William Wheeler Sadd

May 7, 1935 - July 17, 2022

William Wheeler Sadd, “Bill” or” Dadd Sadd”, passed away peacefully Sunday, July 17, 2022, in Fort Myers, FL.  He was born May 7, 1935, in Chicago, IL to Sumner Harry Sadd and Louise Beardsley Sadd, now deceased.  He was married to Linnea Paulson Sadd for 60 years prior to her death in 2021.   He is survived by daughters Juliet Sadd Wiehe (Stephen Wiehe) of Raleigh, NC and Karen Sadd Spence (Robert Spence) of Littleton, NC; and grandchildren Andrew John Wiehe of Jupiter, FL and Stephanie Elizabeth Wiehe of Loveland, OH.

Bill graduated from Morgan Park Military Academy and was awarded academic scholarship to Denison University earning a BA in Economics with honors in 1957.   He earned Juris Doctor in 1960 from the University of Chicago.  Passing the Bar in Ohio, Bill became on attorney at Fuller & Henry in Toledo where he was a senior partner concentrating in antitrust, trade association, administrative and environmental law for major corporate clients.  He was chairman of the Ohio State Bar Section of Antitrust Law, Sherman Act Committee and ABA Section of Antitrust.  He published papers on numerous antitrust topics and cases in the 1970s.   His antitrust expertise and work with Owens Illinois led him to position as the President and General Manager of the Glass Packaging Institute, the trade association for the glass container industry, from 1974 to 1986 in Washington, DC. In this role he worked on significant environmental issues, specifically mandatory deposit laws, where he was an expert witness to the US Congress, the EPA, and numerous state legislatures.   His testimony is in the Congressional Record. He was part of the Keep America Beautiful campaign.  In 1986 Bill moved to the role of Executive Vice President of the National Spa and Pool Institute.    At this very large trade association he was notably focused on product safety and was a featured on the Today Show with Bryant Gumbel on the topic of swimming pool safety.

Bill loved music.    As a child he was soloist in boy choir and church choirs in Chicago.   As an adult he was gifted with a rich baritone voice and was even encouraged to pursue voice professionally.  In midlife, his musical passion was as a band parent.   Both daughters played in school bands where Bill took a leadership role.   He was Director of the Fairfax County Music Parents Association, and President of the Mid-Atlantic Band Festival.   In 1984 he was awarded the ‘Human Relations Award’ by the Fairfax County Board of Education for his work with parents and schools.   Even more significantly, he impacted the life of young musicians as he quietly inspired, incented, and even provided travel money (band trip) and musical instruments to students with potential or in need.   He persisted as a regular fixture at band concerts, marching band performances, and as a Herndon High School band trip chaperone for years beyond his daughters’ graduation, earning him the moniker, ‘Dadd Sadd.’     His love of music carried to his last years where he was a strong presence in the Cypress Cove Chapel choir in Fort Myers, FL.  In his final days he sang in the hallways, sometimes the Alleluia chorus with his choir buddy, Jim; and movingly, the chorale ‘Springs in the Desert’ on a recent day with his daughter (lyrics at the end of this.)

Bill was service minded and became a volunteer fireman in Round Hill, VA.   He trained to drive the equipment and run the pump truck.   He was a first responder to fires and accidents earning awards for Most Calls Responded.    He also used his business acumen and leadership to help this rural fire department get new equipment and upgrade its status to a staffed professional department in this growing suburban area.    Bill was also a member of Lions International in Florida where he worked on fundraising events including craft festivals, mini golf tournaments, and the annual Sanibel Christmas tree sale.   He supported the Lions mission in enabling vision and was a passionate supporter of the Southeast Guide Dogs and Labrador Retriever Rescue.   He adopted a yellow lab from the rescue who had been a puppy mill bitch.   Mandy was the sweetest and most appreciative friend.

Bill was fun loving and could be the life of the party as his many friends will recall at the ‘Fifth Friday’ gatherings in Virginia and the Fourth of July festivities at the lake in North Carolina.   He was quick with a limerick or a song among friends.   He enjoyed golf, hunting birds in Ohio, dogs (especially Labs), and his pipe.   He took pride in his family heritage tracing lineage from the Mayflower to being a Son of the American Revolution, to the foundations of the city of Chicago.   Notably his only international travel was to China as a People to People Ambassador in the 1970s, and to England where he made pilgrimage to an ancestral home, Holt Lodge, in East Anglia.

His final song and words to us:

Springs in the Desert  Chorale by Arthur Jennings

Say to them that are of a fearful heart,

Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come and save you.

The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad;

and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.

For in the wilderness shall waters break out,

and streams flow in the desert.

And the parched ground shall become a pool,

and the thirsty land springs of water.

A highway shall be there, and it shall be called The way of holiness;

the redeemed shall walk there:

And the ransomed of the Lord shall return with songs

and everlasting joy

and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

The family will have private memorial at a later date.

Memorial Contributions in his memory may be made to Southeastern Guide Dogs, at www.guidedogs.org , or help a kid in the band, a fire department, or a friend in his honor.

Mullins Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Fort Myers, is entrusted with final care.


  1. Chris Johnson Jul 24, 2022 at 8:27 pm

    I have many fond memories from my teenage years, spent at the Sadd’s house in Great Falls, VA. Lots of fun nights in the basement and I have a wrestling scar on my hand to prove it. We even swam in the little pond out back, which looking back on it seems like a really bad idea. Ha! We discovered nipple fish but at least nobody got attacked by snakes or snapping turtles.

    I’m so sorry to hear about Dad Sadd’s passing. He was a father figure to many of us who didn’t have much structure at home. I still drink bottled beer because of him. My heart goes out to Juliet and Karen and the whole fam. Always hard to say goodbye to a parent/grandparent.

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