Longtime GF oral surgeon David Sande dies at 68David Sande, an oral surgeon who practiced in Grand Forks for 35 years until his retirement in 2005, died Friday after suffering a massive stroke at his winter home in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 68 and had been recovering from surgery for pancreatic cancer.
By: Chuck Haga, Grand Forks Herald
David Sande, an oral surgeon who practiced in Grand Forks for 35 years until his retirement in 2005, died Friday after suffering a massive stroke at his winter home in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 68 and had been recovering from surgery for pancreatic cancer.
The surgery in October had gone well, his wife said.
“He was putting on weight and he sounded happy, positive and well,” Ann Sande said Saturday as she prepared to return to Grand Forks.
“I’ve heard from so many people today,” she said. “At least five of them told me that David was their best friend.”
That included son Hans Sande. “I’ve lost my best friend,” he said. “I’ll miss him forever.”
Son Dana Sande said he will miss his father’s example, advice and wit.
“I could sum up my dad pretty simply by saying he liked to lead by example,” Dana Sande said. “He believed you should help people who can’t help themselves, and he helped people in any way he could.
“He spent a lot of time with Hans and me talking about morals and what’s right. We didn’t always follow through, but I will try to live up to the expectations he had for himself and for us.”
Few oral surgeons were practicing in North Dakota when David Sande opened his office in Grand Forks in 1970.
He was born in Thief River Falls and grew up in Grand Forks, where his father, the late Clarence Sande, was a founding partner of Agsco.
After graduating from UND, David attended Harvard University’s dental school and trained in oral surgery for three years at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City.
While practicing in Grand Forks, he held offices in regional and state dental associations.
He and Ann met on a blind date while he was at Harvard and she, a graduate of Smith College, was working in Boston. Friends of their sons looked forward to the “New England boiled dinners” they often served at their Belmont Road home.
At the time of his retirement, “Doc” Sande told the Herald that he had hundreds of books he hadn’t read yet, many hundreds of crossword puzzles to complete and many rounds of golf to play.
He tackled two, three, sometimes 10 crossword puzzles a day — the harder, the better.
“If I owned stock in the New York Times crossword puzzle, I’d sell today,” Dana Sande said.
In addition to his wife and sons, David Sande is survived by a brother, Steven, of Scottsdale, Ariz.; a sister, Karen, of Round Rock, Texas, and three grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents — Clarence died in 1991, Stella in 2006 at the age of 92 — and a brother, Curtis, a physician who practiced in Larimore and Northwood, N.D., and in Idaho.
Amundson Funeral Home, Grand Forks, is handling arrangements, which are incomplete.
Reach Haga at (701) 780-1102; (800) 477-6572, ext. 102; or send e-mail to email@example.com.