HAMPTON - Dr. Thomas Wirt Sale Jr. was born on Feb. 26, 1926, in Hampton, Va., to the late T. Wirt and Mildred Fields Sale, who operated the T.W. Sale Pharmacy, in Wythe, in the 1930s and 1940s. Dr. Sale died on June 17, 2012.
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He was a member and past vestryman of St. John's Episcopal Church. Dr. Sale was a 1943 graduate of Hampton High School and a 1952 graduate of the Medical College of Virginia. After an internship and residency in Boston, Mass., he returned to Hampton in 1957, as a general surgeon, where he practiced until his retirement in 1994. He was on the surgical staff at Mary Immaculate, Riverside, and Hampton Sentara Hospitals. He was a member and past president of the International College of Surgeons. One of the founders of the Virginia Peninsula Poison Control Center, he was active in many local medical societies and organizations. He was a past board member and instructor at Eastern Virginia Medical School. He was a member of the American Heart Association (Virginia Peninsula Chapter) and the American Cancer Society (Virginia Peninsula Chapter).
During World War II, he served in the Fifth Infantry Division of Patton's Third Army. His division fought in the Battle of the Bulge, was involved in the breakthrough of the Siegfried Line, and crossed the Rhine River at Oppenheim in 1945. He was awarded the Bronze Star and the Combat Infantry Badge.
Dr. Sale is survived by his wife of 63 years, Elizabeth Woodward Sale. He is also survived by sons, Thomas W. Sale III and wife, Daphne, Carter Woodward Sale and wife, Karen, John Cabell Sale and wife, Melissa; and daughter, Sidney Sale Bland and husband, Richard. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Thomas Wirt Sale IV, Wesley Bland, Anne Carter Bland, and Susan Sale.
He was a member of the James River Country Club, the Hampton Yacht Club, the Hampton Roads German Club, and the Hampton Roads Assembly.
As time permitted and during his retirement, Dr. Sale joined many genealogical and patriotic organizations, including: Sons of the American Revolution (past president and surgeon general), Jamestowne Society (past president of James City Company), Order of Descendants of Ancient Planters, Order of the First Families of Virginia, Sons of Confederate Veterans (camp doctor of Magruder-Ewell Chapter), Society of Colonial Wars, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Claiborne Society (past president), Bridger Family Association (past president), Society of the War of 1812 (past state president), Military Order of the World Wars (commander of Hampton Roads Chapter), Order of Founders and Patriots of America, Sons of the Revolution, Navy League of the United States, St. Andrew's Society of Williamsburg, Order of the Crown of Charlemagne, and Tidewater Genealogical Society (past president).
He was passionate about history and was a member of local organizations and museums, including: Fort Monroe Casemate Museum (board member), Jamestown/Yorktown Foundation, Mariners' Museum, Virginia War Museum (board member), and Hampton Heritage Foundation. Dr. Sale loved his home city and actively raised funds for the construction of the Hampton History Museum. He served as a board member and past president of the Hampton History Museum Association.
He pursued a varied array of hobbies. Dr. Sale had a lifelong interest in magic and was a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians (past president, Ring 103, Norfolk). He performed magic for many clubs and organizations, as well as, entertaining his grandchildren and their friends at birthday parties. He was active in the Hampton Roads Postcard Club (past president), the Virginia Peninsula Coin Club, and the Gem and Mineral Society of the Virginia Peninsula (past president).
Dr. Sale loved to travel throughout the world and loved taking trips with his children. He took them hiking on the Appalachian Trail, scuba diving at Key Largo, rafting in the Grand Canyon, and cruising on a steamboat on the Mississippi. He took his family on a 50th anniversary of D-Day tour of Europe. He visited all seven continents and the North Pole.
A visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 19, at R. Hayden Smith Funeral Home. A funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 20, at St. John's Episcopal Church, officiated by the Rev. Peter Hogg. Internment will follow at St. John's Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that expressions of sympathy be made in donations to the St. John's Episcopal Church Memorial Fund, 100 West Queens Way, Hampton, VA 23669.
R. Hayden Smith Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at dailypress.com/guestbooks.
Published in Daily Press from June 18 to June 19, 2012