NEWS

Nov. 11, 2017

In Loving Memory of Clarence Sawyer

 

Clarence Raymond Sawyer, Sr. , father of Ray Sawyer, and one of the last WW 2 veterans of Williamson County passed away on Friday, November 10, 2017.

Affectionately known as Papa to his family and friends, although his granddaughter Courtney will argue that he is in fact “Her Papa” and no one else’s.

In his later years, Clarence  was also known by his neighbors and caretakers as the Mayor of North Berry’s Chapel, due to being a fixture with his veterans hat and his wheelchair, sitting on or by the road and greeting everyone that passed by.

Even a well known neighbor, Brad Paisley, took notice of him through his photographer and put Papa in a Music Video about veterans called Love and War and to hear Papa tell it, “Brad knows me and now I‘m famous!“ 

According to  Papa, he was 95 1/3  years old because “when you get this old, every month counts.” He even celebrated half year birthdays. Clarence was born on July 6, 1922 in a log cabin at Vaughns Gap, where Percy Warner Park is now located in Davidson County, TN. The Sawyer family has lived in the area for many generations since his great-great grandfather settled here after coming back from the War of 1812. Clarence was the first born of four children to the late Clarence Coston Sawyer and Francis Scott Sawyer. Papa wanted you to know he was delivered by a doctor that made house calls in a horse and buggy. 

Papa also wanted you to know that as a young boy he walked to school, Grassland Elementary near Sneed Road, a two-room school house. He got up early each day so he would get to school first and build a fire in the pot belly stove, for which he was paid big bucks back then, — 5 cents. He attended Franklin High School where he played on the football team.

Papa was a veteran of World War 2 and served with General George Patton’s 3rd Army as a gunner in the 808th Tank Destroyer Battalion. He participated in the Battle of the Bulge, where he says he spent the coldest night ever. Papa was very proud of serving his country and never missed a Veterans Day parade, if he could help it.

He also had a knack for getting his picture in the local paper. After the war he worked every job they had at the Colonial Bakery in Nashville, where he met his wife of  fifty two years Anneda Pearl Morrow.

He retired from Avco Aerostructures after 33 years and worked there as a master machinist on several different kinds of aircraft wings. He worked so fast and hard that his fellow workers nicknamed him “Buzz.” One of the jobs he was most proud of was building the rockets for the first Space Shuttle. 

However his true passion in life was farming. In the early 1950s ,he bought the small farm on North Berry’s Chapel Rd.  Papa loved the land and what it produce. He had milk cows, a horse, pigs and chickens, along with a large vegetable garden, even letting his children get into this garden thing, harvesting pumpkins and selling them. One year he even tried to get in the Guinness Book of Records for the most pounds of tomatoes grown on two plants. He produced hundreds of pounds of tomatoes but did not break the record.

He was a member of J. L. Clay Senior Citizens Center and long time member of Bethlehem United Methodist Church.

Survived by:
Daughter: Carolyn Collins Sawyer
Sons: C. R. Sawyer, Jr. and wife Virginia,
James D. Sawyer and wife Linda
Brother: Robert Coston Sawyer
Sister: Louise Wilson
Grandchildren: Jonathan James Sawyer, Courtney Paige Powers
and Sheldon Hunter Powers
Step-grandchildren David Hurst and Wendy Burnside

Preceded in death by:
Wife: Anneda Pearl (Morrow) Sawyer
Daughter: Francis Anne Powers
Father: Clarence C. Sawyer (a Veteran of WWI)
Mother: Francis Scott Sawyer
Sister: Helen Adcox
Father In-Law Virgil D. Morrow, Sr
and Mother In-Law: Pearl Anne Collins Morrow
Brother In-Laws: James Wilson,  Virgil D. Morrow, Jr and Boyd Rittenberry
Sister in-Laws Myrtle Faye Morrow and Doris Ellen Rittenberry

Visitation will be at Williamson Memorial Funeral Home  3009 Columbia Ave, Franklin, TN 37064 Monday, Nov. 13, 2017 from 4-8pm , and Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017 from 1-2pm with Service at 2 pm.  Burial will be at the Woodlawn-Roesch-Patton Memorial Park,  660 Thompson Ln, Nashville, TN 37204 following the conclusion of services.

Your thoughts and prayers will be appreciated. Our deepest condolences to Ray, Virginia & family.