Don Sands Obituary

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In Memory of

Don William Sands

August 30, 1926 - August 25, 2013
Obituary

Don William Sands, Chair Emeritus of Gold Kist, Inc. died in Atlanta Georgia, August 25, 2013, at the age of 86. Born on August 30, 1926 in Durant Oklahoma, he was the son of the late William Henry and Muncie Sands. He remained devoted to the principles he learned from his parents during his Oklahoma childhood. Sands graduated from the Oklahoma Military Academy in 1943 and soon after joined the Navy, serving on the commissioning crew of the USS Leyte.   After WW II, Sands returned to Southeastern Oklahoma State University, where in 1949, he graduated cum laude with a BS in Business Administration. Devoted to the field of...


Don William Sands, Chair Emeritus of Gold Kist, Inc. died in Atlanta Georgia, August 25, 2013, at the age of 86. Born on August 30, 1926 in Durant Oklahoma, he was the son of the late William Henry and Muncie Sands. He remained devoted to the principles he learned from his parents during his Oklahoma childhood.



Sands graduated from the Oklahoma Military Academy in 1943 and soon after joined the Navy, serving on the commissioning crew of the USS Leyte.   After WW II, Sands returned to Southeastern Oklahoma State University, where in 1949, he graduated cum laude with a BS in Business Administration.



Devoted to the field of agriculture throughout his career, Sands’ professional journey began when, while attending college, he went to work at Durant Cotton Oil and Peanut Corporation. From there, he moved to Graceville, Florida where he served as the Assistant Manager of Greenwood Office Products Company when it was bought by the Cotton Producers Association (CPA). In 1957, he joined CPA’s Peanut Division as Plant Manager. Sands and his family moved to Atlanta in 1958, when he was made Director of the Gold Kist Peanut Division.  He was named Executive Vice President and a member of the Executive Committee in 1978; President and Chief Operating Office in 1984 and became Chief Executive and Chairman of the Executive Management Committee in 1988. He retired in 1991 after 44 years of service.



Under his leadership, Gold Kist surpassed $2 billion in sales volume and expanded into the global arena. Don Sands became known as the “man who brought U. S. peanuts to Japan and U. S. poultry to the Orient,” due to the innovations and modifications made to Gold Kist’s products and operations to accommodate and attract the Eastern world’s consumers.



Known for his generosity and support of many organizations, he established an MBA Scholarship and sponsored the Sands Lecture Series at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.  While CEO, he created the Don Sands – Gold Kist Fund at Auburn University’s College of Agriculture, and most recently endowed a gift in support of the GSGA Foundation.  In addition to his distinguished career, Don served on the board of directors of National Data Corporation, Roper Industries and C&S National Bank. He also served on several national and international agricultural trade councils including the U. S. Dept. of Agriculture. In addition, he was Chairman of Centennial Olympic Park, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority and the Georgia Council on Economic Education.



An avid golfer, Sands served as President and Chairman of Atlanta Athletic Club, President of St. Ives Golf Club, President of St. Marlo Country Club, and remained a long time member in good standing of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club in St. Andrews Scotland.



Preceded in death by his wife of 52 years, the former Joan Cantrell, he is survived by his children Susan Hendrix, Steve and Kay Sands, and Stan and Donna Sands, 7 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.  His current wife, TJ Wyatt, resides in Naples Florida.



The family will receive friends at H.M. Patterson & Son Oglethorpe Hill Chapel on Wednesday, August 28 from 1-2 Pm with the service at 2:00 PM. Private interment to follow.



In Lieu of flowers the family request donation in honorarium of Don Sands to: Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church, 3700 Pleasant Hill Rd, Duluth, GA, 30096.



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"My deepest condolences to the Sands family. (Psalms 90:10)" Kathy (GA)

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