IN LOVING MEMORY OF John Charles Sawyer
February 12, 1950 – August 22, 2023
A great farmer, friend, husband, dad and grandpa went to heaven on August 22 at home with his family surrounding him after 11 years of battling cancer. John Charles Sawyer brought endless joy, laughter and love into the lives of those who were fortunate enough to know him. John leaves behind a legacy of cherished memories and profound impact on all who shared in his life.
John was born February 12, 1950 in Moscow, Idaho to parents Homer and Thelma Sawyer. He lived and worked on the family farm all his life. As a child he pulled his pretend combine (an improvised wagon) through the yard and was always involved in the stewardship of the land. As a teen he worked for neighbors’ farms making hay and harvesting. He had a Grand Champion sheep at the Latah County Fair for 8 years in 4-H.
John attended Potlatch Schools and was lead clarinet in the PHS marching band. After high school, he attended Spokane Community College in Carpentry and Construction. From 1970-1972 he served as a Seabee in the US Navy and was stationed at Kodiak, Alaska and Rota, Spain. He spent training time at Camp Pendleton in California and was in the mobile construction unit. He was forever grateful that he had safe tours of duty during the Vietnam era. He spent two years working in a cabinet shop in Potlatch before starting full time farming at Sawyer Farm and Mountain View Farm in Troy.
John winked at a young lady at 4-H Club Congress when he was 15. That later turned into a marriage of 52 years to Betty (Helm) Sawyer, originally of Troy. As 4-H Ambassadors, when they were 18 years old, they were in 11 European countries for 50 days. They also later traveled to New Zealand and Australia. He was an avid Mariner baseball fan and traveled to spring training in Arizona many times.
John was named Conservation Farmer of the Year for his conservation measures in tiling waterways for cleaner drainage, using crop rotation and conservation tilling methods. He built a big farm shop that burned, then rebuilt it in the same spot with his construction skills. He kept his farm property and equipment immaculately maintained and his shop was a social hub for all the neighborhood farmers.
John was a member of Palouse Federated Church, singing bass with the worship team for years. He was a Director of both the Latah County and Palouse Grain Growers boards. He also served 22 years as a Freeze Cemetery Board member. His hobbies included building and flying Radio-Controlled airplanes and meeting friends for coffee in Palouse starting way back when the Oasis café was open up to the current location at the Palouse Museum.
Among John’s greatest joys were his interactions with his 11 grandchildren: Sadie, Allison, & Grant Lenssen, Mya & Kylie Tiegs, Trent, Miles & Avery Holling and Hatley, Berkeley and Lincoln Sawyer.
He leaves behind a loving family who will forever treasure his memory: wife Betty, his children Angela (Dwayne) Lenssen, Julie (Rob) Tiegs, Suzanne (Jacob) Holling and Mark (Brittany) Sawyer.
Burial will be Sunday August 27 at 12:00 Noon at Freeze Cemetery with a Memorial service following at 2 PM at Palouse Federated Church, 635 N. Bridge Street in Palouse, Washington. A celebration of life will follow the service at the Sawyer Farm shop.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations be made to the camp all his children and grandchildren have been involved in at Ross Point Camp and Conference Center https://www.paypal.com/donate?token=S0IJdjXJH2XY5UmQ0gh8DbqHU_cKseNoryL1o9vkqSLP2giiF6G29fopu2i2jgNhgdeBdU4Ix6xqRim7 or to the Potlatch Ambulance PO Box 63, Potlatch, ID 83855.
Kramer Funeral Home, Palouse, WA is caring for the family. On line condolences may be left at www.kramercares.com.
Potlatch Ambulance Fund
PO Box 63, Potlatch ID 83855
ROSS POINT CAMP AND CONFERENCE CENTER
820 ROSS POINT RD, POST FALLS, ID 83854