LCFF Founder Tom Sadler Passes Away


1970: Don Brink and Tom Sadler incorporated their accounting business in Lakewood called, unimaginatively but accurately, “Brink and Sadler”. (They were accountants after all, not prone to anything too flashy…..). I’m sure you have all driven by their business on 112th street, still going strong after 53+ years.


Today, Wednesday, February 21, 2024, Tom Sadler passed away at the age of 80 after enduring Parkinson’s Disease for several years.


After experiencing success in the business, Tom joined Lakewood Rotary in 1977, embarking on a lifetime of service to his community of Lakewood. He served as president of the club in 1989-90, leading with a smile, an easy laugh, and appreciation of fun. A departure for sure from the image of an accountant; but Tom was extraordinary. He was Chair of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy in 2008-9 and was later named one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting” by Accounting Today Magazine. Tom was good, very good.


Tom’s passion was boating. He didn’t stop at owning one, cruising and vacationing in it. He became a Certified Coast Guard vessel captain. He took a liking to delivering yachts to destinations up and down the west. He wasn’t content to spend time in the San Juans or Desolation Sound with The Yacht Club folks, he preferred the company of the Pacific Ocean and all the challenges of open ocean navigation.


But here comes the best part: in 1993, Tom helped found the Lakewood Community Foundation Fund (LCFF). For the next 25 years, he shepherded this endowment fund. Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis and others all raised money and gave it out. Tom’s idea in helping create this endowed fund was to have a community support vehicle that would help Lakewood forever. In 2019, in large part due to the hard work and focus of Tom, the LCFF reached the one-million-dollar mark (now over $1.2 M). This fund is now giving over $37,000 every year to benefit Lakewood and Lakewood only. This is Tom’s greatest legacy in the City of Lakewood.


Perhaps you only knew Tom from the sign on his building, Brink and Sadler. But you should now be aware of the impact this man made on our city. His friends and family will miss him dearly, but we are all heartened by what Tom has left behind. Thank you, Tom.