Rev. John Mitchell Sawyer, of Tullahoma, passed this life on Friday, February 20th, 2015 at Life Care Center in Tullahoma at the age of 92.
Rev. Sawyer was born in the Lois Community in Moore County to the late Zery Norman Sawyer and Byrd Alice Mitchell Sawyer.
He served his country in the United States Navy During World War II and preached his first sermon at Pearl Harbor in 1945.
Rev. Sawyer continued his education at Tennessee Tech University, Middle Tennessee State University, and Emory University Seminary School. He became licensed to preach on July 1st, 1948 and received ordination as a deacon on July 1st, 1952. On July 1st, 1955 he was made an elder in full connection: he served many United Methodist congregations, including, The Pelham Charge, The Rickman Charge, Wartrace/Normandy Charge, Elkton, Shelbyville Whiteside Church, Wesley Heights Church in Tullahoma, Hillsboro/Prairie Plains Charge, Forrest Mills, Coffee County Cooperative, Forest Street Church in Clarksville, Cannon Church in Shelbyville, Bethel/Farris Chapel Charge, Clarkrange Church in Fentress County, Lynchburg Parrish, and Fredonia Church in Manchester. Rev. Sawyer also served one Presbyterian congregation at Hillsboro Cumberland Presbyterian.
He retired on June 15th, 2009. Rev. Sawyer was a member of the Order of Masons, the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Royal Arch Masons of Tennessee, Order of the Eastern Star-Winchester Chapter 196, Oddfellows Lodge, The Navigators, United Daughters of the Confederacy, American Legion-Manchester Post 78, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Disabled American Veterans.
In addition to his parents, Rev. Sawyer is preceded by his wife of 59 years, Etta Lois Stewart Sawyer; one daughter, Carolyn Sawyer Damron; two brothers, James “Jim” Sawyer and Billy Earnest Sawyer; and one sister, Lucille Stewart.
He is survived by one daughter, Sandi Sawyer Nichols and her husband Bruce of Lynchburg; son-in-law, Donald Damron of Tullahoma; five grandchildren, Dewayne Damron and his wife Jennifer of Lynchburg, Cindy Damron Goodwin of Tullahoma, Dr. P. Brent Nichols and his wife Tanya of Spokane, Washington, Dr. Carrie Nichols Elkins and her husband Michael of Heflin, Alabama, and John Paul Damron and his wife Darla of Shelbyville; 11 great-grandchildren, Cory Damron and his wife Chelsee, Reagan Damron, Callie Goodwin, Thomas Mitchell Goodwin, Hannah Nichols, Chloe Nichols, Seth Elkins, Sawyer Elkins, Lucy Damron, Katherine Damron, and Jeanna Damron; one great-great-granddaughter, Alyssa Walls; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation for Rev. Sawyer will be held on Friday, February 27th, 2015 at Kilgore Funeral Home from 5:00-8:00 pm.
Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, February 28th, 2015 at 2:00 pm in the Kilgore Funeral Home Chapel with Revs. AJ Alderman, Bob Case, and J.C. Stewart officiating. Masonic Rites will also be held at the funeral home to conclude the funeral service.
Burial with military honors will follow at Rose Hill Memorial Gardens in Tullahoma.
Nephews will serve as pallbearers and Methodist Ministers and their spouses will serve as honorary pallbearers.