Former Rowe President Dies After Auto Crash


David Sadler, who’d served as Rowe International’s Chairman/CEO during the late ’90s, died Aug. 8, approximately one month following a serious automobile accident. The crash apparently resulted when an oncoming vehicle forced him off the road and into a telephone pole somewhere in the Grand Rapids, Mich., area. He spent several weeks in and out of the hospital afterward, and was 80 years of age when he passed away in a hospice.

David Sadler, right, with Joel Friedman in a promotion photo taken on the release of their Storm wall-mount box. The image graced the cover of RePlay in December 1997.

Sadler was originally brought in to help a struggling Rowe by its owners Capital Partners. The organization’s vending and currency-handling divisions were reportedly suffering while a healthier jukebox division was making up the difference.

According to his then VP of jukebox sales, Joel Friedman: “David did a great job streamlining a company that had been bleeding. He was a very, very smart guy but a tough businessman. We traveled a good bit together and when we finally got to know each other on a personal basis, it turned out he was a pretty nice fellow,” Joel recalled.

Sadler is survived by his wife of 30 years, Karen, four children, five grandchildren and five great grandchildren. In addition to his post at Rowe, he held executive positions at such organizations as Ford Motor Company, Allis Chalmers, International Harvester, GE Capital and both Chemical and Chase Manhattan banks. According to the Grand Rapids Press, during his busy career, Sadler had run corporations, subsidiaries and sales offices in 27 countries and on six continents. May he rest in peace.


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