Thomas William Sawyer

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Thomas William Sawyer, 90, died peacefully Friday, Dec. 20, 2013, at his son's home in Rochester, after a battle with lung cancer.

Born on March 28, 1923, in Annandale, Tom was the second son of Palmer and Myrtle (Krohn) Sawyer. Tom was four years younger than his brother, Neil. Tom served in the United States Army during World War II. He served in the Ardennes, Rhineland and Central Europe, and he fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He also played baritone with the 5th Divisional Band. Tom earned two Bachelors Degrees — one in electrical engineering from Hamline University and one in business administration from the University of Minnesota.On May 12, 1956, he married Zelda Smidt in Minneapolis. They were the parents of two children, Leslie and Steve. Because of Tom's job with General Electric, the family moved frequently, but they eventually settled in Fergus Falls in the mid 1960s.

He served on the board of the Annandale State Bank for more than four decades and was a member of Grace United Methodist Church in Fergus Falls. He was also involved in Boy Scout Troop 302, which held their meetings at Grace United Methodist Church.

Tom was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting ducks, geese, grouse and pheasants and fishing for walleye on Lake-of-the-Woods. He and Zelda had fun watching the wood ducks nest in their yard each spring.

In their retirement years, Tom and Zelda traveled extensively, visiting more than 33 countries and going on many birding and elderhostel trips. Time spent with their grandchildren also brought them much joy. Tom was charming and social, with a wonderful sense of humor. He enjoyed visiting with others and liked to have fun with his family and friends.

Tom was devoted to his family and was Zelda's caregiver for more than five years after her open heart surgery.

Preceding him in death were his parents; and his wife, Zelda.

Survivors include his brother Neil; his children, Leslie Sawyer, of Longmont, Colo., and Steve (Julie) Sawyer, of Rochester; two grandchildren, William and Cadence Sawyer; and a host of loving relatives and long-time friends.

Memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 27, at the Olson Funeral Home Chapel, with Rev. Robert Worner officiating. Visitation will be one hour before the service at the funeral home.
Burial will be in Woodlawn Cemetery in Annandale, with military participation by the Fergus Falls VFW and American Legion.

Olson Funeral Home, Fergus Falls, 711 Pebble Lake Road, Fergus Falls, MN  56537, 218-736-7586.

Condolences may be sent online at

Funeral Home
Olson Funeral Home
711 Pebble Lake Road
Fergus Falls, MN 56537
(218) 736-7586
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Published in The Post-Bulletin on Dec. 25, 2013
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