Two long time Upton residents honored by Blackstone Valley Homecoming Committee and State of Massachusetts


Senator Richard T. Moore, Barbara Burke, William Sadler, Senator Michael O. Moore

Two long-time Upton residents, Barbara Burke and William Sadler, were honored for their years of volunteer service to the town, and region, at the Blackstone Valley Heritage Homecoming breakfast held at the United Church of Upton, on Friday, October 3, 2014.

Barbara Burke and William Sadler were each named one of Upton’s outstanding citizens for 2014 by the Blackstone Valley Heritage Homecoming Committee and recognized by the Massachusetts State Senate and Massachusetts House of Representatives.

Each year the members of the Blackstone Valley Heritage Committee recognize two residents from one of the Blackstone towns; this year both were from Upton.

President of the Committee, Ken Wood, gave a peak into the level of commitment both Burke and Sadler have shown through their volunteerism and service to make the community a better place.

Wood said for more than 30 years Barbara Burke worked as a librarian in the Mendon-Upton Regional School District. She has been very active in preserving Upton’s history. Barbara has authored and contributed to book on Upton’s history. She helped with the preservation of the Upton Cave and has been a dedicated member of both the Upton Historical Society and Committee. Barbara most recently published A Voyage Through Upton Memories.

Wood said he has known William Sadler for his entire life, “My Dad used to call him Billy and then one day my Dad called him Mr. Sadler.,” said Wood. William Sadler has served both his town and his country. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and served as Post Commander at the American Legion Marshall Post 173 for more than ten years. He was named District 4 Legionnaire of the year and honored for 60 years of service. William Sadler planned and participated in 69 Memorial Day Services. He was an elected member on the Upton Cemetery Commission for 60 years. He was very active in supporting the town’s scouting program and youth sports.

Senator Michael O. Moore and Senator Richard. T. Moore presented the citations.

Blackstone Valley Technical High School students prepared and served breakfast.

Upton Police Chief Bradley,  Rev. Dr. Jan Gregory-Charpentier, Rev. Laurence V. Brault, Democratic Candidate for State Rep. Marty Green, and Republican Candidate for State Rep. David Muradian attended the breakfast as well as several members of the Community.

Prior to the presentation of the citations, Ken Wood gave an informative presentation on Henry T. Dudley. Dudley was the son of a mill owner from Worcester County, Mass., who served in two of the most bloodied regiments in New England during his four years’ service, surviving more than a dozen battles and months of captivity as a prisoner of war; and sustaining battle wounds on four occasions (Fair Oaks, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, and Deep Bottom). Wood had several photographs of letters and artifacts.



  1. Congratulations Aunt Barbara! You have been such asset to your community. How well deserved by all. Shelagh Byrne, Asheville, NC.

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  3. So happy to hear that these two friends were so honored on the real Heritage Day weekend! Very much deserved accolades!

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