Skip to main content

John Peter Sadler

John Peter Sadler, 74, of Sun City, Arizona and Duluth, Minnesota (formerly of Ely, Minnesota) died unexpectedly February 16, 2023, at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center, Glendale, Arizona.

John was the son of Jim & Jean Sadler born September 21, 1948, in Des Moines, Iowa. He graduated from Brooklyn-Guernsey-Malcom (BGM) High School, Brooklyn, Iowa in 1966. He went on to obtain a Bachelors Degree in Engineering Operations from Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa in 1970. This is, as he would explain, an engineer with a pocket protector and common sense. John married the love of his life, Jane (McIlrath) Sadler on May 27, 1969. John retired from GTE (now Verizon) in 1998, as Director of Engineering and Construction, Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. After ‘retirement’ from telephony, John reinvented himself. He and Jane moved to Ely, Minnesota to start a new adventure. They established Little Cabin Designs, designing and building custom north woods furniture inspired by getaways to their ‘little’ 1920’s log cabin on Little Long Lake near Ely. John would say, “If someone figured out how to build that, so can I.” You could find John at the cabin, fixing whatever needed fixing or built or rebuilt or maintained. John and Jane owned their lakeside cabin for 42 years; it was their escape and their life’s retreat. During those years at the lake, captaining the pontoon (the party barge) around Little Long Lake was one of his true joys - second only to fixing anything broken. In 2010, John and Jane decided to become snowbirds, sharing their time between Ely summers and Sun City sunny, warm winters. In 2021, John and Jane sold their little cabin and relocated their summer home ‘south’ to Duluth, Minnesota, close to Lake Superior. During his life, John acquired a multitude of friends. There was no one with whom he would not strike up a conversation - from the person standing behind him in the checkout line to someone walking their dog while he was walking his beloved dog, JoJo - or any person who said hello and needed to talk.

John is survived by those he loved dearly - his wife, Jane, of 53 years, their daughter, Jill (Magdalena Ptaszny) of Venice, California, John’s sister, Peg Sadler, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, his faithful doggie, JoJo, and many dear friends. Celebrations of John’s life will occur in Sun City, Arizona and Minnesota at a time yet to be determined.

Sign up for News Alerts

Subscribe to news updates