Robert Jeffrey Sands, 48, passed away in his home Saturday, Sept. 1, 2001. He had been suffering over the past eight years from a condition related to several back surgeries.

Mr. Sands was born Nov. 5, 1952 in Long Beach. He spent his childhood mastering gymnastics, surfing and riding his bicycle up to 60 miles just to go fishing.

He moved to Hemet in 1969 and was the first to bring the competitive sport of gymnastics to Hemet High School. Mr. Sands was very active on his high school football team and graduated from Hemet High School in 1971.

He was a 25-year resident of the Idyllwild/Anza area and served as a heavy equipment operator for the Lake Hemet Municipal Water District, Kent Busher Excavation and the Riverside County Road Department.

Mr. Sands volunteered for five to six years at the Gymkhana Sanction Team Penning, sponsored by the Lions Club in Anza.

He was an active member of the First Southern Baptist Church of Anza. Memorial services will be held there at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 22.

He is survived by two daughters, Angela Sands and Dawn Scott of Escondido; a son, Adam Sands of Anza; two stepchildren, David Brown of Murrieta and Donna Arnett of Lake Elsinore; his mother, Darlene Thompson of Sedona, Ariz.; four brothers, Basil Sands of Fairbanks, Alaska, Patrick Sands of Seattle, William Sands of Valley Center and Daniel Sands of Temecula; two sisters, Suzanne Uppman of Anaheim Hills and Joanne Guerin of Hemet; and 12 nieces and nephews.

Memorial donations may be made to the Ronald McDonald Charities of Western Washington, 5000 40th Ave., N.E., Seattle, Wash. 98105, in honor of Mr. Sands' nephew who now is in remission from leukemia.