James Alexander Sands died suddenly and accidentally at home on June 13. He was 28.

He was known as James or Alex by his friends, classmates and business associates. His passions included cycling, hiking, photography, and the creations of his family’s architectural design/build business.

He was born on Nov. 22, 1992, and began coming to his family’s East Chop home as a baby. He loved the Island and spent some of his happiest days there. He was an avid cyclist and mountain biker and loved to explore the Island on his bike. He said he knew every inch of it like the back of his hand. A perfect day for Alex would be to watch the sunrise over the East Chop bluffs, cycle all morning, beach in the afternoon, watch the sunset over East Chop with his family, barbeque in the evening, and end his day sitting around the fire pit with his loved ones. He was proud of the new family guest house that he helped build over the past year.

After graduation from Guilderland Central High School, he and his dad drove his Uncle Dean’s vintage Chevy Suburban across country to some of the many colleges and universities where he was accepted. He settled on the University of Mississippi, the home of William Faulkner and John Grisham. At Ole’ Miss, he started a cycling club and enjoyed all the SEC traditions — football, tailgating, baseball and the camaraderie of the SEC conference. He was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon and loved the college town of Oxford, Miss. After graduation, he traveled before joining the family design/build business.

Alex was proud of the community work that he and his family carried out in the village of Altamont, N.Y., whether hanging Christmas decorations or hanging baskets of flowers in the village center. He marveled that his family had been doing this for over 30 years. He was creative, kind, saw beauty in everything around him, and always said “a touch of beauty goes a long way.”

He loved traveling around the U.S., visiting family and friends. He also embarked on many trips to the British Isles and Europe to experience all the amazing architecture, culture, and food. He relished every sunset and sunrise, whether it was on the Vineyard, in the village of Altamont, the Helderberg Escarpment, or simply looking west from his Saratoga Springs apartment.

Alex is survived by his father and mother, John and Sherry Makepeace Sands; his brother Dr. John (Max) Sands with his wife Dee and daughter Sophie Sands of Raleigh, N.C.; his sister Kendra Makepeace Sands and Scott Lindrup of Brooklyn, N.Y.; and by his many aunts, uncles and cousins.