Nearly two thousand years ago a man from Nazareth and Capernaum in the province of Galilee, speaking to eleven other men at a dinner in the City of Jerusalem said, "In my father's house there are many mansions. If it were not so I would have told you. 11 He spoke with the voice and tones 'Of unquestionable authority, for he himself was and is that authority.
But for great spans of time previous to the making of this statement and ever since, countless pilgrims, conditioned in varying degrees by their short but very intense lives on this and innumerable other planets have taken leave of their planet of nativity and set out on a long, challenging and intriguing journey. The purpose of this journey is to prepare man, to develop his potentials, to enable him to grow to that stature which is essential to the recognition of God who has said "be you perfect even as I am perfect. 11 For at the end of this journey of development God awaits his sons and daughters with outstretched arms of love and mercy.
Our brother, Bill Sadler, has taken the first step in this long journey. Before him there begins the unfolding of the grandeur and challenge of these mansions -- these worlds in the Father's house.
There are many things about this day that are fitting and proper. Bill Sadler did not want a memorial service held for him - he was too concerned with how bothersome such things can be for the people who attend them. His loved ones felt, however, that it would be only fitting to gather together in his memory. Another fitting thing is the presence of a representative of the United States Marine Corps. Bill was a marine - of the "old corps," a statement that has meaning mostly for another marine. It stands for strength, character, courage - both physical and mental - and for unflinching performance of duty in the face of impossible obstacles. In Bill's mind, it stood for doing what a man has to do and doing it without thinking about it.
It is also fitting that this memorial service should be held here in Wesley Hospital. Bill had to spend much time here. He was always impressed with the care, kindness and thoughtfulness given him and his family during times of great stress.
Bill Sadler and the President of the United States died on the same day. It is. our belief that each man died as he would have wanted to die - in the performance of the duties he had chosen to do. Bill had lived through a very difficult and trying year - a year filled with both physical and mental pain. We are glad that when he died, he died on his feet, that the voice which had spoken such good words to so many had returned to full power, that the rich storehouse of words from which he had to draw had also returned to full usage.
Bill Sadler's life touched the lives of countless people across the country. A few words spoken on an airplane, a few words spoken in an office, and many lives were changed - all for the better. Bill tried in everything he did to be constructive with people. He tried to get everyone with whom he came in contact to use what God had given them to the utmost. Of those he loved the most, he demanded the most, and with him as an example, it is not impossible to rise to what he asked for.
Bill's greatest aim in this life was "to know" - to know about God, about man, about the world. He was a man of the Renaissance living in the 20th Century. Student though he was, he was never grim, stoney-faced, or fanatically serious. He was quick to smile, quick to grin, quick to devote serious thinking where it was called for, but quick to laugh at even difficult situations because he felt as does the Bible: "A Merry Heart doeth good, like a medicine." Yet he was certainly not a man who was untouched by sorrow. He had lost a dearly beloved son just entering manhood, he had felt the bitterness of poor health, he had suffered the cruelest blow of all in losing his ability to communicate verbally with people. Even so, he overcame all that had happened.
Those of us who are gathered here today have lost a dear friend, but it was Bill's belief that this loss is temporal only. Underlying everything he did and said was the rock-like belief that this life was a basic-training camp for what lies ahead - something more exciting, intriguing and wonderful than any of us dream. We have only to sincerely want what lies ahead and it will be given to us. We who knew Bill Sadler know that he went before us and that some day we will all meet again. We would say, as he did so often to his loved ones, "be of good cheer."
William Samuel Sadler, Jr. was born in LaGrange, Illinois, on December 15, 1907, to Drs. William S. And Lena K. Sadler. The first five years of his life were spent in LaGrange. The family then moved to Highland Park. With their growing practice they found commuting difficult and, therefore, moved to Chicago. Their first home in Chicago was on Lincoln Park West, near Francis Parker School, which Bill attended from Kindergarten through high school. He was graduated at the age of fifteen. The following year he enrolled in Northwestern University, where he joined Beta Theta Phi fraternity.
Finding himself out of step with the older students at the University, he decided to join the United States Marine Corps. He took his basic training at Parris Island. He was stationed at Quantico, Virginia as well at San Diego.
He served in Haiti and the second Nicaraguan campaigns. Bill was very proud of his Marine service. On his return home at the end of his Marine service he went to work for the National Bank Examiners and that fall enrolled in the University of Chicago with the intention of taking a premedical course, continuing to work Saturdays and summers for the National Bank Examiners, where he obtained some knowledge of the banking business. These were depression days and times were difficult, but Bill was fortunate to be elected Assistant Cashier of the District National Bank of Chicago, which was organized in about 1933. He remained with the District National Bank for approximately 3 years. In 1935 Bill was married. Finding the salary from a banking position inadequate for his marriage status, Bill obtained a position with Standard Oil Company of Indiana. He was connected with the Comptroller's office and acted as investment custodian for their pension fund. After several years in this position, he became a personnel advisor for a firm of consulting engineers, where he worked for two years prior to establishing his own business, Sadler and Associates, this in 1947. He continued as the head of this firm for the remainder of his life and when he died he was President of Sadler and Associates, Inc. The firm continues in operation.
From early childhood Bill. received his religious training at home. He was a natural-born teacher, and when the Urantia Papers appeared, Bill became one of the leading exponets of the Urantia teachings. With his father, he was the teacher of the first groups organized for the systematic study of the Urantia Book. He was one of the original Trustees and Vice President of the Urantia Foundation and one of the founders and the first President of the Urantia Brotherhood, and was one of its field representatives. He was of invaluable assistance in launching the Urantia movement. There was never a diminution of his interest. In 1960 he organized and became President of the Second Urantia Society of Chicago.
For the past seven years Bill has been writing a commentary on The Urantia Book. This tremendous undertaking remains unfinished. In November, 1962 while on a trip to New York, Bill suffered a stroke. He was immediately returned to Chicago and taken to Wesley Memorial Hospital. Since that time he was in and out of the hospital for long periods of time. He died in this hospital on November 22, 1963. He bore his long illness with patience and fortitude.
He leaves behind his wife, Florine, his father William S. Sadler, his daughter, Patricia Mundelius, a son Charle"s, and a grandson, Antony Mundelius. A son, William S. Sadler III died in December, 1955 at the age of 19. Bill also leaves a host of loving associates and friends.
Of the countless men and woman who have passed through the portals of death on this planet alone, a comparatively small number have approached this door with the feeling of courageous expectancy, almost joyful anticipation and the exhilarating sense of the impending, which is the lot of Bill Sadler. I can almost imagine the questions he is asking immediately he reconsciousizes.
For Bill the great adventure has begun, and what are the facts of his life on this planet. Bill, as you see, knew that there are certain inevitabilities -which beset our life - inevitabilities which must be courageously faced, for within them lie the seeds of human personal development:
Is courage - strength of character - desirable? Then must men be reared in an environment which necessitates grappling with hardships and reacting to disappointments.
Is altruism - service to one's fellows - desirable? Then must life experience provide for encountering situations of social inequality.
Is hope - the grandur of trust - desirable? Then must human existence constantly be confronted with insecurities and recurrent uncertainties.
Is faith - the supreme assertion of human thought desirable? Then must the mind of man find itself in that troublesome predicament where it ever knows less than it can believe.
Is loveof truth and the willingness to go wherever it leads, desirable? Then man must grow up in a world where error is present and falsehood always possible.
Is idealism - the approaching concept of the divine - desirable? Then must man struggle in an environment of relative beauty and goodness, surroundings stimulative of the irrepressible reach for better things.
Is loyalty - devotion to highest duty - desirable? Then must man carry on amid the possibilities of betrayal and desertion. The valor of devotion to duty consists in the implied danger of default.
Is unselfishness - the spirit of self -forgetfulness - desirable? Then must man live in a world where the alternative of pain and the like lihood of suffering are ever-present experiential possibilities.
In speech therapy, Bill leterally "clawed" his way back to cbherent speech and legible writing. He started this climb - practicing reading and writing the following - "The Universal Father is the God of all creation, the First Source and Center of all things and beings. First think of God as a creator, then as a controller, and lastly as an infinite upholder. The truth about the Universal Father had begun to dawn upon mankind when the prophet said: "You, God, are alone; there is none beside you. You have created the heaven and the heaven of heavens, with all their hosts; you preserve and control them. By the Sons of God were the universes made. The Creator covers himself with light as with a garment and stretches out the heaven as a curtain." Only the concept of the Universal Father -- one God in the place of many Gods -- enabled mortal man to comprehend the Father as divine creator and infinite controller.
To me Bill has left a personal challenge. The manner in which he faced the inevitabilities of this existence is an inspiration to me. I, feel I know him as a personal friend. We had many long discussions together. In a sense he has dropped a torch for all of us to pick up. My fervent hope is that at the time of our next encounter, wherever it may be, that I may look him in the eye and say, "Bill, despite my human frailties, inadequacies, weakness and lack of perception, I did the best job I am humanly capable of."
A Service of
The Urantia Book Fellowship