James Winston Sawyer
James “Jim” Sawyer passed away on September 10, 2019 at St. Mary’s D’Youville Pavilion, Lewiston, with family members at his side. Jim was born on February 6, 1931 in Auburn and went to school at Edward Little and Hebron Academy. After serving in the Army for three years he continued his education at Bates College and Syracuse University, becoming a professor of radio and TV communications at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. For several summers Jim returned to Maine to work at youth camps, and at Burleigh Hill sailing camp he fell in love with a cute staff member from central Washington, Elaine Elenbaas. She soon became his wife. They celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary in June 2019.
Jim’s teaching career took him, Elaine, and their children, Karen and Michael, to various colleges and universities across the country. He loved visiting national and state parks and learning more about each new place they lived, and was a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan.
After decades of teaching, Jim and Elaine moved to New Gloucester, where he designed and built a log home for their retirement. He found a new passion in family history, and wrote a semi-fictional book about the voyages Captain Abram Healy made with his wife and children in the nineteenth century, entitled A Sea-Farer’s Journal. During the last year of his life, Jim resided at St. Mary’s D’Youville Pavilion, where he and Elaine made many new friends through her kind ways and his mischievous smiles and teasing.
Jim was predeceased by his parents and by two brothers, Duane and Richard. He is survived by his devoted wife Elaine Sawyer, and sisters Patricia and Dorothy Sawyer, all of New Gloucester; his son Michael Sawyer and his wife Lisa of Seattle, Washington; daughter Karen Marsalek and her husband, John, of Minneapolis, Minnesota; and four grandsons, Jacob and Nathan Sawyer, and Lukas and Thomas Marsalek.
Family and friends are invited to a visitation at the Wilson Funeral Home, 24 Shaker Road, Gray, from 2:00 to 3:30 on Saturday, September 14, with a memorial service to follow. Donations in Jim’s memory may be made to Beacon Hospice in Auburn. https://locations.amedisys.com/me/auburn/beacon-hospice.html
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