Long-Time Postal Clerk Pamela Sands Dies

By SABINE POUX

Pamela Sands, a long-time postal clerk at the college, died last Tuesday at her home after a brief illness. Sands worked at the college for over 34 years and was well known throughout the Middlebury community for her position at the student mail center. She was 54.

Sands was born in Germany in 1963 to Thomas Francis Sands Sr. and Angela Bonita (Vieland) Sands. She began working at Middlebury in 1983 as a temporary postal clerk and was promoted to full-time postal clerk five years later. In 2010 Sands was inducted into the college’s 25-Year Club, which celebrates members of the college’s staff and faculty that have worked at the college for 25 years.

Throughout her tenure at the college, Sands forged close relationships with her co-workers, many of whom were Middlebury students.

“When we learned of her passing, Nicole [Duquette] and I gathered with our student workers to share stories, memories, funny moments and tears. We are family. She was family,” said Jacki Galenkamp, mail center supervisor, in an email to faculty and staff. Nicole Duquette is also a clerk in the mail center. “She would never go to graduation because it was too hard for her to say goodbye. So, from the many students and coworkers whose lives you touched, we say ‘see you later Pam!’”

Student postal clerk Lily Wilson ’18, who worked with Sands for three years, added that she always took a genuine interest in hers and other student workers’ lives.

“Pam ended up being one of the sweetest and kindest people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing at Middlebury,” Wilson said. “It’s hard to explain Pam to people who didn’t know her: why it’s funny how often she used hand sanitizer, how absurd it is that she came up to us searching the shelves to tickle us, her hilarious one-liners to chirp us, her love of playing matchmaker for all the mailroom employees. She was one of those people with such a unique personality that she can’t be summed up in just a few sentences.”

Sands is predeceased by her parents and her son, Christopher Ryan. She is survived by her significant other Michael Ryan and her sisters, lead mail service technician at the college Patty Murray and her husband Mark, and Johanna Freihofer and her husband Ed of Florida.

Friends and family of Sands celebrated her life at the Middlebury American Legion on Monday. Duqette, Galenkamp and 20 past and present student mailroom employees attended the service, where they met Sands’s family and shared stories and memories.

Sands was very fond of animals and her family requests that contributions be made in her honor to the Homeward Bound Addison County Humane Society at 236 Boardman Street, Middlebury, VT 05753.

“Her dream was to own a big house and provide a home for all cats in need,” Galenkamp said.

Donations can be made online at https://www.homewardboundanimals.org/donate/.

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Long-Time Postal Clerk Pamela Sands Dies