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Front Range Adventist Community Mourns Passing of Ronald Sackett »
Adventist Healthcare giant, Ronald L. Sackett, 86, passed away on April 14 in Louisville, Colorado.
Retired in 1998, Ron Sackett played an outstanding role in expanding Rocky Mountain Adventist Healthcare and as president of Porter Adventist Hospital in Denver, Colorado, and regional vice-president of Adventist Health System, Rocky Mountain Region. His long career in Adventist healthcare includes leadership at the White Memorial Hospital in Los Angeles, California; Walla Walla Hospital in Washington, and Hinsdale Hospital in Illinois. Ron also served on many denominational committees, including the Rocky Mountain Conference Executive Committee. Those who knew him testify that Ron Sackett’s legacy as a healthcare leader is much deeper and more personal than the growth of the hospitals he led. Though he built new hospitals, expanded others, and even expanded hospital systems through acquisition and planting new hospitals in population growth areas, he loved to help people grow and expand their knowledge, skills and ability to serve in larger capacities.
"Ron Sackett was an extraordinary leader whose influence in the church, in our conference, and the Adventist healthcare ministry will be enshrined in Adventist history,” said Ed Barnett, RMC president.
“He truly was a giant and someone who leaves a legacy of deep faith and professionalism. He will be missed by the family, by his local church in Boulder, and by scores of professionals who were inspired by his dedication to the Adventist health message,” he added.
Ron inspired and mentored three generations of Sackett clan members in a wide variety of healthcare leadership roles, including sons John and Wally, his wife Karen (all hospital CEOs); his brother Allen and nephew Glenn as chaplains and spiritual care leaders; daughters Audrey and Ronda, who have been active on boards of not-for-profit organizations; nephews, in-laws, and grandchildren, some of whom are just now developing their careers.
We would like to share words about Ron’s legacy by his family members.
Karen, Ron’s wife, recalls: “He always saw things that could be accomplished to improve people's lives, and found ways to create success for others. He was a gentle man, kind, and delighted in God’s creation--the clouds, birds, flowers. He fully enjoyed the world God made, hiking, snow and waterskiing, sports, traveling around the world, always looking at people as friends to be made.”
In the words of Ron’s son, Wally: “He connected with and recognized the value of every staff member in contributing to the mission from the housekeeper to the physician. He had been in the trenches and related to each worker, coaching and inspiring them to improve themselves and the organization. He was equally at home in the boiler room with the maintenance man as he was in the boardroom with the chairman. He was a servant leader.”
Glenn, Ron’s nephew who, like his dad and Ron’s brother serves as chaplain and spiritual leader at Porter Hospital, remembers: “As a medic in the Korean war, Ron saw how much good doctors and nurses could do. As he found ways to support and maximize their impact, they increased his responsibilities. Ron told me that this insight, that supporting the medical team could improve healthcare, was the inspiration that fueled his dedication to the ministry of healthcare leadership. He always remembered the key roles played by the support people on the front lines, looking for those who could learn and grow while enjoying their present responsibilities.”
Ron had an ability to identify people in the organization who weren’t always sure of their own competency and value, and watched him strategically make affirming connections with them at key times, Glenn adds.
Members of the Boulder Adventist Church congregation where Ron and Karen worshiped regularly, will hold a Memorial Service at 2 p.m. May 13.
[RMCNews; photo by Donna Sackett: Ron (front) pictured with nephew Glenn]