John Sawyer

Obituary of John Dean Sawyer

John Dean Sawyer was born in Mesa, AZ on March 8, 1942, the third son of John Howard Sawyer and Ola May (Nichols) Sawyer. He was called by his middle name, “Dean”. He grew up on the family farm in Gilbert, AZ, where he learned farm skills such as operating farm machinery and caring for livestock. The family had horses and he was given a young pinto mare, named Nancy, as his horse, which he helped raise and became his riding horse.

From an early age he drove tractors and other farm motorized equipment, such as mechanical cotton pickers. He was talented in music and had piano, accordion, and trumpet lessons. He attended Gilbert grade and high schools where he played trumpet in the school bands. He attended the Gilbert Methodist Church, and sang in the choir. After transferring for his senior year and graduating from Mesa High School, he attended Arizona State University and played trumpet in dance bands in the Phoenix area.

His vocation became long-haul truck driving where his driving skills, learned on the farm, helped him qualify for hauling extremely hazardous cargo such as Hydrogen. He married but had no children. Following his years of nationwide trucking he returned to school, attending Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ, majoring in music, specializing in Organ performance, and graduating with honors.

Following that, he performed as a church organist for several years, settling in the state of Oregon. He was a kind and generous and loyal person, and had many close friends throughout the greater Portland area. Following suffering a stroke he passed away in Gresham, OR, two days prior to his 82nd birthday.

He is survived by his two brothers, Darrell A. Sawyer of Phoenix, AZ, and Keith N. Sawyer of O’Fallon, IL. His burial will be in the Mesa City Cemetery, where his parents and grandparents are interred.

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Graveside Service

11:30 am - 12:00 pm
Friday, March 29, 2024
City of Mesa Cemetery
1212 North Center
Mesa, Arizona, United States
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