Today I learned of the passing of one of the most empathic men I have ever met. A great man. A cultured man. He was kind hearted, always found a good word for others who may not have always deserved being addressed with such kindness, but the bar of
generosity of his heart, mind and soul eclipsed most I have met. He was a learned man with insight few would ever come to know. He touched all who would come to meet him. He generously shared his broad educational scope and reference points with everyone. He was a teacher in its most stellar definition. Anecdotes and musical reference would and did eclipse the political decay all about him. He persevered despite the naysayers. His vision was full and attainable and grand; perhaps too big for Yonkers, but he would not hear of it.
His passing leaves a vacuum and defuses the kindness he filled in the ether of life. He found joy in the simplest things yet gave expression to the most complex concepts because he learned joy and reveled in the seemingly mundane which permitted him to elevate himself to a pedestal upon which he would not step to alight. Unbeknown to him, everyone who has met him knew he belonged on a higher plane. He was not absorbed with the notoriety. He was consumed to bring life to the musically starved. Those more familiar with him learned
through his patience and knowledge by which he built bridges of understanding and almost childish delight in spending time with him.
He afforded me the greatest of honor by spending time with me in promoting the Yonkers Philharmonic Orchestra and the music experience he brought forward. By his side he spoke of the perfect pitch of the Chinese whose expression in the dialects spoken are demanded to use pitch to give expression to the different meanings
of the same word. It was such insight that I will never forget and I sincerely thank him for sharing these nuggets of knowledge with listeners on the Westchester On the Level radio program.
Maestro James Sadewhite was scheduled to spend two hours on the Friday, October 25,
2013, program, which he could not attend. He knew of his pending end.
I remember hearing from him about two months ago. I asked if there was a problem and he said there was none. He wanted to share a meal. A simple gesture that brought me great delight. Soon after our talk I learned of his needing attention in hospital. I could never have imagined his untimely demise.
James Sadewhite left a legacy of accomplishment through his work and a plan toward accomplishing
those grand ends.
All Yonkersites will miss him. He touched everyone, directly or through an ancillary mode.
Memory of Maestro James Sadewhite will forever reside in my heart and mind for as long as my maker allows me to be clear of mind.
Goodbye Maestro. Safe journey! I will dearly miss you as will the City of Yonkers. You infused “gracious” into the vision of the city. Thank you.