Richard H. Sands was born on September 28, 1929 in San Diego, California. He moved with his family to Crestline, a small community in the San Bernardino Mountains. He graduated from San Bernardino High School in 1946 and started a career as an apprentice die maker. He continued his apprenticeship while attending the University of Redlands, where he graduated in 1950. In 1954, he graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a Ph.D. Degree in Physics. While attending Redlands, he met Emma Grace Allen of Bakersfield, California. They were married on August 11, 1951. They were blessed with four children. After coming to Michigan he joined the faculty of the University of Michigan in 1957 and became a Professor of Physics. He served as Chairman of the Department of Physics for five years. He has been an active research professor, supervising doctoral theses of eighteen Ph.D’s, two in biophysics and sixteen in chemical and atomic physics. He taught and directed several Academic Year Institutes for High School Teachers of Science to introduce them to forefront areas. In 1981, he participated in a mini-course entitled, “Physics and Ethics” and gave two lectures. One was published in the Michigan Quarterly Review under the title, “Physics, the Royal Society and Freemasonry.” It was this article that earned him the 1981 Certificate of Literature Award from the Philalethes Society.
Richard H. Sands was raised as a Master Mason in Golden Rule Lodge No. 159 on March 12, 1964. He served as Worshipful Master in 1971. He is also a plural member of Livingston Lodge No. 76 in Pinckney. He was appointed to the Grand Lodge Masonic Service and Education Committee while serving as the Worshipful Master of his Lodge. Under his chairmanship, the Committee developed “Planning for the East,” “A Lodge System of Education,” “The Intender Handbook,” “The Wardens Workshop” and “From Point to Pointe.” On May 30, 1985, he was duly elected Most Worshipful Grand Master.
He is an Honorary Member of nine Masonic Lodges in Michigan. He is also a member of Washtenaw Chapter No. 6, R.A.M.; Ann Arbor Council No. 86, R. & S.M.; Ann Arbor Commandery No. 13, K.T.; Jackson College No. 3, Y.R.S.C.; Scottish Rite Bodies, Valley of Detroit, where he served as Thrice Potent Master in 1983-84 and was a Trustee; Ann Arbor Chapter No. 122, O.E.S.; Washtenaw High Twelve Club No. 498; Zal Gaz Grotto; Moslem Temple Shrine; Grand Master’s Council “A” Allied Masonic Degrees; Fellow, Grand College of Rites; Provincial Grand Lodge, R.S.Y.C.S.; and Provincial Grand Chapter, H.R.M. of K.I.W.N.G.; Royal Order of Scotland; and St. Clement Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine. He is also a member of several Masonic Research Lodges, including the Michigan Lodge of Research & Information No. 1. He served as President of the Midwest Conference on Masonic Education in 1978. He is a Fellow of the Philalethes Society, which honored him in 1981 with its Certificate of Literature Award.