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SACKS--Sanford Jay.

Sanford "Sandy" Sacks, loved by all, died peacefully at home on November 21, 2016 with his college sweetheart, wife, and soulmate of over 60 years, Susan Riemer, holding his hand. His gregarious personality, loving thoughtfulness, gentle nature, and boundless enthusiasm enhanced the lives of those who knew him. He lives on as an inspiration. Sanford grew up in Cleveland Heights, OH, and always stayed true to his Ohio roots even as he moved. A life adventurer enjoying travel, as well as New York City's culture, Sandy could never go out around the globe without running into someone he knew. He attended Northwestern University (BS '56), where he captained the football team, was an Academic All American and a member of NROTC and the DERU honor society. He retired from the Navy as a Lieutenant and went on to earn an MBA from Harvard in 1966. For decades Sandy served as reunion chair for both schools. Sanford worked in NYC in investment banking before settling at Ambac for over 25 years playing an instrumental role in developing the municipal bond assurance industry. Known for his fundraising abilities and mentoring expertise, he was a tireless advocate for his alma maters and health organizations. Sanford committed, long before it was accepted, to co-parenting and feminist principles. He promoted those values through the family mantra he coined: "persistence, perseverance, and cooperation!" Sanford's was a life well-lived for nearly 83 years. His bright spirit remains a light in our hearts and minds forever. He is survived by his beloved family: his wife Susan; children Lauren and Steven and Steven's wife Heather; sister-in-law Connie and husband Tom; grandchildren Cameron, Jasmine, and Maya; and six nieces and nephews. The family plans a gathering to celebrate Sanford's life in February or March.

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Published in New York Times on Dec. 11, 2016.
Memories & Condolences
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29 entries
February 8, 2017
He was the gentlest, kindest , sweetest bear of a person I have ever met. It is hard to believe that his light has gone out . I will remember him always with joy . You were the enduring , constant couple. I am so sorry, Susan. Much love, anne
Anne L Kaplan
January 7, 2017
In Sandy Sacks' 1950's neighborhood, Cleveland Heights, Ohio, the highest compliment we could say about a man (woman) is that he is a "mensch" - - someone of consequence, someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character." Sandy was my/our hero, "a real mensch", a symbol for us, in that neighborhood, of all the qualities we wished to possess - - scholarship, athleticism, justice, and a sense of what is right. Debbie and I will always cherish the moments we spent with Sue and Sandy!
Warren Clayman
January 1, 2017
My condolences to Susan, Steve, and all other family and friends on the loss of Sandy. He's been on my mind a lot this holiday season, and as others have mentioned, I'm sure he was smiling down on his beloved Wildcats and their great victory in Yankee Stadium against Pitt earlier this week. What I'll never forget about Sandy was his unwavering optimism and passion for Northwestern and all good things in life...on his own initiative, Sandy started a voluntary council to discuss the various challenges the Northwestern Football Program faced in the late 80s/early 90s and come up with realistic recommendations for improvement. It was NOT a witch hunt to point fingers or assign blame; but rather, a grass-roots effort to galvanize alums and those passionate about Northwestern Athletics to share thoughts about how things could be improved. As someone involved in this group, I enjoyed getting to know Sandy on a more personal level and think his efforts were another input into the transformation of Northwestern Football that started shortly thereafter. Sandy cared and took action. The commitment, resources, and success that Northwestern Football, as well as the overall NU Athletics Program, have today is like night and day compared to when I played for the 'Cats three decades ago. We can all be truly proud of today's Northwestern student-athletes and what they accomplish both on the field and in the classroom. Thank you, Sandy, for your contributions and passion for the Purple and White.


Mike Baum
Mike Baum
December 29, 2016
When Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald spoke of Sandy's death at his post-game press conference after the Pinstripe Bowl, my heart broke at hearing the news. No one would have enjoyed Northwestern's victory in Yankee Stadium more than Sandy, whose love for the Cats was just as strong during their many years of winless seasons as it was their current "glory years," and I felt so sad that he was not there to see the Cats win.
Sandy has joined his good friend and classmate Gary Marshall in Northwestern heaven this year, where they'll both be rooting on the Cats. But I will miss Sandy, the greatest Northwestern fan I've ever known, at all future NU events. I feel very lucky to have known him. GO CATS!
Charley McKenna
December 22, 2016
Sandy was one of the nicest people I've ever worked with. I have such fond memories of working with him, listening to all stories (especially about football) and of how, when we went to client meetings together, he would always offer to carry the stacks of documents that gave us. Who does that? :) I am very sorry to hear that he has passed, but will always remember him with a smile and a good story. We will miss you, Sandy.
Sandy Dimperio
December 21, 2016
I have known Sandy since I moved to NY in 1977. We shared not only NU but more importantly Cleveland and Cleveland Heights HS. I will dearly miss my friend. My sincere condolences Susan. Dudley Roski
December 21, 2016
I remember Sandy as a gentle and warmhearted friend, always interested in his friends' doings and situation, an inspiration in conversation and correspondence, with consistency in his admirable values and beliefs. I will not forget him and wish you, dear Sue, the strength needed to cope with his loss.
Klaus Heiliger
December 16, 2016
Sandy was probably the most positive person at Ambac, at least during my tenure. It was always a pleasure to see him, both while I was at Ambac and at the reunions later. My condolences to his family.
Paul Thompson
December 15, 2016
Sandy was a wonderful person - a smart, kind and generous man who thoroughly enjoyed life. Susan and his family are in our thoughts and prayers. With our deepest sympathy -
Ron Marino and Chris Morrison Brooklyn, NY
December 13, 2016
Dear Susan,
My sincerest condolences go out to you and your family. I was deeply saddened by the news of Sandy's passing and wanted to share with you that he will be missed, and never forgotten. Every Thanksgiving I think of him and the fresh, homemade cranberry sauce he would give to me to share with my family. It was a pleasure working for Sandy at Ambac back in the 80s early 90s. May you and your family be comforted by the fond memories you hold in your hearts.
With deepest sympathy,
Yolanda Ortiz
Yolanda Ortiz
December 13, 2016
Larger than life, an attitude that never wavered from the plus side, and a constant sense that you were one of the best friends he could have! Loved him.Condolences to Sue and family. Jim Ferry
December 13, 2016
Sandy was a lifelong friend and wonderful inspiration. He personified every value important to long term professional success and to making this a better world for our children. My life had been much enriched by our friendship. Walt Minnick (former Congressman, Idaho)
December 13, 2016
Friends since high school and college, he will be missed.
meryl haber
December 13, 2016
I was shocked and saddened hear that my friend Sandy had died. To Sue and all of Sandy's family, Anne and I express our deepest sympathy.
Sandy was kind, joyful, and humble. He was an inspiration for me. In Cleveland Heights back in the 1950s when Sandy was in high school heading for college and I was in junior high heading for high school he was one of my idols. He was a great athlete and student. I was pleased to learn five years ago that we were neighbors for part of the year and also I was very pleased to reconnect with Sandy. I thoroughly enjoyed the two or three power lunches (as Sandy referred to them) we had together each year where the topics of discussion ranged from sports to politics to the arts and to remembrances of the Berkeley/Blanche Road area of Cleveland Heights where we both grew up. I was so much looking forward to many more lunches with Sandy. I am one of the many that will miss Sandy greatly.
Bertram Price
December 13, 2016
Sandy was a mentor and a true friend. He taught me kindness and looking at the bright side of things. I cherished our time together especially holiday drinks at Windows on the World and talking Big Ten football. I will miss Sandy but will always remember him. He made a difference in my life that I hope to pass on to others.
Jerry Pisecki
December 12, 2016
I am fortunate for having met such a wonderful person. My deepest condolence to his family.
Christopher Lee
December 12, 2016
So very sorry for your loss. Sandy was truly one of a kind -- a gentleman, teacher and a wonderful person.
Gregg Bienstock
December 12, 2016
I would always come to work knowing that Sandy was going to have a smile on his face.
Vickie Martin
December 12, 2016
Sandy was a true gem. He had the respect of his peers who also became friends. He was a role model for integrity and kindness who will never be forgotten.
Holly Walters Bouchard
December 12, 2016
His kind and gentle personality truly blessed my working experience at Ambac. He will sorely be missed.
Valerie Anderson
December 12, 2016
So sorry for your loss. Sandy was always full of life. He was one of the kindest and sweetest gentlemen I've known. I will always remember Sandy. Now he is watching over all the Ambacian family. May he rest in peace.
Kathy Drennen
December 12, 2016
Two of my all-time favorite memories were having drinks with Sandy and Sue in Paris and running into them at Union Square Cafe the night before I got married. Sandy was a man who understood kindness and joy.
Brian Moore
December 12, 2016
It was a great pleasure to work along side Sandy. He was always cheerful and excited about whatever was happening. His presence at a lunch or dinner guaranteed that it would be fun. His outlook was to see the positive and good in every situation and person. We extend our love, prayers and sympathy to his family. We trust that the wonderful memories that you have will bring you comfort in the dark times that will come. He was a good man. Morris Matson
Morris Matson
December 12, 2016
Sandy was one of the sweetest, kindest gentleman I've ever known. He will be missed. My deepest condolences.
Lisa Danella
December 12, 2016
Sandy was a wonderful person. He will be missed.
David Beidler
December 12, 2016
Sanford was truly one of a kind and will be missed by many. My condolences to his family and many friends.
Sara Ketchum
December 12, 2016
Sandy was one of the finest individuals I have ever known. For him, the glass was always half full and I never heard him make a disparaging remark about anyone. The world would be a better place if more people had Sandy's values, humility and respect for others. I will miss our luncheons and discussions about sports, especially our beloved Cleveland teams and Big Ten football. Most of all, I will miss his friendship.
David Boyle
December 11, 2016
Celebrating a life well lived. We will cherish the memories forever.
Paul Thompson
December 11, 2016
So sorry for your loss, be comforted by prayers and cherished memories, wait for God's will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, doing away with death and pain shortly.
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