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Council member, former vice mayor Sasser dies at 82

South Boston News
Sasser / November 11, 2020

Residents of South Hill are mourning the death of longtime town leader Carl Leroy Sasser Sr. He died Monday evening at the age of 82.

Sasser and his late wife, Rebecca “Dolly” Sasser, moved to South Hill from Emporia in 1969. At the time he was the regional manager for four Leggett’s Department Stores including the South Hill location.

He soon became a fixture in town, joining the Downtown Retail Merchant Association and serving as chairman. Sasser also was a past president of the South Hill Chamber of Commerce and member of the Lions Club, Rotary Club and Moose Lodge. In a 2018 interview, Sasser recalled with fondness the times he spent decorating the streets of South Hill with greenery and Christmas lights ahead of the holiday. He said he and a few others oversaw decorations until the Town of South Hill assumed the task. Sasser and fellow volunteers wanted to get residents and merchants in the Christmas spirit.

Sasser was first elected to South Hill Town Council in 1987 and was named vice mayor in 1993. He stepped down as vice mayor in July but continued to serve on Council, seldom missing a meeting. He also was vice president of South Hill’s Community Development Association, a nonprofit body created to promote economic development opportunities through education, arts and business.

At the start of Monday night’s meeting of South Hill Town Council, Mayor Dean Marion said a special prayer for Sasser and asked those attending and watching online to keep the late councilman and his family in their prayers.

In 2018 Sasser was asked to serve as Grand Marshal of the South Hill Christmas Parade. He was chosen because of his vision and hard work and for the many ways in which he helped to make his adopted hometown a better place.

He accepted the role with a typical understatement that marked his many years of service to the town. “It’s an honor and I look forward to it,” Sasser said.

Sasser will be remembered for his devotion to the Town of South Hill and its residents and the many skills he brought as a leader, among them:

» His ability to really listen to people, hear what they are saying and respond incisively by getting to the crux of any issue;

» His demonstrated care for the town and its residents and his ability to find ways to effectively work for the good of everyone;

» His selflessness as shown by the fact that he was more interested in others and the issues at hand than in himself; and

» His managerial skills which allowed him to grasp how all parts of the town must work together for the benefit of all.

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