Reverend Preston Orr Sartelle, Jr., age 82, of Wytheville passed away Friday, April 21,2023. He was born in Richlands, VA but at an early age the family moved to Draper’s Valley, Virginia where he was raised. This began Preston’s long history with Draper’s Valley Presbyterian Church and the Draper community. He grew up in the manse alongside his siblings as his father, Preston Orr Sartelle, Sr. served as pastor at Draper’s Valley Presbyterian Church from 1942-1957. At that time the family moved to Bristol, Virginia where Preston, now a sophomore in high school, attended and graduated from Virginia High School. He attended Hampden-Sydney College for one year and then moved back to Bristol to marry his high school sweetheart, Mary Ellen Sproles. He attended and graduated from King College in Bristol, Tennessee.
Sensing a call to the ministry, Preston moved his little family to Atlanta, Georgia to attend Colombia Theological Seminary. After graduating from seminary, Preston served as a fulltime pastor to churches in Anderson, SC – Midway Presbyterian; Conway, SC – Kingston Presbyterian; Draper’s Valley, VA – Draper’s Valley Presbyterian. He retired from Draper’s Valley to serve as a missionary to the deaf children in Granville, Jamaica at Caribbean Christian Center for the Deaf (CCCD). Until recently he continued to preach as a regular supply at various churches throughout Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee, retiring from the ministry on December 26, 2021.
Preston is preceded in death by his father and mother, Dr. and Mrs. Preston Orr and Mary Ellen Sartelle, Sr., brother and nephew, Mike Sartelle and Nate Sartelle, brother- in-law, Dr. Cortez Cooper, sister-in-law, Janet Sartelle, and grandson, Samuel Steed.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years, Mary Ellen Sartelle; Son, Victor Orr Sartelle (Liza); Daughters, Mary Beth Sartelle Trinkle (Carmen); Cynthia Sartelle Hurst (Larry); and Julia Blake Sartelle Steed. Also, twelve grandchildren and eleven great- grandchildren. Also surviving are two sisters, Pat Cooper and Susan Jett (Calvin) and one brother, John Sartelle (Terry) and many nieces and nephews.
Preston was a man of the Gospel and a faithful herald of the King. He will be greatly missed.
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” Psalm 116:15
A memorial service will be held 11 A.M. Wednesday, April 26, 2023, at the Draper’s Valley Presbyterian Church, 2755 Old Baltimore Rd. Draper, VA 24324, conducted by Reverend John Sartelle, Reverend Calvin Jett, and Reverend Roland Mathews. In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to Caribbean Christian Center for the Deaf at 100 South Pine Street, Suite 283, Zeeland, MI 49464. Expressions of sympathy may be sent to the family at www.grubbfuneralhome.com
Grubb Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.