C. Lennart Sandquist ’45

C. Lennart Sandquist ’45 died on January 4, 2017, in Fisherville, Virginia.

(The following was provided by the family:)

Lennart Sandquist, for 56 years a citizen of Waynesboro and, since 2010, a resident of Stuarts Draft Retirement Community, died at Augusta Health Wednesday afternoon, January 4, 2017. He was born August 3, 1923 in Concord, New Hampshire, the 8th son and 12th child of Bror Martin and Charlotta Linnarsson Sandquist. After attending Concord schools and graduating from Concord High School in 1941, he attended Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine until July 1943, when he was called to active duty in the U.S. Navy and served as communications officer aboard LST 944 in the Pacific.

After participating in the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, he saw further duty aboard LST 1000 in China. In July, 1946 he returned to civilian life and Bowdoin College, graduating in 1947 and serving as teaching fellow in chemistry at Bowdoin until June 1948. In that year he married Elizabeth (Betty) Warner Smith of Brunswick, Maine. Following an MA from Wesleyan University in 1950 and PhD from Yale University in 1954, he was employed as a research chemist at the DuPont Benger Laboratory in Waynesboro, VA until his retirement in 1984. During his career he contributed to the early development of Orlon acrylic, Nomex aramid, and Lycra spandex fibers, earning a patent for the spinning process for Lycra fibers which made them long enough to be useable in clothing.

During his many years in Waynesboro, Len or Sandy, as he was known to friends, served as elder in the Presbyterian Church with special concerns for education and peacemaking. For more than 25 years mental health and related issues were his active community interests. These included the Mental Health Association, Valley Community Services Board, and Western State Hospital Human Rights Committee and Advisory Council.

With a love of song and rhyme instilled by his grade school teachers, Sandy enjoyed writing poems for all sorts of occasions and shared these with family and friends. When compiled by his daughter in 2013 they numbered over 160.

Dr. Sandquist is survived by his three children and their spouses, Charlotte and Jack Phillips of Cameron, Missouri; Christopher and Pattie Fink Sandquist; Warner and Linda Quillen Sandquist of Stuarts Draft; and four grandchildren, Justin Phillips of Austin, Texas; Chelsea Phillips and her husband, Andrew Blasenak, of Philadelphia; and Kirstin and Webb Sandquist.