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1924 - 2014
(1924-2014) John Leslie Sayre, loving husband, father and grandfather, Minister, Theological Librarian, University Librarian, Seminary Dean, Tour Director and Gardener, passed away on April 11, 2014 at the Foxwood Springs Living Center in Raymore, MO. John was born in Hannibal, Missouri, to John L. Sayre, Sr., and Clara Lucile Haden on March 28, 1924, and was raised in Norman, Oklahoma. John graduated from University High School in Norman in 1942. He studied one year at the University of Oklahoma, and transferred to Phillips University (Enid, OK) where he graduated in 1946 with a BA in Religion. John was ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in 1946. In 1947 he entered Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut and graduated with his M.Div in 1950. On June 18, 1948 John and Herwanna L. Harrouff, of Lawton, OK, were married at University Place Christian Church, Enid, OK. From 1950-1957 John served as Campus Minister for the Christian Church, Stillwater, OK where all four children were born. In 1957, John moved to Austin, Texas, to become Campus Minister at the University Christian Church. In 1962, John was called to be the Seminary Librarian at the Phillips Graduate Seminary in Enid, Oklahoma. He received the Master of Library Science degree in 1963. Ten years later, in 1973, the Ph.D. in Library Science from the University of Texas. In 1971, he was promoted to the position of University Librarian for Phillips University overseeing both the Graduate Seminary Library and Zollars Memorial Library. In 1987 John was appointed Dean of the Seminary, in addition to his duties as Seminary Librarian. John retired from Phillips Theological Seminary in September, 1989, and he and his wife moved to Foxwood Springs Living Center in Raymore, Missouri where they started Sayre Tours. He served as Volunteer Director of Special Activities at Foxwood for many years. John and Herwanna devoted themselves to sharing the joys of attending cultural events, traveling the world with others, organizing and directing tours, especially to Scandinavia. In 1985 John was officially recognized as an honorary citizen of the city of Mullsjö, Sweden, in recognition of this special relationship with its community. John is survived by his loving & devoted wife, Herwanna L. Sayre of Raymore, Missouri; four children, Barbara A. (Don) Hutchins of McLean, Virginia, John Richard Sayre (Mary Phillips) of Galesburg, Illinois, Alan D. Sayre (Linda Record) and Melody L. (Roy) Hildebrand of Enid, Oklahoma - five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Robert Haden Sayre and his sister Clara Ruth Sayre. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 19th, at 10:00 am, at Raymore Christian Church, 500 Peace Drive, Raymore, MO 64083. A memorial service primarily for the residents of Foxwood Springs Retirement Community will be held on Thursday, April 17th, at 10:00 am at Bromwell Lounge. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Raymore Christian Church or to the Fellowship of John, PO Box 701, Raymore, MO 64083. M
Published in Kansas City Star on Apr. 16, 2014
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10507 Holmes Road
Kansas City, MO 64131
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