John William Sadler

john sadler
John W. Sadler died on November 27, 2018, in McLean, VA at 78 years old.

He was predeceased by his wife of 48 years, Peggy. He is survived by his daughter Jennifer, his sons Jeffrey, David, and Matthew, as well as 12 grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother, Sam.

After graduating high school as valedictorian from Tennessee Military Institute in Sweetwater, TN, John attended Vanderbilt University on a Naval ROTC scholarship. He graduated from Vanderbilt University, BE ’62, and Catholic University of America, ME ’75.

Upon John’s graduation from Vanderbilt, Admiral Rickover chose him to serve in the US Navy Office of Naval Reactors. He was profoundly proud of his service as a nuclear engineer in Naval Reactors from 1962 to 2003, where he was instrumental in developing the nuclear submarine program.

An avid kayaker, John paddled the Potomac and regional rivers weekly. He was very adventurous, caving and river diving as a youth in Tennessee, as well as skiing and camping in the snow in Vermont. He hiked the Appalachian Trail through the Great Smokey Mountains several times as well as scaling Mt. Washington, Mt. Shasta, and the Matterhorn.

John and Peggy had a wide circle of friends that have spanned decades, generations, and the map. Welcoming of others, John’s family hosted foreign exchange students, extended family, and many others who needed a place to stay while in a life transition.

John was an active member of Trinity United Methodist Church in McLean, Virginia and served on a variety of different committees. A Memorial Service will be held there on Sunday, January 20th at 2pm.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in John’s name to the Potomac Conservancy or Trinity United Methodist Church in McLean. Online condolences and fond memories of John may be offered at

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