October 15, 1999

Safley remembered as tireless Children’s Hospital supporter

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Dr. Alan Graber

Safley remembered as tireless Children's Hospital supporter

Jesse Safley had a knack for getting people involved.

In 1972, he was a founding member of the Friends of Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, the volunteer organization of VCH that has now grown to 2,500 members. That year, he also chaired the Vanderbilt Children's Hospital Paper Sale.

On Monday, Mr. Safley, a former Nashville Banner editor, died at the age of 82. He is remembered by those who knew him at children's hospital as a tireless volunteer and supporter.

"Jesse worked tirelessly for the cause of children and was among the first to spread the word of the role and potential of a major children's hospital in our region," said Dr. David T. Karzon, professor of Pediatrics, Emeritus. "His gift of contagious enthusiasm, his intense conviction and his ability to evoke these commitments in others made the first fund-raising drive of the Friends of Children's Hospital a heartwarming success. He set a standard of caring which has persisted to this day."

Christy Passmore, director of development for VCH, knew Mr. Safley for 14 years.

"Twenty-seven years after Jesse chaired the Paper Sale, I see his labors still bearing fruit in counties all over the Mid-State, where he opened the door for people to be involved with Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. Jesse Safley was an extraordinary man with extraordinary vision, humor and heart. Our children's hospital has benefited enormously from his efforts on its behalf."

Mr. Safley worked as farm editor of the Nashville Banner for 20 years, then was director of public relations for the Nashville Chamber of Commerce and vice-president of Commerce Union Bank.

Survivors include a son, Mike Safley; a daughter, Patty Safley Morgan, and four grandchildren, all of Nashville. His wife, Dorothy, preceded him in death.