William Alexander "Sandy" McArthur
October 12, 1950 – November 1, 2018
William Alexander "Sandy" McArthur died on Nov. 1 at the age of 68. Sandy and his twin brother Donald W. "Dan" McArthur, III were born on October 12, 1950 to Susan Gardner McNeil and her husband Donald Wadsworth McArthur, Jr. Sandy was preceded in death by his sister Marion "Mimi" Edwards (Andy) and his brother Dan (Mary Love). Sandy is survived by his wife of 42 years, Sharon Rogers McArthur, their son William A. "Sandy" McArthur, Jr. (Kathleen), grandchildren Eleanor and Duncan, his sister-in-law and brother-in-law, and many nieces, nephews and cousins. A lifelong resident of Jacksonville, Sandy began his business career at Allied Timber Company. After his marriage to Sharon in May, 1976, Sandy followed the footsteps of his father and his uncle, Sen. A.G. McArthur, by working for the business founded by his great grandfather, N.G. Wade Investment Company. Eventually becoming president, Sandy expanded the scope of the Company's business, including forming a partnership that became the largest dairy in the Southeast. In recent years his vision extended dairy operations internationally. Active in the community, Sandy was instrumental in bringing the Jaguars football team to Jacksonville. He served as a Commodore of the Florida Yacht Club and as a director of Barnett Bank of Jacksonville and of Farm Credit of North Florida. Sandy was generous in his friendships. He was an advisor, confidante, and supporter to many that will remember his good works, kind spirit and engaging personality. There will be a visitation Thursday, November 8, from 6 to 8 P.M., at Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home, 729 Edgewood Ave. S., Jacksonville 32205. Funeral services will be held at 11 A.M., Friday November 9, at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 4129 Oxford Ave., Jacksonville 32210, followed by a reception from 12noon to 2pm. Committal services will be at Evergreen Cemetery will be held from 2:15 - 3:15pm. Please visit www.Hardage-GiddensEdgewood.com to leave condolences for the family. . HARDAGE-GIDDENS EDGEWOOD CHAPEL, 729 Edgewood Ave. S, is serving the family.
In lieu of flowers, Sandy would have you consider a donation to the building fund at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, 3889 Eloise St., Jacksonville, FL 32205, or to St. Vincent’s Healthcare Foundation, 1 Shircliff Way, Jacksonville, FL 32204.
Pall bearers and honorary pall bearers include: Bill Agricola John Barley Tony Campbell Laurie DuBow Andy Edwards Dr. Bob Franco Byron Hodnett Dr. Kevin Hunger Ken Keefe Matt Kenyon Buzzy Livingston John Petherbridge Tom Petway Percy Rosenbloom Frank Scheu John Sefton Ron St. John Kenrick Thomas Charles Thompson Ron Weaver Wayne Weaver Lee Wedekind Sandy’s longtime friend, Hayden McCormick, will be speaking of Sandy’s life at the funeral service at St. Marks Church.
A Brief History: A Man with a Big Heart and Big Vision Sandy attended Ortega Elementary School, St. Johns Country Day School, Asheville School and graduated in 1968 from Darlington High School in Rome, GA. By the time they attended college, Dan and Sandy had already developed many friends they would retain throughout their lives, including Percy Rosenbloom, Randy Catlin, Ken Ackis and Champ Avent. Sandy started college at Emory University, but transferred and then graduated with twin brother Dan from Valdosta State University. Sandy’s business career began after graduation with Allied Timber Company out of Swainsboro, GA. There he was schooled in timber operations by John E. Anderson. Sandy later met Sen. Etter T. Usher of Chiefland, Florida, who had a family logging operation and also provided Sandy with knowledge and practical experience. Sandy spent a period of time on weekends and summers in the National Guard reserve as a radio operator. When the National Guard was activated during a time of civil disturbance in Jacksonville, Sandy found himself guarding the Armory downtown. A newspaper photo of Sandy in full uniform made the front page of the Florida Times Union. Sandy fell in love with Sharon and they were married in 1976. He then went to work for the company founded in 1914 by his great grandfather, N.G. Wade. N.G. Wade had previously moved his house on Park Street to construct the 5 Points Theatre, and also constructed the cold storage facility on Beaver Street. The N.G. Wade Investment Company acquired significant land holdings in Duval and other counties in the early 20th century in connection with construction of the Atlantic Coastline Railroad. N.G. Wade’s grandson, Senator A.G. “Sandy” McArthur was president of N.G. Wade Investment Company when Sandy joined in 1976. Upon the death of Sen. McArthur later in 1976, Sandy’s father D.W. McArthur, Jr., took the reins of the Company. In the background, Sandy quickly made habits of taking care of senior family members and of learning from those more experienced. Sandy and brother Dan gradually assumed more responsibility within the Company. Both enjoyed the assistance of Geneva Ray, who acted as their assistant and “second mother” for many years. Ginny’s loyalty, service and perseverance kept her employed at the Company until she retired at age 92. Within the company, Sandy as an officer and later a director was able to learn from experienced board members, including N.G. Wade III, J. Malcolm Wade, Margaret Wade Stewart, Charlie and Nancy Lee Herlong and his own father. Sandy maintained close contact with and assisted the Senator’s widow, Mabel McArthur, who lived to age 100. Sandy became a “go to” person for knowledge and assistance in the family. Sandy kept in touch with senior matriarchs of the family, including Aunt Bessie Wade, Mary McArthur Ewing and Elizabeth McDowell Wade. And there were the many cousins in the Wade and McArthur families to know and respect as the Company’s shareholders: Mia, Joe, Walter, Tony and Neill Wade; Betsy and Lewis Wade; Carolyn, Malcolm, Dorothy, Bonnie, Carolyn and Ginger Wade; Tommy and Pam Stewart; Neill Wade McArthur, III and Barbara and Nancy Lee Ewing. And as he stepped down from running the Company in 2016, Sandy passed the baton to Sandy, Jr. and the younger board members, including Richard Jones and Joe Wade, with the continued assistance of Andy Edwards and Nancy Lee Herlong. Their dad encouraged Sandy and Dan to become active in the community. Earl Hadlow of the Company’s law firm, Mahoney, Hadlow, Chambers & Adams, took Sandy under his wing and enticed Sandy with dreams of an NFL football team in Jacksonville. Sandy then met Ron Weaver, David Seldin, Laurie DuBow, and Tom Petway in the Touchdown Jacksonville effort. After Wayne Weaver came on board the team became a reality in 1993 and the Jacksonville Jaguars played their first game in 1995. Until the team was sold to Shad Kahn, friends and business associates greatly appreciated the opportunity to go to the “suite” to enjoy the view of the game. Farming remained a principal love of Sandy. He enjoyed the drive to Trenton, FL where the Company kept cattle and conducted farming operations. Longtime company employee Kenrick Thomas would provide samples of corn, watermelon, etc. that Sandy would take back to Jacksonville and share with lucky friends. Sandy would say that one of his best business decisions was the formation of the Alliance Dairies Partnership with Ron St. John in 1990. Ron had moved from Batavia, NY to Florida. Sandy’s keen eyes spotted Ron as the best dairyman in the State. With land from the Company in Gilchrist and Levy counties and support from Sandy, Ron built the dairy and kept it financially successful. With the acquisition of a dairy in Montezuma, GA, the dairy operation became the largest in the Southeast. In his typical fashion, Sandy encouraged the manager of the Georgia dairy, Pete Gelber, to spread his own wings. Eventually Pete purchased the Georgia cows and began running his own successful dairy. In recent years, Sandy and Ron – with the help of Ron’s daughter, Jan Henderson, who succeeded Ron at the dairy – built a football field sized digester to convert cow manure to methane gas and fertilizer. The multimillion dollar project produces fertilizer for crops as well as methane gas that can generate electricity or be utilized as a fuel. The project won a “Sustainability Award” from the state of Florida. The Ag department produced a video honoring their efforts. In the last three years Sandy, along with his successor at the Company, Sandy, Jr., have had the company co-own a joint venture, Lecheria Santa Monica, that has shipped – and is now milking -- several hundred cows in the Republic of Panama, where there is a shortage of fresh milk. Sandy was not afraid of making bold decisions. When sister Mimi’s husband and Company director, Andy Edwards, had the idea of buying Illinois farmland at a distress auction, Sandy quickly embraced the concept. The Company became the owner of some of the most productive farmland in the world at a fraction of its value. Sandy was generous with his friendship and a “consigliore” to numerous friends. He assisted many in getting their start. When Frank Scheu and Peb Hendrix approached Sandy about an investment in the medical waste business, Sandy saw it as an opportunity and steered the Company to assist them. While the “Micro-Med” investment struggled in its first few years, ultimately, it was highly successful and sold to public company Stericycle. Sandy envisioned and seized another opportunity when IBM no longer wanted a large, rural tract in Alachua County. Through Dan and Sandy’s friend Ben Chancellor in Alabama, the Company was able to make connections with Walmart’s distribution side. As a result, the company succeeded in siting both Dollar General and Walmart distribution centers on the land acquired from IBM. Recognizing Sandy’s talents and contacts, two banks placed Sandy on their board of directors. Sandy served on the Board of Barnett Bank of Jacksonville, where he learned from Albert Ernest and Hugh Jones. He was also tapped by Farm Credit of North Florida, ACA, where he continued the Company’s business relationship with the Federal Land Banks and developed friendships with its local president Charles Thompson, and loan officers Keith Kelley, Jeffrey Spencer, Bobby Carnley and Ron Brame. Sandy liked to hunt and fish. He would quail hunt at the Sedgefield Plantation outside of Union Springs Alabama, where brother Dan and Mary Love resided for a number of years. Sandy has fly-fished in Canada, Montana and Alaska, and hunted caribou in Northern Quebec and doves in Argentina. Sandy loved to relax at his farmstead in Clay County where he would hunt turkey and quail. History professor Walker Blanton from Jacksonville University would not only help clean the birds, but would regale guests and adjacent landowners Matt Kenyon, Bill Agricola and “hunt master” John Barley with stories of U.S. history. In the intervening years, brother Dan and sister Mimi each had families of their own to give Sandy the enjoyment of numerous nieces and nephews. Mimi and Andy were blessed with Neilly and Drew. Dan and Mary Love had three children: Katie, Worth and Susan. And Sandy, Jr. and his wife Kathleen provided Sandy with the thrill of grandchildren Eleanor and Duncan. In 1991 Sandy went to Cursillo at Camp Weed. Sandy began attending Sunday services with Sharon at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, where Sandy had been baptized, married and where funeral services for twin brother Dan were later held. In recent years Sandy became active in Holy Trinity Anglican Church, where he served on the vestry. Sandy has remained close with his friend, Rev. Haden McCormick. The depth of Sandy’s spirit served as a source of strength to those who knew him. Many have testimonies of how Sandy came to their rescue in their darkest hours and times of need. It is fitting that Sandy passed on All Saints Day. We will miss him as he is re-united with his twin brother Dan, sister Mimi and forebears.
- Visitation Thursday, November 8, 2018
- Funeral Service Friday, November 9, 2018
- Committal Service Friday, November 9, 2018
William Alexander "Sandy" McArthur
W Wayne Bostic
November 9, 2018
Sandy was always a great guy, my condolences & prayers to his family.
November 7, 2018
Sandy was truly larger than life. I have chased the bobwhite quail with him all over south Georgia, and shared many wonderful dinners and quality time together. I will truly miss Sandy, but I am excited to know that he is with God, his brother and other family members, and he is now well.
Very special friend to many. Thank you Richard
November 5, 2018
I have many fond memories of our Gainesville days with Sandy and Sharon. Although we lost touch over the years when we moved west, whenever I go through my old photo albums, the years melt away. The news of Sandy's death reached me in Montana and I am sad for you all. My deepest sympathy to Sharon, Sandy, Jr. and your entire family.
November 5, 2018
Have many fond memories of Sandy from our years at Darlington. Prayers and condolences to the family. He will be missed . . .
November 5, 2018
Have known Sandy since Darlington...thoughts and prayers to the family. He will be missed.....