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August 29th, 1924 - March 15th, 2017

“In Her Words: A Tapestry of God’s Faithfulness”

One of my favorite hymns of the church was “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”.  The words of that hymn would constantly remind me that great is the faithfulness, of God my Father; there has been no shadow of turning with thee; thou changest not, your compassions have failed not; as thou has been you forever wilt be.  Morning by morning by morning, you allowed me to see new mercies.  All I have ever needed, thy hand has provided; great has been thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.

From the day you first knew and knit me together to that glorious March Wednesday last week when you decided my work on earth was done, Lord, You were faithful to my last breath and I am grateful.  You have blessed me beyond anything I could have imagined.  I have lived a long and joyous life and there are those who would say, a fruitful one, and I guess I would have to agree.  Great has been thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.

In my early years, you blessed me with a loving family who made certain that I knew who you were and how you would be present in my life, if only I would trust, obey, and remain steadfast in your Word.  As a child, it was not always easy to see a bright future.  And as I matured from childhood to adulthood, there were often some difficult days with a number of challenges.  But, those early church experiences laid a solid foundation that, as you can see, has continued to multiply in my family from generation to generation.  When I reflect on anything for which I was recognized, I cannot help but reflect on your presence at every single occasion and event.  Throughout my earthly life, I sought to live and model for others a life of courage, compassion, and love and to remind them of the secure faith and heritage of Timothy; “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”.  (2 Timothy1:7 NKJV) Great has been thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.

However, it was never about me.  Throughout my ninety-two years of earthly living, I have tried to work hard and make a difference in the lives of others and ensure that it was you who was exalted and received the glory.  Years ago, I learned that there will always be others who need a helping hand, a kind word, a bit of encouragement and it was always my goal to provide that when I could.  Sometimes it was for my family – my parents, brothers, and sisters – my husband, my children, those precious grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren!  For many years, it was for the children of others who were placed in my care or just simply within my view.  At other times it was for my colleagues and co-workers whenever they needed or depended on me for guidance and direction.  I did my best, Lord, to make sure that no matter whom it might be that when they looked to me they always saw you.  You granted me a lifetime of being able to love and care for others and, in return, of being loved and cared for by others.  Great has been thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.

So now, there are many I leave in your care as they recall and cherish fond memories of the times we have had together.  There will be smiles and tears and I know they will feel some pain for a while because I have been where they are.  But, I pray they will feel, as I have,  the warm embrace of your all-sufficient and amazing grace; your comforting presence to guide and hold; your mercy when it is needed, and the promise of the Resurrection that, if they keep the faith, we will all be together again one day.  Lord, your faithfulness has been great unto me as it is unto them. 

A woman of virtuous character, a lifetime of accomplishments, integrity, discipline, grace, and giftedness, Mrs. Mildred Jackson Sadler leaves the following to cherish her memory and continue her legacy:  Daughter, Brenda Sadler Friday (Ervin); Sons, Dr. Edward DeWitt Sadler, Jr. (Thomasina); The Reverend John Frederick Sadler, Sr. (Patricia), all of Gastonia, NC; Drs. Kenneth Marvin Sadler (Brenda), Lewisville, NC; The Reverend Dr. James Elvin Sadler (Stefanie), Matthews, NC; one brother, The Reverend Stellie J. Jackson (Mary R.), retired Presiding Elder of The A.M.E. Zion Church; two sisters; Cynthia Ann Hicks (The Reverend Granville Hicks, UMC, retired), Greenville, SC; Sarah Frances McKinney (Lewis) North Hills, Pennsylvania; Special God Sister, Ms. Lillian Pryor Williams and God Son, Dr. Jonathan D. Williams (Barbara) of Gastonia, NC.  She was preceded in death by her parents John I. Jackson and Effie Jackson Jackson, husband, Edward DeWitt Sadler, Sr., sisters Elizabeth Henry and Rose Gallop, brother, The Reverend John I. Jackson, who is survived by his wife and Mrs. Sadler’s sister-in-law, Theodoro P. Jackson; and Grandson, Edward DeWitt Sadler, III (Trey); Grandmother of fifteen (15), Great-grandmother of fourteen (14); Great-great-grandmother of two (2); and a host of other relatives and friends.
In addition, the family would like to extend their grateful appreciation to the following caregivers for their devotion to “Momma Sadler”:  Marva Fleming, Wintress Freeman, Danita Gordon, Tracy Rice, Barbara Setzer, and Great-granddaughter, Olivia Reid. We would also like to thank Hospice of Gaston County for your compassion and care shown towards our mother and Mrs. Jennifer Pharr Davis for your enormous contribution to this writing and your support to our family.

Shaw University, Raleigh, N. C. – Bachelor of Science Degree, Home Economics and Science
UNC-Charlotte, Master of Education Degree in Vocational Education, Supervision and Administration
Additional studies at Appalachian State University, A & T State University and North Carolina State University

Professional Experience

Gaston County Schools Assistant Superintendent for Personnel,  Assistant to the Superintendent,  General Supervisor for Secondary Education, Assistant Principal, Highland Junior High School,  Instructor, Highland Junior/Senior High School, Eighth Grade Science and Math, Gastonia, NC; Ninth Grade Introduction to Vocations.  Assistant Dietitian, Gaston Memorial Hospital.  Dietitian, Gaston County Negro Hospital.  Instructor, Science, Roosevelt High School, Clover, S.C.  Short Order Cook, Smith Drug Store, Gastonia, N. C.  Instructor, Home Economics, Jefferson High School, York, S. C.

Church Affiliations

Member of  the following: Faithful and active member of St. Stephens AME Zion Church, Gastonia, NC, service included the Board of Trustees, Choir Director, Christian Education, Director of Adults, Deaconesses, Matron member WH&OM Society, Food Service Ministry Coordinator; 2001 Member of the Year, Leader of Class Leaders, Coordinator of Deaconess-Lincolnton District and Speaker at Area Churches-Ecumenical; The AME Zion Church Summit Committee (Representative for the Piedmont Episcopal Area appointed by Bishop Cecil Bishop, Presiding Prelate); Ministers & Lay Association AME Zion Church; Assembly of Christian Educators.  Workshop Presenter, Western N. C. Conference Board of Christian Education and Camp Dorothy Walls, WNCC Choir.   

Community Service Organizations

Appointed by the Gaston County Board of Commissioners to serve on the following boards:  1991-1995 - Advisory Committee-Gaston County Nursing and Domiciliary Home; 1978-1990; Gaston Memorial Hospital Board of Directors; 1975-1980; Gaston/Lincoln Area Mental Health Board; 1980 - Southern Piedmont Health Systems Agency Board of Electors.

1993-1994 President, (Basileus) Zeta Mu Omega Chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.;   1990-1992 President, Piedmont Chapter, The Links, Inc.;   1991-1997 Board of Directors, The Alliance for Children and Youth; 1990-1998 Board of Directors, Schiele Museum of Natural History;  1990-1992 Anti-Basileus (Vice –President), Zeta Mu Omega Chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.;  1990-1991 Gaston County Co-Chair, United Negro College Fund, Johnson C. Smith University;  1983-1990 Board of Directors, First Health, Inc.; 1981-1987 Board of Directors, United Way of Gaston County; 1983 & 1984 Community Advisory Board, Junior Service League of Gaston County; 1975-1978 Gaston County Family Counseling Service; 1978--1991  Member, Altrusa Club (Business and Professional Managers);  1983-1985 Basileus (President), Zeta Mu Omega Chapter, Alpha Kappa Sorority, Inc.; Membership  Chairman, Delta Kappa Gamma Society International; 1978-1983 United Way Campaign Chairman , Gaston County Schools;  1978-1980 United Negro College Fund Community Volunteer;  1976-1979  Member, Visiting Committees, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; 1975-1976 Vice-President, Gaston County Democratic Committee , Secretary, Precinct #7; 1975 Citizens Advisory Committee, City of Gastonia, N. C; 1974-1976 Member, Professional Review Committee  for Fair Employment and Dismissal- Appointed by the state Superintendent, Craig Phillips;  1981-1983 United Way Planning Board;  1958-1975 Director, Highland Evening Adult School;  1970 -1971 Recruiter, Continuing Education Program, Gaston College;  1966-1970 National Opinion Research Interviewer; 1967-1969 Home/School Coordinator for Head start Summer Program;  1966 Director of Summer Tutorial Program;  1958-1962 President of both Elementary and Junior/Senior High PTAs.

Awards and Recognition

Name engraved on Martin Luther King Jr. Monument, Plaza in Downtown Gastonia, 2005;   Mildred J. Sadler Fellowship Hall, named by St. Stephens AME Zion Church;   Athena Award, Excellence in Leadership for Women, Gaston County Chamber of Commerce, 2009;   W. Duke Kimbrell Lifetime Civic Achievement Award, Gastonia Jaycees first African American, First Woman, February 2003;  News 14 Carolina Person of the Week, February 2003;  Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Citizen of the Year, 1975;  Citizen of the Year, Prince Hall Free & Accepted Masons, November, 2000;  Human Relations Regional “A Decade of Gems” Award, October 2000;  Paul Harris Fellow- Rotary Foundation, Gastonia East Rotary Club, January 1993;   Annie L. Harvey Award, Mid-Atlantic Region, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. 1987;.  Award for Excellency, President of NCAE, Gaston County, 1971-72;  Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Woman of the Year Award, 1967;  Good Neighbor Award Certificate of Merit for Community Participation, City of Gastonia;  Les Aimes Social Club, Citizen of the Year Award, 1980;  Las Amigas  Education Award, 1989;   Recipient-First Tribute to Minority Women, N. C. Council on the Status of Women, Senator Helen Rhyne Marvin, Chairman, 1980;  School Press Award-The Communicator, N. C. Association of Educators;  Recipient – Outstanding Woman in the Field of Education, Gaston County Commission on the Status of Women;  Boss of the Year Award-Gaston County Educational Office Personnel, 1983-1984;   Gastonia Evening Civitan Club, Woman of the Year, 1985;  One of Gaston County’s Outstanding Women-1998- (Picture displayed in the Gaston County Public Library);  Gaston County Woman of the Year-August, 1993; Gaston  County Women’s Commission (first African American, fourth woman named);  Gaston County Organization for Community Concerns, Community Service , December, 1987;  United Arts Council for Partnership With the Arts, 2001;  Pictured with daughter, Brenda S. Friday on Billboard for United Way; Dr. Betty V. Stith Trailblazer Church and Community Award, Connectional Lay Council, The A.M.E. Zion Church, July, 2013; Order of The Long Leaf Pine, highest Citizen honor given by the State of N.C., awarded by Governor Mike Easley, presented by Senator David Hoyle, 2004;  UNCF Dream Keeper Award, March, 2014; the Sellie I. Clement award, Lincolnton District, A.M.E. Zion Church; The Allen H. Sims Award, Community Foundation Gaston County, 2015; Livingstone College Hall of Fame Award, February, 2017; Letter of congratulations on her 90th birthday, The Honorable Barack H. Obama, 44th President of the United States of America, August 29th, 2014.

Funeral Arrangements 

St. Stephens A.M.E. Zion Church
201 W. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, N.C.   28052

Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 1:00 P.M.

The family will receive friends at St. Stephens A.M.E. on Sunday (3/19) from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.

Gaston Memorial Park
1200 S. New Hope Road
Gastonia,  N.C.   28054
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  • Thursday, March 16, 2017
    Our staff will continue to keep your family in our prayers. We thank you for allowing us to serve your family.
    ~ Costner Funeral Home
  • Saturday, March 18, 2017
    I extend my deepest and most sincere condolences to the Sadler family. My thoughts and prayers are are with your family during this time of bereavement.
    ~ Charles Love   Charlotte, NC
  • Friday, March 17, 2017
    Mrs. Sadler was truly an inspiration to all of us. I am personally thankful for the opportunity to get to know her. May God bless and keep you in His arms of love during this time.
    ~ Jackie Bowens   Charlotte, NC
  • Saturday, March 18, 2017
    What a legacy! My deepest heartfelt condolences to the family of Mrs. Sadler. An inspiring and encouraging woman of God who will be greatly missed. May the Holy Spirit comfort you now and always!
    ~ Apostle Joecilyn Wallace   Gastonia, NC
  • Saturday, March 18, 2017
    What a legacy! My deepest heartfelt condolences to the family of Mrs. Sadler. An inspiring and encouraging woman of God who will be greatly missed. May the Holy Spirit comfort you now and always!
    ~ Apostle Joecilyn Wallace   Gastonia, NC
  • Saturday, March 18, 2017
    My deepest condolences to you the family, truly she was a beautiful person and will be missed by many. My prayers are with you.
    ~ LaTara Tribble   Mount Holly, NC
  • Sunday, March 19, 2017
    My deepest condolences to The Sadler Family
    ~ Barbara Massey Arnold   Southfield, MI
  • Sunday, March 19, 2017
    What a blessing to have known Mrs. Sadler, our deepest and most sincere condolences go out to the Sadler family. You all will be in our thoughts and prayers.
    ~ Mr. and Mrs. Odell and Ida Lowery Sr.   Gastonia, NC
  • Sunday, March 19, 2017
    Mrs. Sadler was such a lovely lady, what a blessing to have known her. We extend our deepest and most sincere condolences to the Sadler family. We pray God's Peace will comfort you during this time of bereavement.
    ~ Mr. and Mrs. Darryl and Jarvette Thompson   Lincolnton, NC
  • Sunday, March 19, 2017
    So sorry for your loss. Death is very difficult to have to deal with. The bible does provide us with comfort and hope. Revelation 21:4 says that God will wipe every tear from their eyes and pain and death will be no more.
    ~ Lisa L
  • Monday, March 20, 2017
    Our deep condolences to the family of Mrs. Mildred Sadler. We remain thankful for her assistance with education issues when we moved to Gastonia. Rest in Peace. The Onafowora family
    ~ Dr. Laura Onafowora   Belmont, NC
  • Monday, March 20, 2017
    As you grieve know that we are remembering you and honoring the memory of Mrs. Mildred Jackson Sadler. We pray the love of God enfolds you during your journey through grief and we send you thoughts of comfort.
    ~ Dorothy Costner & Son, John Costner   Gastonia, NC
  • Monday, March 20, 2017
    I am so thankful for the life of Mrs. Mildred J. Sadler. She was a dear person whom I admired. Her influence was and is immeasurable. Only God knows how many lives were touched by her life and example.
    ~ Shirlene V. Hoke   Dallas, NC
  • Monday, March 20, 2017
    To The Sadler's Family: I extend to you my deepest sympathy! It was a pleasure knowing Mrs. Sadler! She was so very kind and a sweethart! May God bless and sustain you all and keep you wrapped in His loving arms! Anna Dunham Robinson
    ~ Anna Dunham-Robinson   Gastonia, NC
  • Saturday, March 25, 2017
    My deepest sympathy to the Sadler Family. Do know that you have my deepest sympathy. I am so thankful for the life of Mrs. Sadler. You will continue to be in my prayers
    ~ Julia Friday Spivey   Raleigh, NC
  • Monday, March 27, 2017
    Your family is in our prayers. Mrs. Sadler was such a joy. We love and miss you. Barry & Marie
    ~ Barry & Marie Neely   Forest Hill, MD