Ashland man known for fun-loving attitude

Friday, January 21, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 6:26 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 4, 2008

One photo that greeted people as they entered the Ashland Optimist Club to donate blood Thursday hints at the personality of the man they were there to remember.

In it, Arcie Sapp sits next to his wife and first grandchild, teasing smirk on his face for the photographer to capture.

“If he didn’t tease you, he didn’t like you,” said Sheila Bennett, Mr. Sapp’s daughter. “He liked to pick on people, but it was all in good fun.”

Mr. Sapp of Ashland died Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2005, at University Hospital. He was 64.

At the Optimist Club on Thursday, the aforementioned photo hung in the middle of a poster board plastered with pictures his two daughters put together, wanting to show people who Mr. Sapp was and why blood was being donated in his memory.

Mr. Sapp was severely burned in an explosion at a fuel station near Marshall on Jan. 7. The blood drive was organized by the Cedar Valley Riders Club and the Ashland Optimist Club in conjunction with the American Red Cross. Since large amounts of blood were used to treat Mr. Sapp’s injuries, the drive was done in his memory. More than 120 people turned out for the event.

“I haven’t donated blood in 15 years,” said Callie Glascock, a family friend, as she shakily sat up after donating. “But I’d do it for Arcie.”

Mr. Sapp was born in Ashland on March 15, 1940, to Rollie Sapp and Mable Nichols Sapp. He married Pat

Downey on June 25, 1960. Mr. Sapp stayed in Ashland and developed hobbies, formed friendships and raised a family.

Under the photo of Mr. Sapp’s teasing smile is a larger picture of him riding a horse along a wooded trail. Whether going on extended trail rides in other states or just inviting friends over to ride, his enthusiasm for fun affected other.

“It was very evident that he appealed to many different generations,” Bennett said. “He was friends with people his own age, and then also friends with their kids and grandkids.”

Mr. Sapp’s love of horses prompted him to accompany his children to their rodeos and take charge of the beer garden at the Cattleman Days rodeo every year. He actively participated in the Cedar Valley Riders Club and the Ashland Optimist Club, helping with bingo and rodeos.

In the lower left corner of the poster is a picture of Mr. Sapp with his grandson Nolan in a headlock, both of them laughing. Friends were glad Mr. Sapp got to see Nolan play football last fall, a dream Mr. Sapp had for a long time.

“He spent a lot of time with his family,” said Jerome Glascock, a friend for more than 40 years. “He was a very family-oriented guy.”

And he also loved his job. Mr. Sapp worked for the MFA oil company as a tanker-truck driver for more than 30 years. He retired in 2001, but continued to work part time.

“He was rarely gone overnight, but he really liked being on the road,” said Christy Phillips, Mr. Sapp’s daughter. “When he was retired, he would get almost giddy every time they called him to work. He loved having his orders, getting everything ready and going somewhere.”

His joking manner and exuberance for life were complimented by a serious side that made him a respected and important part of the Ashland community. In a photo in the top left corner of the poster, Mr. Sapp sits alone, sunglasses on, with a somber expression.

“He was always full of fun, but could get serious when he needed to,” said Jerome Glasock. “He was a very stable guy.”

Bennett said Shelter Insurance, where Mr. Sapp’s wife worked for many years, and MFA Oil Company are looking into organizing additional blood drives.

Mr. Sapp is survived by his wife, Pat Sapp; a son, Arcie Sapp Jr. of Millersburg; two daughters, Christy Phillips of Ashland and Sheila Bennett of Columbia; a brother, Kenneth Sapp of Ashland; a sister, Nadine Morris of Ashland; two grandchildren; and five step-grandchildren.

A daughter, Cynthia Sapp, and a brother, Cecil Sapp, died earlier.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. today at the Robinson Funeral Home, 601 N. Henry Clay Blvd., Ashland. Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home.

Memorial contributions can be sent to Arcie D. Sapp Community Memorial Fund, care of Boone County National, Ashland, MO 65010.

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