Cover photo for James Alan (Jim) Sands's Obituary

James Alan (Jim) Sands

James Alan (Jim) Sands

SANDS, James Alan (Jim) age 74, passed away peacefully on October 7, 2021, with the love and support of his family. Jim was born on June 16, 1947, in Livermore, CA and primarily grew up in Boulder Creek, California. He dearly loved the great outdoors from an early age, surrounded by Big Basin Redwoods State Park and the ocean where he spent his days surfing, cliff diving, and hiking. Jim worked at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk for many summers as a young adult and enjoyed telling stories of his adventures as a youth.

Jim was a 24-year Military Veteran, retiring in 1996 as a Lieutenant Chaplain in the US Air Force. He joined the US Army and served in Vietnam at the age of 20. After his time in the Army he furthered his education and entered the Air Force Chaplaincy in 1977. As a Chaplain he served in the Gulf War in 1991 where he earned and added to his many commendations and medals. Through his military career Jim was stationed at numerous military bases, with most of his service spent in: Northern California; Plattsburgh, NY; Alaska; and in Keflavik, Iceland where he spent time ministering to service members stationed on remote bases. After retirement, Jim and his family moved to Idaho in 2001 where he devoted his time volunteering as an auxiliary Chaplain at Mountain Home Air Force Base. Jim also was a station manager with the Red Cross and could on occasion be found preaching at the Boise Rescue Mission.

Jim is survived by his wife Kathleen Sands, his children Christine Thompson (Josh), David Sands, Kelsey Newton, and his 4 grandchildren. He was predeceased by his son Nathaniel Sands, his sister, and his parents.

Besides spending time with his family, Jim had a passion for classical music. He played the trumpet from a young age and taught himself how to play the organ, and could recite music by ear. His incredible talents also included painting, creating elaborate wood carvings, and photography. Jim founded the Outdoor Adventure Program while serving in the Air Force where he led many groups of individuals on mountaineering, canoeing, surfing and alpine skiing trips, always with one of his many trusty dogs by his side and he never stopped exploring. He was a well-respected and generous man, with a quick wit and gentle manner. He could recall any line of scripture from memory and was well known for his creative and funny sermons. Jim was a mentor to many and was faithful to God’s calling. Some guiding scripture for his life is found in Galatians 2:20: “...it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live through faith from the Son of God, the one having loved me and having given up Himself for me.”

Jim wrote of himself that, “He hated to lie, but was prone to exaggerate. He loved musical orchestral scores, running on dirt trails, cycling, and skiing. In Heaven he wants to conduct a big orchestra, doing Beethoven’s 7 th Symphony.”

The committal service will be held at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery at 10100 N Horseshoe Bend Rd, Boise, ID 83714 on Thursday, November 4 at 1:00 p.m.

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