Joseph A. Sadony, enigmatic sage of the Valley of the Pines in White River Township, died Friday evening at Hackleys Hospital, Muskegon. He was 83 years old.
"One of the best known and least understood men in Michigan," that was the opening statement of an article on Mr. Sadony in the Muskegon Chronicle on his 83rd birthday anniversary last Feb 22.*
[* The 1960 birthday article has disappeard from the Muskegon Chronicle's website.]
Mr. Sadony, in his cloistered life on his estate at The Mouth, devoted his years to the study and development of his theories as to the physical sciences, his theories as to the working of the human mind, and his theories as to the spiritual side of man. The insatiable curiosity of his unusual mind ran the gamut of all facets of human existence.
It was in the realm of mental phenomena that Mr. Sadony aroused the greatest curiosity and interest as to his theories. He was considered one of the world's foremost authorities on the subject of mental phenomena. It was this phase of his work which sometimes led to a misconception of the man. Mr. Sadony contended his theories of mental phenomena were based on sound psychological grounds, that there was nothing of the "clairvoyant" or "supernatural" about his mental capacities.
Born in Mountbauer, Germany, Feb 22, 1877, Mr. Sadony came with his parents to Kalamazoo in 1884. There he spent his childhood. Later the family moved to Chicago. In young manhood Mr. Sadony spent a period in travel in the West when he conducted a private investigation for President Theodore Roosevelt of conditions on Indian reservations, traveling 1,800 miles on foot.
He was a charter member of Montague Chapter, Order of Eastern Star. Later he demitted to Whitehall Lodge, No. 410, of which he was a life member. He was a 32nd degree Mason, member of Muskegon Commandery, No. 22, Knights Templar; Saladin Temple of the Shrine and Dewitt Clinton Consistory, of Grand Rapids.
Yielding to the urge in development theories of the mind which had early commanded his interest, Mr. Sadony in 1906 bought the 80-acre estate which he was to develop into a center of psychological research and investigation into the realms of the physical sciences. In those pursuits he became the intimate of philosophers and scientists throughout the world.
Mr. Sadony's concepts were summed up in a series of articles the Muskegon Chronicle published on the man and his work in 1949. In one of those it was stated that his was a search for a basic law making possible the correlation of all the sciences and an understanding of nature, including human nature. He evolved a theory of mental development which he called "prevenient education."
Mr. Sadony had developed a personal library of some 30,000 volumes covering every subject of research of importance to the projects on which he worked. Mr. Sadony issued numerous publications bearing on his work. For more than 30 years he wrote a daily column "Give Thought," for the Muskegon Chronicle, which was published until his last birthday. As a result of his original work he had compiled some 30 volumes for eventual publication. His personal files contained letters from well over 300,000 persons from 700 cities and 39 countries." These included letters from scientists, entertainers, and heads of state, including royalty. He had been guide, philosopher and friend to thousands.
In the 1920s Mr. Sadony spent some time in Hollywood with connections in the motion picture industry.
During World War II, Mr. Sadony served as consultant and partner in a group that developed a packaging material resistent to water at any temperature. It was turned out for the armed services for packaging of food and equipment for overseas shipment.
Mr. Sadony, despite his 18-hour working days, as a younger man found time to devote to his community. He held offices as justice of the peace, constable, school board member, deputy sheriff.
Mr. Sadony was married in Wisconsin July 3, 1906, to Mary Lillian Kochem, of Kentucky. It was at that time he came to The Mouth to establish his home, where his two sons, Joseph A. Sadony, Jr. and Arthur J. Sadony, were born. They and his wife survive him.