Updated: Apr 7
Born March 26, 1932, in Van Buren, Ark., Floyd E. Sagely was one of six children born to Garland and Virgie (Berry) Sagely. He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Edith Opal, JC, Kenneth, Jewell Ridenour, and Maurice. He was also preceded in death by his daughter, Cynthia Anne. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Jimmie Lou, of the home; his son, Floyd E. Sagely, Jr.; and two grandsons: Weston and Colton Sagely of Fort Smith; and several nieces and nephews.
After his father lost his job with the railroad in 1933, the family was forced to leave their home in Van Buren and move back to a one-room log cabin in Rudy, Ark., which was built by hand by his father. There were nine people living in that one-room log cabin. The Sagely family as well as both his grandmothers lived there. In 1936, Sagely's father's job was reinstated with the railroad and they all moved back to Van Buren. Sagely was All-State in both football and basketball during his time at Van Buren High School. While attending high school, he lettered in four sports: football, baseball, basketball, and track. Van Buren won the Overall State Basketball Championship during his senior year in 1950. In addition, he was voted Most Valuable Player in the State basketball tournament and was also voted All-Southern in football during high school. After graduation, he was chosen to play in the high school All-American basketball game held in Murray, Ken. One of his teammates in the game in Murray was Bob Petit, who went on to be in the NBA Hall of Fame and was the first player to receive the NBA's Most Valuable Player Award. His interest in the oil and gas industry began in high school when the Phillips 66 Basketball Team invited him to Spring practice during his junior and senior years of high school. During the 1950-51 school year, Sagely was a starter on both the freshmen football and basketball teams at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. He then moved up to the varsity team and became the last Razorback to be a starter in both football and basketball for all three varsity seasons. As a senior, he led the SWC in football in pass receptions and led the Razorbacks in pass interceptions. He had 30 catches for 542 yards that year. This was the last time this feat was accomplished by any Razorback, and he was ranked sixth in the nation. For the 1953 season, he was named first-team All-SWC and second-team All-America. Along with Pat Summerall, Sagely was on the All-Decade Football Team for the Razorbacks in the 1950's. Those two were the only Ends on that team. During the spring of 1954, the student body honored Sagely with a trophy for his outstanding career at the University in both football and basketball. This trophy now stands on exhibit at the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in Little Rock. After his final University of Arkansas appearance in 1954, Oklahoma State head basketball coach Hank Iba said, "There goes the last of the Iron Men." Upon graduation from the University, Sagely was invited by the Committees in charge of the Blue/Gray All-Star Football Game and the East/West Shrine All-Star Football Game to participate in both games. He did, however, have to decline playing in both games as he had to concentrate on his basketball obligations. Also, immediately after graduating from college, Phillips 66 offered him a job at the Company and wanted him to play basketball for them. Prior to the NBA being formed, amateur teams representing different corporations from all over the country were formed. He turned down this opportunity, as he decided to play football in the National Football League. After college, at 6'1" and 185 pounds, he was a second-round draft choice of the San Francisco 49ers and played offensive end and defensive back as a rookie in 1954. His professional football career was interrupted by the U.S. Army in 1955, where he served twenty-two months during the Korean War. He served in the Artillery Division at Fort Sill in Lawton, Okla., during his time in the Service and was chosen to play on the All Army football team while there. He returned to the San Francisco 49ers in November of 1956. He spent the 1957 season as a defensive halfback for the Chicago Cardinals and then retired to go into the oil and gas business. In 1953, while attending the University of Arkansas, Sagely met the love of his life, Jimmie Lou Anderson. They married in the Spring of 1954. Soon after, he was drafted into the NFL. Jimmie Lou was then and still is his greatest inspiration and supporter. She has stood by his side for more than 67 years. Together, they had two children: Floyd E. Sagely, Jr. and Cindy Sagely. They also have two grandsons: Weston and Colton Sagely. In 1958, he retired from the NFL and started as a Landman, doing day work for various oil and gas companies. After a few years of doing different jobs for different oil and gas companies, he formed his own oil and gas exploration company in 1962. That company still operates today as Floyd E. Sagely Properties, Ltd. In the mid-1960's, Sagely was one of the three founders of the first Fellowship of Christian Athletes organizations in Arkansas. He was also one of the first sponsors of the First Tee in Fort Smith, Ark. By the special request of Jack Stephens, Sagely went before the Fort Smith Board of Directors and First Tee began. Pat Summerall and a group of professional golfers came to town for that opportunity. In the 1980's, Sagely served on the Board of the Arkansas State Golf Association for nine years. He was President of the Association for three of those years. Additionally, Sagely, along with Pat Summerall and Ray Tucker, started the annual Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame Golf Tournament in 1999, now known as the Pat Summerall Celebrity Golf Classic, which continues to grow each year and is a major fundraiser for the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. As a young man, he coached baseball and basketball with the church leagues in Fort Smith. He served as Chairman of the Board of Deacons at First Baptist Church and was a Sunday School teacher there, too. He also served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of First United Methodist Church. In addition, he filled a vacancy on the Fort Smith School Board. Sagely was the contact person with the PGA to bring the fundraising Fort Smith Golf Classic to Hardscrabble Country Club. This tournament was sponsored by Stephens, Inc. and raised a lot of money each year for local charities. In 1985, Sagely was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. In 1997, Sagely was inducted into the University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor in Football. A private service for his family will be held and officiated by Ed Saucier, with burial to follow at Oak Cemetery. Services are under the direction of Edwards Funeral Home. To place online condolences, visit: www.edwardsfuneralhome.com. Donations may be made to Arkansas Children's Hospital, 1 Children's Way, Little Rock, Ark., 72202, or Fort Smith Boys and Girls Club, 8800 Dallas, Fort Smith, Ark., 72903.