Matthew Linzee Sands
10/20/1919 - 9/13/2014
With sadness and gratitude, we announce that Matt died peacefully at home after a brief illness. His charismatic spirit and bright intellect touched many throughout his long life, whether working as a particle physicist, designer and consultant of linear accelerators and storage rings, author, professor, administrator and a computer guru in his later years, or as beloved family member or friend.
Born in Oxford, Massachusetts, he received a B.A. in Physics and Mathematics from Clark University, a M.A. in Physics from Rice University, and—after interruption by World War II—his Ph.D. from MIT. He worked at Los Alamos on the Manhattan Project and after the war, was heavily invested in making sure nuclear weapons were never used again. He is well known as an author of the Feynman Lectures on Physics, textbook material that continues to be used today. After working at MIT, Caltech, and Stanford/SLAC, he joined the growing community at UC Santa Cruz, where he was a partner in the creation of Kresge College.
Here he also met his future wife Freya, who was a student in the student/faculty-composed class set up to create Kresge College. They would spend the next 42 years of his life enjoying living in Italy, traveling, engaging dinner parties, lively conversation at cafes, and raising daughter Michelle. His busy retirement included creating computer fonts for elementary education, tutoring Michelle in college physics, and walking daily with Freya on her lunch break.
He is lovingly survived by wife, Freya (formerly Kidner), daughter, Michelle (Ned), sons Michael (Lynne) and Richard, brother Roger (Claire), nephews Alan (Lois) and Jim (Loretta), grandchildren, Elisa, Dustin, Ryan and Genevieve, and great grandchildren, Charlotte and Bryan, as well as nephews and their children. Preceding him in death were his sister, Claire, and stepson Walter.
A memorial celebration of his life is being planned, likely in October.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you please donate to your preferred humanitarian, educational, peace-seeking organization or Hospice.
Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on Sep. 17, 2014.