Dennis J. Sand, 69, of Albany, passed away peacefully, with his family by his side June 25, 2022. Dennis was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2017, and he had a stroke in March 2021. 

A Mass of Christian burial will be at 11 a.m., Friday, July 8, at Seven Dolors Catholic Church in Albany. Visitation will be 9-10:45 a.m. prior to Mass in the church gathering area.

Dennis was born May 14, 1953, to Ervin and Elizabeth (Kraemer) Sand. He grew up on a small family farm on the northwest side of Albany. He spent his younger years working on the farm and for the family businesses. Dennis spoke fondly of growing up on the farm. He shared stories of the trouble he was always getting into with his siblings. He also enjoyed playing football and wrestling in high school. After graduating from the Albany High School, he worked at the local radio station, KASM. He loved working with Cliff and Clyde and dreamed of life as a radio DJ. Dennis also worked at the Albany Telephone Company.

Dennis met Joan Gerads on a blind date set up by Jim and Jean Sand at the KASM Christmas party. They married Oct. 25, 1975, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Upsala. When they were first married Dennis’ interest in politics was sparked when he took a job driving and working for a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives. After that, he worked for Sand-Mitchell-Smith construction company. From there Dennis and his wife went into business with his parents, building and running the Sands Restaurant for 20 years. Later they purchased and ran Freeway Liquors until his retirement at the end of 2015. During this time Dennis and Joan had five children.

Dennis always had a strong work ethic and a love for the community but being in business for himself really drove his passions. He proudly served the city of Albany for 27 years; serving on the Albany City Council from 1985 to 2007, as mayor of Albany from 2007 to 2012 and park board and economic development authority liaison during that time. Dennis was also honored to serve on the Albany Mutual Telephone Association Board from 2011-16. 

Dennis enjoyed golf, hunting and frequenting local businesses. He looked forward to U.S. Bank Stadium Vikings’ games and his yearly visit to Palm Springs with his friend Paul. Dennis was known for his generosity, frank advice, honesty, tireless commitment to his businesses, and ensuring his children grew up to be dependable and hard-working.  

Dennis was a member of the Knights of Columbus, Catholic United Financial and Seven Dolors Catholic Church.

He will be missed by his wife Joan; his children, Janelle Sand of Albany, Laura (Blake) Cheeley of Ramsey, Tracy (Scott) Schneider of Albany, and Robert Sand of Albany; his grandchildren, Mia, Hadley, Harper and Tyler Cheeley and Parker and Lydia Schneider; his siblings, Jim (Jean) Sand of Avon, Judy (Eldred) Dingmann of Monticello, Dale (Mary) Sand of Cold Spring, Leo Sand of Avon, Tom (Ginger) Sand of Rochester, and Brian (Sherri) Sand of Albany; his sister-in-law, Karen Weber-Sand of St. Joseph; his goddaughter, Angela Teske of Albany; and his many nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his mother and father, Ervin and Betty Sand; his son, Joey; his sisters, Joyce Winter, Diane Sand, Mary Lou Sand and Mary Kay Sand, and his brother-in-law, Bert Winter.

Memorials are preferred in lieu of flowers. Memorials will be donated to Holy Family School, Seven Dolors Endowment Fund and the Alzheimer’s Society.

Arrangements are being made by the Miller-Carlin Funeral Home of Albany.

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