Sanford P. “Sandy” Sher, 84, of Chestnut Hill, a physician and community activist, died of cardiac arrest Nov. 10 at Chestnut Hill Hospital.
Until his retirement in 1991, Dr. Sher was a medical information specialist in the Toxicology Department of Merck & Co. and had published many articles in his field. Earlier he had worked at what is now the GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceutical firm, where he met his future wife, Dena Gibbs.
A resident of Chestnut Hill for 31 years, he had served on the board of the Water Tower Recreation Center and had raised funds for the maintenance of Winston Park at Winston Road and Willow Grove Avenue. He also was a volunteer at the Woodmere Art Museum, Friends of the Wissahickon and the Germantown Historical Society.
A student of the Civil War, he did extensive research on the Army’s Mower General Hospital, a 3,600-bed facility that cared for wounded Union soldiers and was situated on land adjacent to the present site of the Wyndmoor Train Station. Through his efforts he was able to get the state to erect a historical marker on the site.
Before moving to Chestnut Hill in 1980, Dr. Sher and his wife were active in community affairs in Whitemarsh Township. They worked successfully to have a new library built across from the local elementary school and had helped to organize the Whitemarsh Community Arts Center.
During the Vietnam War, he took part in many antiwar demonstrations and provided draft counseling to those who did not wish to serve. He was a cofounder of the Plymouth Meeting Peace Group.
Born in the Bronx, N.Y., he was a graduate of the Bronx High School of Science and received both his bachelor’s degree and medical degree from Washington University in St. Louis.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by three sons, Paul, Ned and Ben, and six grandchildren.
A memorial service to celebrate Dt. Sher’s life will be held in the spring. Memorial donations may be made to Friends of the Wissahickon, 8708 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19118. – WF