SAWYER, Wayne Clarke, Sr., born August 14, 1943, passed away into the arms of his Lord and Savior on November 19, 2021. Son of Paul Clarke Sawyer and Virginia Weaver Sawyer, he grew up in the City of South Norfolk, now the City of Chesapeake. Wayne attended Rena B. Wright elementary and in the second grade he met a very sassy, blonde, ponytailed girl who would be a very important part of his life for years to come. In the small community, Wayne enjoyed dancing, playing football, baseball, ice skating and roller skating with his friends. He and his family were avid members of South Norfolk Baptist Church. At a very early age, Wayne learned the meaning of hard work spending time with his dad at the racecar shop. He fell in love with automobiles and racing them. Later in life, he learned how to build motors with Billy Gwynn and the ultimate thrill of drag racing. But most of all, he loved spending time with his grandfather, fishing and hunting.
At the age of 14, the Sawyer family moved to Wayne McLeskey's newly built Chesopeian Colony in Virginia Beach. He attended Princess Anne High School, where he met his future wife, Sandy Parker. Wayne continued his education at Augusta Military Academy participating in football, wrestling, lacrosse and roller rifles. He accomplished the rank of 2nd Lieutenant and graduated in 1963. Multiple summers were spent working for PECK Iron & Metal, learning to operate bulldozers, backhoes, forklifts and 18-wheel tractor trailers. He also enjoyed spending time on the beach lifeguarding and surfing.
Wayne studied at Elon College and went on to marry his high school sweetheart, Sandy. They had three sons together, John Clarke Sawyer and twins, Wayne Clarke Sawyer Jr. and Paul Sean Sawyer. His work and career began with JK Parker, constructing mobile school classrooms. He was a field superintendent for John Aragona Sr. and maintenance supervisor for Wayne McLeskey at Regency Apartments. For the next seven years, Wayne assisted Mr. McLeskey with the building and management of Lynnhaven Dry Storage Marina.
After a life changing operation, he began a new career as a commercial real estate agent. In 1979, he was reunited with that sassy, blonde, ponytailed girl from the playground, Theresa Allard Brock. She introduced him to the game of golf in which he accomplished a handicap of eight. He later became the president of Redwing Men's Golf Association in Virginia Beach and would eventually draw a group of investors to develop the Dominion Country Club in Hanover, Va.
Wayne joined the family business in 1987 at Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway. He took on the job of reconstructing the half-mile flat track with 26,000 seats, redesigning it into a quarter-mile track with 14-degree banking and with that, Richmond International Raceway was born. Quite an accomplishment in six months' time. When RIR was sold in 1999 to International Speedway Corporation, the speedway boasted 36 suites and 106,000 seats. He and Theresa returned to Virginia Beach in 2000. Because of his love of deep-sea fishing, he became a member of the Cape Henry Billfish Club and later held the titles of tournament chairman and president. He was also a member of the Hatteras Marlin Club, as well as a founding board member of the Virginia Beach Billfish Tournament. He truly loved being a part of the fishing community and cherished his many friendships and comradery of his fellow anglers.
Wayne was a person who always wanted to help others and in doing so, he was a great benefactor of the United Ostomy Society of America, CHKD, EVMS, Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, American Cancer Society, Virginia Beach Rescue Squad and BOD member of Home Now. He enjoyed serving on the BOD for Monarch Bank, as well as Towne Bank and was a member of Trinity Church in Virginia Beach.
He is survived by his wife, Theresa Brock Sawyer of 43 years; his three sons, John Clarke Sawyer, Wayne Clarke Sawyer Jr. (Nicole) and Paul Sean Sawyer (Dena); grandsons, John Parker Sawyer, Paul Clarke Sawyer and Wayne Clarke Sawyer III; granddaughters, Roxanne Nicole Sawyer and Paula Grace Sawyer; his brother, Bill H. Sawyer (Wendy); sister-in-law, Barbara Gaddy (Leighton); and three nieces, a nephew, four goddaughters and one godson.
A special thank you to Dr. Thomas Alberico, Dr. Michael Fabrizio, Dr. Greg Clifford, David Abraham, nurse, Elisa Kasiski and Heather Kwiatkowski (Generations Home Health Agency), nurse, Teri Smith, nurse, Dana Suess (Suncrest Hospice). Generations treated our family with kindness and love through Wayne's journey; for that we are very grateful. Services will be held at London Bridge Baptist Church, 2460 Potters Road, Virginia Beach, Va. 23452, on November 27, 2021. Visitation will be from 12 to 2 p.m. with a service following at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to any of the above referenced charities. Online condolences may be made to the family at hdoliver.com
Published by Richmond Times-Dispatch on Nov. 23, 2021.