Carolyn Ladd Hall Sands, known as Kayo, died peacefully at her home in Lebanon, N.H. on April 28. She was 93.

Her son Jonathan Steven Sands and daughter Tayo Newton Sands were with her when she died. Tayo and her daughters, Carolyn and Nici, provided incredible home care for her during the last years of her life, allowing her to remain comfortable and cozy in her own home until the day of her death.

Kayo was born in Cambridge on Jan. 22, 1923, the child of Professor Norris Folger Hall and Alice Biardot Garrett Hall. She had one sister, Helen Hall Stephens, who predeceased her.

She was educated at the Shady Hill School in Cambridge and then, in an experience she remembered with great glee, at the (in)famous Dartington Hall School in Totnes, England. With war looming in Europe, she was sent home from Dartington to Madison, Wisc., where her family then lived as her father was a professor of chemistry at the University of Wisconsin. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin, with distinction, and was elected as the first female president of the Wisconsin Union, the university’s student organization and facilities, in 1943.

Her parents, known as Norrie and Lallah —along with other members of Lallah’s family, from aunts and uncles to grandparents — had a family home, Five Knots, on Chappaquiddick. Kayo spent idyllic childhood summers there surrounded by this extended family. She carried on this family tradition by acquiring the Chappy Hilton, which had also been in the family in earlier years, with her husband, Dr. George Winthrop Sands. They were married on August 19, 1950 at Norrie and Lallah’s Chappy home, then known as Peaceable Kingdom, after Five Knots had burned down.

Kayo remained an avid reader of the Vineyard Gazette until her death. Vineyard historians will recognize her deep Vineyard roots in her grandfather’s middle and last name, Folger and Hall. She was also a Mayhew and Coffin descendant. At the Chappy Hilton, and at their winter home, Ragged Edge, in Wilmot, N,H., Kayo and Win raised their four children surrounded by sheep and horses, and many devoted friends. Their friends would return every year like swallows for the long, languorous summer vacations with Kayo and Win at the Chappy Hilton. The vacations were distinguished by Kayo’s inspired French cooking which could easily serve multitudes at both tables. These Chappy summers of the ‘60s and ‘70s were highlighted by her leading the Chappy Hilton contingent in memorable beach picnics with bonfires on Wasque (when this was still allowed), exciting participation in the Potters’ Chappy Horse Show with its fabulous Costume Class, sailfish regattas, clam and lobster bakes, and the wonderful softball tournaments with Jesse Morgan at the helm. With Jesse in his deputy sheriff’s uniform Kayo rode herd on the randy Chappy Hilton babysitters crashing of the posh Edgartown Yacht Club dinner-dances as they cut too wide a swath through the Edgartown gratin.

Kayo created a world in these two homes which was wondrous for children and magnificently seductive for adults. It was a world of warmth and love, humor and sharp wit, gastronomy and comfort, drink and sports. Her husband Win would preside over the table with delight, and indulgence, and pleasure ­— proud of her incredible energy and hospitality and culinary skill.

She was a certified (Canadian) ski instructor at the King Ridge ski area for many years, and led many hikes and expeditions of family and friends up the slopes of Ragged Mountain where she and Win had made their home. In the summers she was an avid sailor of sailfishes. Win was a physician at Dick’s House, the student medical service at Dartmouth College ,for most of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. In her later career, after Win’s death, Kayo served as a well-respected member of the board of trustees of the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and was also a long-serving volunteer in both its retail shop and at its rotunda information desk, with over 25,000 hours under her belt. Her broad smile and cheery demeanor were renowned throughout the hospital and Hanover, N.H., and were underpinned by her deep knowledge of and commitment to quality medical care for all.

No person’s life and accomplishments can be adequately rendered in several memorial lines, but she died after a long and happy life distinguished by the love she gave to her husband, children, her beloved grandchildren and her two adored great-granddaughters, and friends. Her inexhaustible energetic optimism and indefatigability in the face of cynicism was as generous as her laughing smile was wide. She will be missed.

In addition to her son Jonathan and daughter Tayo, she is also survived by two other sons, Michael Winthrop Sands of Flint Hill, Va., and Christopher Hall Sands of Brussels, Belgium.

A celebration of her life for friends and family will be held at her home in Lebanon, N.H. at 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 28. All are welcome.

More celebratory information can be found online at