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George E. Sawyer, 97, born on July 26, 1920 in Bar Mills, Maine, passed away on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at CHP Defiance Area Inpatient Hospice Center.
He was born to Kenneth and Doris (Wilson) Sawyer, and on January 23, 1942 married Bridget T. "Betty" (Kogut) Sawyer, who preceded him in death in 1995.
George graduated from Deering High School in Portland, Maine in 1938. He played semi-pro football and was an amateur and professional boxer. George proudly served our country in the U.S. Army during WWII in the 90th Infantry Division. He fought in France, Germany, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, and Holland. He was awarded the Purple Heart, Oak Leaf Cluster and Battle Stars. He received a "Special Diplome" from the Replique De France "In appreciation of his participation in the liberation of Normandy and France." In 2006 he was a nominee for "The Legion of Honor de Chevalier", the highest honor for service to France during WWII.
He was a long-time resident of Florida and attended the United Baptist Church. He was a Second Degree Master Mason and member of the Scottish Rite and Zenobia Shrine, and a life member of VFW. George was associated with the Motion Picture Industry for many years, being a general manager of a theatre operating company. He knew many stars of stage, including Elizabeth Taylor, Charlton Heston, Sammy Davis, Jr., Burt Lancaster, and many more. He owned and operated a recreational vehicle business in Ohio for many years, and was active in real estate and stock investments. George was a self-taught, successful investor, and in his later years he spent overseeing his investments in the stock market. He always told his sons that his success was due to using his hands and his head, and making one dollar at a time. Also, "If you are going to walk the walk and talk the talk, you had better be able to back it up in business and on the street."
George did volunteer work for The Salvation Army, Red Cross, and hospitals in Maine, Texas, Florida, and Hawaii. He and his wife spent many summers in Maine. They loved to travel throughout Mexico and lived on the Mexican border for a number of years. They spent many winters in Honolulu and Waikiki Beach, and he volunteered at Queens Hospital and The Honolulu Zoo.
George will be greatly missed by his sons, Morgan Sawyer of California, Matthew (Susan) Sawyer, and Marc (Patricia) Sawyer, all of Ohio, twelve grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and a long-time companion, Ms. Catherine Ann Book of Saco, Maine.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 54 years, Bridget Sawyer, and sister, Barbara Novell.
Visitation will be held from 1-4 pm on Sunday, April 15, 2018 at Schaffer Funeral Home in Defiance, Ohio. A Funeral Services will follow at 4:00 pm at Schaffer Funeral Home, with Deb Miller officiating.
Memorials are suggested to Fort Defiance Animal Shelter. Online condolences can be given at www.Schafferfh.com.