree in teaching earth science. For the next three decades, she introduced, fascinated and challenged students in the study of geology at the Tuscarawas Campus of Kent State University. In 1993, she was named Professor Emeritus of Geology, teaching at the university until 1997. During this time, Ginny encouraged her students to reach beyond their usual environment, offering extra credit for students willing to travel out of the region to expand their horizons. She was the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1975, and the Most Popular Professor Award in 1977, and was a top nominee for both awards for many years. Very dedicated to her discipline, Ginny was a longtime member of the Association of Women Geoscientists, and served as editor of the association newsletter from 1988 until 1991. She was instrumental in the collection and erection of the fossil display in the Wilderness Center at Wilmot where she also served as docent of geological science. Dedicated to expanding the opportunity for all to enjoy the outdoors, she was heavily involved in the Buckeye Trail Association, both as a board member, and as a trailblazer. Always adventurous, Ginny has traveled the world, even visiting Antarctica at the age of 77! Ginny has especially enjoyed visiting the Galapagos Islands, has visited to Turkey with Molly Doughten, toured Iceland, Japan and China, and enjoyed river tours of the Alsacian region of Germany and France. Most of all, Ginny enjoyed the dessert southwestern region of the United States, especially the Grand Canyon. Ginny has challenged the rapids of the Colorado River on nine occasions, and anticipated a trip there with her family in July. Ginny was a fifty year member of the First United Methodist Church at New Philadelphia, and presently served on the Staff-Parish Relations committee. She was also a member of the American Association of University Women, the Nature Conservancy, and Mensa, an invitational group roundtable where membership includes only the most intelligent and gifted thinkers in the world.Ginny touched countless lives through her service as a Geologist, educator and traveler. Her greatest impact was upon her three daughters, Chris Sand-Ashley and her husband Paul Ashley of New Philadelphia, Wendy Eckel and her husband Jeffrey Eckel of Annapolis, Maryland, and Stacy Sand of Madison, New Hampshire. She will be sadly missed by her four grandchildren, all of whom called her “GI” Â? they include Joshua Pringle of San Francisco, California, Seth Pringle and his wife Tara, of Los Angeles, California, Elizabeth Eckel of the College of Wooster, at Wooster, Ohio, and Madeline Eckel of Annapolis, Maryland. Three step-grandchildren, Danielle Ashley and husband Micheal Thomas, Alicia Ashley and Paul Ashley, all of Canton, and five step-great-grandchildren, Quintin, Bailey, Aidan, and Abagail Thomas, and McKenna Ashley complete the family. In addition to her parents and husband, Ginny was preceded in death by her sister, Phyllis Brannigan. The Sand family will receive friends Saturday afternoon from 1-3 PM in the sanctuary of First United Methodist Church at New Philadelphia, where the Rev. Dr. Steven R. Bailey will lead a celebration of Ginny’s life at 3PM. Those unable to attend are invited to share memories and condolences with the family by visiting the funeral home’s website. Ginny’s family will proceed with their trip to the Grand Canyon in July, where they will return the earthly elements of Ginny to be with those she so dearly appreciated. Instead of flowers, the family encourages contributions to one of three charities so that her legacy of learning, and care for nature will continue; First United Methodist Church, 201 West High Avenue, New Philadelphia, Ohio, 44663, The Wilderness Center, PO Box 202, Wilmot, Ohio, 44689-0202, or to the Nature Conservancy, 4245 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 100, Arlington, VA, 22203.Arrangements are under the care and direction of the Linn-Hert-Geib Funeral Home & Crematory at New Philadelphia. ###


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Timeline for Emeritus Professor Virginia Sand

Born: November 23, 1928
Died: February 13, 2007

Condolences for Emeritus Professor Virginia Sand

Geib Funeral Home & Crematory

On behalf of the Geib Family and Staff, we offer our most sincere sympathy for your loss. We are honored to have been called upon to serve your family.


Mary E Hamilton posted on 2/15/07

Chris, and other family members. I am so sorry about your mothers death. What a great lady she was. She did so much in her short lifetime, and it looks like she lived every moment of it. I am sure she will continue her great works in heaven. She will be a welcome addition to God's Holy Family. She will be greatly missed by all the family and people who knew her. God Bless you all. Mary Hamilton


Kimberly Perry posted on 2/15/07

Paulie, My deepest sympathy to you in the passing of your grandmother. She is celebrating and rejoycing with our Lord and Savior! How wonderful it must be! I'm very sorry to hear about your grandmother. If you need anything I am only a phone call away. Always remember she's dancing with Jesus right now, and you will see her again! That's God's promise! If you need me call. Kim


laura stephenson sherrets posted on 2/15/07

I attended KSU and had Mrs. Sand as a teacher-What a wonderful teacher-I learned to love geology from her. May God bless your family. She will be sadly missed.


Dan Eggan posted on 2/16/07

What a Grand Lady!!! She was a wonderful educator and a fun person to be around. She willingly came to Coshocton County to identify a large fossil discovery found at an excavation site near the school where I teach Biology. She left several books and resources behind for me to share with my students. I fondly recall a moment at the Homecoming Dance of 1973 (where I had been crowned Homecoming "Queen"- long story but anyway)- Ginny called out "Hey Queeny, save me a dance!" Of course I went and got her for a celebratory dance. I am confident that heaven has some geologic features that Ginny could not have imagined and she will be ready to teach us all about them when we finally join her in Paradise. My prayers are with all of you. May the fond memories of your loved one lighten your heavy hearts. Dan Eggan Ridgewood HS 1970 NPHS graduate with Chris


Jane Stephenson posted on 2/16/07

I'm so sorry to hear of Ginny's death. I have many fond memories of visiting with her and the family when I was in school with Stacy. The best trips were when she was driving along, saw something interesting and pulled the car over to the side of the road. Then we all piled out and looked for rocks. I still have some fossils that I found. My prayers are with her and her family, Jane


Mary Ann Otte posted on 2/17/07

Dear Family and Friends: Thoughts and prayers are with all of you today and in the coming months. She's a beautiful lady with whom you share wonderful memories. Hold on to those memories in the days ahead. May God Bless each of you.


Flo and Ivan Vinkovich posted on 2/15/07

We knew Ginny through many activities; from tennis, to The Investment Club,The Literary Discussion club and The Wilderness Center. She was fun and a pleasure to be around. She was bright and we could always count on her for the correct answer. She was a good friend and so easy to talk to. We will miss her and remember her. She left us too soon. Our sincerest sympathies to her family, Flo and Ivan


Susie Duerig Whittingham posted on 2/15/07

Dear Family, I spent my childhood growing up with the Sand family and especially being friends with Wendy. Ginny was always showing us "cool" things and using words I had to look up in the dictionary. I loved being around your family and learning so many important things in life. She will be sadly missed by so many people, my thoughts and prayers go out to the family. Wendy, you are especially in my thoughts. Susie Duerig Whittingham


Gordon Maupin posted on 2/15/07

The world is a better place because of Ginny. I miss her; everyone associated with The Wilderness Center misses her. Ginny was intelligent, positive, enthusiastic and generous. When we started a Geology Club, she was first in line to help get it started. She taught schoolchildren as a docent doing our Geology Tour of the glacial features in the area. Everyone who enters the Center?s lobby will have a chance to view a major contribution she made to The Wilderness Center. Ginny spent countless hours working the TWC staff, the exhibit builder, and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Her efforts made the fossil wall a reality.


Dede McCartney Shelley posted on 2/15/07

Dear Sand Family, I was deeply saddened to hear about Ginny's untimely passing this morning in the paper. I'm sorry I did not know she was ill. Your Mom was the best ever!! As I was walking my dogs this morning after reading the obituary, I was flooded with so many memories of wonderful times at your house. Most of them just sitting at the kitchen table talking.......and smoking. And all the parties in the basement...how many hours do you think we put on that foosball table? For a very long time your house seemed like my second home. Your Mother loved having us all there, she made us feel so comfortable. She was always genuinely interested in our lives. I will never forget those times and I will cherish your Mother's memory always!! Sincerely, Dede McCartney Shelley


Sue Ann May posted on 2/16/07

When I was a child Mart-Sand Pontiac was located very close to the back yard of our house. As an adult I went back to school after I had children and finished my degree at the Kent Branch here. Your Mother Ginny was my favorite professor and I LOVED her class. Years later we were in the same "Twinges" class at the local Y and I loved talking with Ginny. Her sense of humor was terrific and she always had the most wonderful adventures to tell us about. I am very saddened for your loss and I will miss her as well.


Dr Robert Cohen posted on 2/16/07

The Family of Ginny Sand, My oldest memory of Ginny was when she and Mart visited Roberta (my first wife, now deseased)and me, about 40 years ago, just after we had met. She and Mart seized immediately upon an abacus in our livingroom, and became engrossed in deciphering its working. Two brilliant and curious minds - that was Ginny and Mart. Miriam and the girls will be there. Love, Rob Cohen


Jim Eaton posted on 2/15/07

Sympathy to the family of my friend and former colleage at KSU-Tusc. May God comort you. Jim Eaton


Dave Archer posted on 2/14/07

To the Sand family, my deepest sympathy to all of you in the passing of Virginia..she was my favorite professor in the 1970s at Kent State..What a special lady! She was full of life and made my studies very interesting..I will always remember the oceanography class trip to Lake Erie where we studied the enviornment of the lake, then had a picnic and passed around the bottle of wine...I thought that was so neat..Virginia always had great ideas...and lots of fun for us! I am certain you have many special memories also...