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Rufus Earle Sadler (1925 - 2012)

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Rufus Earle Sadler

Clinton

Rufus Earle Sadler, widower of Mary Doherty Sadler, died peacefully at his home on January 20, 2012 surrounded by his family. He was born on July 5, 1925, in Clinton, South Carolina, the son of Rufus Earle and Julia Owens Sadler.

A member of the Class of 1947 at the United States Naval Academy, Mr. Sadler dominated the tennis team while there. He served in the United States Navy from 1946 until 1949. Following the death of his father, Mr. Sadler returned to Clinton and earned a degree in pharmacy in 1953 from the University of South Carolina Pharmacy School, where he was number one in his class and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He then assumed responsibility for the family-owned Sadler-Owens Pharmacy in 1953. Mr. Sadler was awarded an honorary doctorate in Humanities in 2010 by Presbyterian College. He most recently was honored at the PC/Navy basketball game with signed basketballs from both teams.

Mr. Sadler was the model of the community-based pharmacist. He was a businessman who partnered with his son-in-law, Walter Hughes, to form what is today Sadler-Hughes Apothecary. He was a charter member and Paul Harris Fellow of the Clinton Rotary Club, past president of the Clinton United Way, a member of the Laurens County Chamber of Commerce, and was formerly an elder of the First Presbyterian Church of Clinton. He also served as president of the Eighth District Pharmaceutical Association and as Chairman of the South Carolina Board of Pharmacy. He was a proud member of the Mens' Prayer Breakfast and Whiteford's Coffee Club.

Mr. Sadler was a championship-level tennis player throughout his life. Young tennis players eagerly attempted to defeat him on the court. As a peerless player, he won easily. His children and grandchildren were defeated even when he played left handed.

Many young people began their working lives under his guidance in the drugstore. He was a wonderful mentor for many of them who stayed in touch with him throughout his life.

Mr. Sadler was a consummate feminist who encouraged his daughters to choose any profession and to work hard to achieve it. His grandchildren knew him as Sugars because he took them to the candy store on the back of his moped.

Rufus Sadler is survived by his children: Sara Sadler Turnipseed (Bill), Julia Sadler McCrae, Virginia Sadler Suber (Andy), Nancy Doherty Sadler (Mac) and Dr. Patricia Earle Sadler (Walt). Mr. Sadler has thirteen grandchildren: Mary Parker Turnipseed, Nancy Sadler Turnipseed, Kathleen Sadler Turnipseed, Stephen Richards McCrae(Emily), Janet Sadler McCrae, Sara Hopkins Tyer (Kevin), Catherine Hopkins Arthurs (Greg), Julia Sadler Mitchell, Evelyn Murdaugh Mitchell, David Carl Mitchell, Walter Moorhead Hughes, Virginia Bradley Hughes and Caroline Sadler Hughes, and five great-grandchildren; Madeline McCrae, Julia McCrae, Owen Tyer, Sadler Tyer and William Arthurs. He is also survived by his sisters-in-law, Nancy McMillan Sadler and Helen Doherty and his brother-in-law, Vincent Doherty.

Funeral services will be held on Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 2 pm at First Presbyterian Church in Clinton. Memorials may be made to Hospice of Laurens County, P.O. Box 178, Clinton, SC 29325.

The family of Rufus and Mary Sadler wish to express their gratitude to Drs. Hussain and Corso, the staff of Hospice of Laurens County, Lula Belle Young,Carolyn Roberts, Latitia Jones, Barbara Conway, Margaret Todd, and Brenzella Adams.

Condolences may be sent to the family at www.grayfuneralhome.com

Gray Funeral Home of Clinton

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Published in The Greenville News on Jan. 21, 2012
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