William D. Sawyer, Sr.

Published 7:01 pm Thursday, August 7, 2014

William D. Sawyer, Sr.
Feb. 20, 1939 – Aug. 6, 2014

Mr. William Douglas Sawyer, Sr., age 75, a resident of 296 Higginsport Road, Belhaven, NC died Wednesday August 6, 2014 at his home.

A funeral service will be held 2:00 PM Saturday August 9, 2014 at the Wilkinson Center of Belhaven officiated by Scott Askew and Russell Mann.  Burial will follow in Mt. Olive Church of Christ Cemetery.  Wayne Pugh, Al Sawyer, Lonnie Foreman, Alton Bernard Davenport, Terry McCall and Doug Armstrong will serve as pallbearers.

The family will receive friends 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM Friday August 8, 2014 at the Wilkinson Center of Belhaven and other times at the home.

William was born in Hyde County on February 20, 1939 son of the late Reuben Edward Sawyer and the late Gladys Richards Sawyer.  He attended John A. Wilkinson High School before serving his country in the U.S. Navy.  On April 1, 1961 he married the former LaRue Foreman who survives.  After serving in the U.S. Navy from 1956 to 1960 he returned home to work on Open Ground Farms clearing land.  Wanting to go into business for himself, he purchased his very first bulldozer in 1965.  Not only did William clear the land, he also farmed the land and raised many hogs over the years.  Because of the relentless effort and work ethic he exhibited, 50 years later Sawyer’s Land Developing has become a legacy of which he can be very proud.  Having given jobs and opportunities to over 1,000 people throughout the years, his legacy will never be forgotten.  William also served as an Elder at Mount Olive Church of Christ for many years.

Surviving along with William’s wife LaRue of the home are two daughters: Cindy Sawyer Smithwick and her husband Gilbert and Melanie Carol Sawyer all of Belhaven; a son: William Douglas Sawyer, Jr. and his wife Beth of Belhaven; four grandchildren: Lindsey Sawyer Sadler and her husband Michael Dean of Belhaven, Kyle Brent Smithwick of Greenville, Kaitlyn Sawyer Dale and her husband West of Belhaven and Tess Smithwick Smith and her husband Chris of Belhaven; two great grandchildren: Grady Myles Sadler and Gia Kole Dale both of Belhaven; a brother: Reuben Edward Sawyer, Jr of Washington.; three sisters: Zella Sawyer Stassfort of Atlanta, GA, Mary Lou Sawyer Pedley of Washington and Rachel Sawyer Lonberger of Panama City, FL and many nieces and nephews.  William was predeceased by two brothers: Ormond D. Sawyer and Floyd W. Sawyer and two sisters: Ruth Sawyer Hopkins and Gloria Sawyer Fotusky.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to Janet Clark and Debbie Bagley for their compassionate care and love.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Pungo Christian Academy, 983 West Main Street, Belhaven, NC 27810.

William’s video tribute may be viewed and condolences may be offered to the family by visiting www.paulfuneralhome.com.

Paul Funeral Home of Belhaven is honored to serve the Sawyer family.