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Richard Sawyer

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Richard P. Sawyer 1935-2010 SHELBURNE Richard P. Sawyer died peacefully at the Arbors in Shelburne, VT on August 17, 2010. Richard was 75 years of age. Richard was born on Feb. 3, 1935 in Bennington, Vt. to Catherine LeBlanc and Daniel Sawyer. Richard leaves behind his wife, Gail Spencer, whom he was married to for 56 years. He also leaves behind one son, Jeffrey (his wife Cathy); a daughter, Deborah (Jorschick, her husband John); two grandchildren, Christopher and Ada; also, one sister, Marjorie; one sister-in-law, Mary; and several nieces and nephews. He attended Sacred Heart elementary school was a graduate of Bennington High School in 1953. He worked at BenMont Paper immediately after high school for over nine years. He was a Flight Instructor in both fixed and rotary wing aircraft at the Bennington airport. He joined the Vermont National Guard on December 9, 1952, while still in high school. He graduated Officer Candidate School at Camp Johnson in Winooski, Vt. in 1959. He was later commissioned as a Second LT. branched armor. He was transferred to Bennington, Vt. and assigned as a Tank Platoon Leader. He later went to Fort Rucker, Ala. in 1961 to begin the Officer Fixed Wing and Rotary Aviator Course. In 1965, he moved his family to Essex Jct., and went to work full time for the VTARNG. After a 35 1/2 year career, Richard retired as a Lt. Colonel with 10,598 hours of flight time. Richard was predeceased by his parents, originally of Bennington, Vt. He was also pre-deceased by three brothers, Daniel Jr., Francis and Edward; and one sister, Rose-Marie. In retirement Richard enjoyed dancing, singing karaoke, woodworking and spending time with his family and friends at his home. His favorite pastime was researching family genealogy and writing his autobiography. Richard enjoyed living in Essex Jct, including becoming a Captain for the Neighborhood Watch program, where he "served" for over 20 years. The Essex Police Department awarded Richard a Certificate of Service for his dedicated and devotion to this program in August of 2009. Richard loved life and enjoyed it to the fullest including his last days spent at the Arbors. Richard's family wants to thank the staff of The Arbors for the care they offered over the last year and for making sure his beer mug was full of O'Doul's at all times. The family also wishes to thank Home Instead, especially Anne Kline for the loving care she gave him at home. And last but not least Dr. James Boyd for his expert care for Richard's Parkinson's Disease over the past 10 years. FUNERAL NOTICE: Calling hours will be at Corbin and Palmer, Pleasant Street, Essex Jct., from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, August 20 and the funeral will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 21 at St. Lawrence Parish, Essex Jct., and interment immediately to follow at Fairview Cemetery, Essex Jct. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Essex Rescue, 1 Educational Dr., Essex Jct., VT 05452 or The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, Church Street Station, P.O. Box 780, New York, NY 10008-0780.

Published in Bennington Banner on Aug. 19, 2010
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