Dr. William “Bill” George Sandie was born 17 November 1938 in Brooklyn, New York and grew up in nearby Queens, New York.

He attended public school #119 followed by Brooklyn Technical High School. After high school he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps where he worked as a jet engine mechanic. Bill then attended NYU for both undergraduate and graduate schools where he earned an M.S. in math and a Ph.D. in cosmic ray physics.

He was one of 27 passengers on board the Rockwell Polar Flight, 14-17 Nov 1965, where he conducted physics experiments during the trip. It was on board a Flying Tigers 707 jet, and was the first round-the-world flight to pass over both the North and South Pole, establishing eight world records for jet transports along the way. 

Bill worked as an associate physics professor for research at UC Irvine that lead him all over the world to include 4-years living in South Africa where the team conducted experiments in the gold and diamond mines to study the decay of neutrinos.

He then moved to Los Altos, CA in 1975 to work for Ford Aerospace. He later transferred to Lockheed where he worked for the remainder of his career at their Palo Alto research labs and was awarded Scientist of the Year honors.

During his career he traveled all over the world to conduct experiments such as suspending radiation detectors from massive, high altitude, hot-air balloons and floating them across the Australian continent. He also spent a month at the South Pole.

His wife Anna Marie “Celine” Sandie preceded him in death in 2005. He is survived by son William D. (associate warden, Nevada Dept. of Corrections) his wife Donna and children Will and Connor, son Captain Malachy D. (USN, Coronado, CA) his wife Colleen and children Nolan, Luke, Derek, and Nick; and daughter Helena (public school administrator, Petaluma CA) her husband Scott Stroud and their children Peyton and Sean. He is also survived by his sister Marilyn Zorrer (Christiana, DE) and his partner for the past decade, Alice Needham (Burlingame, CA).

Bill was an avid gardener, sports fan and animated storyteller. He had an insatiable, intellectual curiosity and he was the best father that one could ever ask for.

Thank you to the Burlingame EMS for valiantly trying to bring Bill back.

Inurnment will take place at Skylawn Memorial Park on February 19th at 12:30.

Obituary Policy

The Town Crier's obituary publishing rates are $3 per line with a minimum charge of $50.  Photos may be included at $40 per photo (in addition to the $50.00 minimum charge).

Deadline: Thursday at noon, for publication the following Wednesday (6 days later). If a holiday falls within that week, check with us about special publication deadlines. 

For more information and to submit obituaries, email

The Town Crier is not responsible for obituary content. Paid obituaries are provided by families or mortuaries. 

Schools »

Read More

Sports »

Read More

People »

Read More

Special Sections »

Special Sections
Read More

Photos of Los Altos

Browse and buy photos