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Carolyn Hahn Sawyer


1942 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Carolyn Hahn Sawyer Obituary
Carolyn Hahn Sawyer, 75, of 206 High Street, Pittsfield, passed away at home on Saturday, May 26, 2018, in the company of her loving family. Born in Greenfield, Massachusetts, on July 8, 1942, to Evelyn Primeau Hahn and Louis Francis Hahn, Carolyn was a 1964 graduate of Mount Holyoke College, majoring in Zoology. Following graduation she took a position as the Assistant Dean of Students at Wheaton College.

In August 1965 she married Charles Francis "Charley" Sawyer, who survives her. Carolyn was known by her grandchildren as "GoGo," a moniker that perfectly reflected her approach to life - energetic, accomplished, and fun. With her good friend Judy Spencer of Stockbridge, she started a women's consciousness raising group and in 1987 a women's book group. The book group still meets regularly, having now read some 330 books. In 1973 she and Judy started Sunshine Nursery School at the Stockbridge Congregational Church. Judy's husband, Jack, always referred to Sunshine Nursery as an excellent example of a "non-profit" enterprise.

In 1978, Carolyn, Judy Spencer, and an intrepid band of fellow Berkshireites went to Hanover, New Hampshire to run in the Dartmouth Medical School Marathon. The next year she ran in the New York City Marathon, surviving some gastric upset from a bad spaghetti dinner the night before. Over the duration of the race, she visited the facilities at two fire stations and in the basement of a Chinese restaurant.

In 1982, Carolyn was appointed as the Director of Admissions at Berkshire Country Day School and in 1989 she went back to school, obtaining her Masters Degree in Speech Pathology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Following graduation, she was for twenty-five years the inpatient speech therapist at Berkshire Medical Center, retiring in 2016. Upon retirement, Carolyn looked for a way to do something that involved two of her passions: reading and children. She found it when she volunteered to be in charge of monitoring the United Way book houses in Pittsfield - which she did on her bicycle.

Carolyn competed in the annual Josh Billings Triathlon some thirty times, often in the family category with her husband Charley, her daughter Lizbie Porter, and her son-in-law Philip Porter. From 2004-2014, Carolyn and Charley paddled in the annual 90-mile Adirondack canoe race with their good friends, Doug and Toddy Munson.

Carolyn loved reading, biking, canoeing, cross-country skiing, hiking, the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle, singing good hymns, her children, and her grandchildren - but not necessarily in that order.

In addition to her husband Charley, she is survived by her son Jonathan and his wife Beth, of Medford, Massachusetts, her daughter Lizbie Porter and her husband Philip Porter of Lexington, Massachusetts; her four grandchildren, Katharine Sawyer, Charles Porter, Anne Porter, and William Sawyer; her sister Lisa Hahn and her wife Regina Figueroa of Riverside, California; her brother Kurt Hahn of Rapid City, South Dakota; and her former daughter-in-law, Jodi Polep-Mines of Natick, Massachusetts.

Funeral Notice: A memorial service for Carolyn will be held at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church on Sunday, June 17 at 1:00pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Berkshire United Way in care of Wellington Funeral Home, 220 East Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201. Please visit www.wellingtonfuneralhome.com to leave condolences and remembrances to her family.
Published in The Berkshire Eagle on May 30, 2018
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