Franklin William Sawyer, age 94, a lifelong resident of Winthrop, MA, died on Thursday evening, March 7, 2019. He was the husband of Elizabeth A. (Trites). The couple met while working at Suburban Gas and Electric, and had been married for 63 years last August. Born on October 20, 1924, in Winthrop, he was the son of the late Gertrude Viola (Hill) and George Harold Sawyer.
Frank graduated from Boston Trade School, where he had been captain of their Fife and Drum Corp. After graduation, in 1943, he volunteered and was inducted in the US Army, serving with the 41st Infantry Division, 186 Infantry Regiment, Company E throughout the Pacific Theater, and was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, Victory Medal, Asiatic Pacific Theater Campaign Ribbon with Bronze Service Arrowhead, and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with 1 Bronze Service Star. His Company was one of the first units brought onto Hiroshima in 1945, identifying Frank as an Atomic Veteran, thus being awarded that medal of distinction in time for his 90th birthday in 2014. Frank enjoyed sharing history of his military time, and continued to be a contributor to The Jungleer, the newsletter for the 41st Infantry.
Upon returning at the end of World War II, and being trained prior to the War as a cabinet maker, Frank began working for the J. M. Came Company in Boston. He made and repaired pool tables, as well as constructing parts for bowling lanes. When that company went out of business, he worked as a salesman for Suburban Gas and Electric, then was promoted to a Field Representative for Mystic Valley Gas Company, where he was quickly made the Assistant Merchandise Manager. In 1968, he was transferred to North Shore Gas Company in Beverly, becoming their Merchandise Manager. When Boston Gas purchased the gas division of New England Power, his position changed to the Supervisor of Heating Engineers, retiring in February of 1990. He also had been a licensed Real Estate Broker.
Frank served the Town of Winthrop on their Advisory Board from 1973 – 1977.
He was a lifelong member of the First Church of Winthrop-United Methodist, serving as a Lay Leader and Lay Preacher from 1973 – 1977. While spending summers in Center Ossipee, NH, he attended the Riverside United Methodist Church in Porter, Maine.
Among Frank’s hobbies were oil painting, woodworking, and photography. He had made two Queen Ann style chairs for his church’s ushers several years ago.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by three daughters, Kathleen E. Kligge of New Hampshire, Diane G. Videtto and her husband John, and Nancy A. Doucette, and her husband Michael, all of Massachusetts, his grandchildren, Stephanie A. and Kenneth E. Kligge, Jennifer T. (Videtto) Bell and her husband Christopher, Joseph W. Videtto, Nicole E. and Michael T. (Max) Doucette, Jr. and a great-grandson, Riley J. Bell. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Ellsworth H. Sawyer, and his son-in-law, Steven A. Kligge.
Relatives and friends are invited to his funeral service on Wednesday, March 13, at 11am, at the First Church of Winthrop- United Methodist, Metcalf Square, 217 Winthrop St., Winthrop, MA. Visitation for family and friends will be held 1 hour prior, from 10-11am at the church. Burial will follow at the Winthrop Cemetery Belle Isle Section. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory can be made to the First Church of Winthrop-United Methodist. Funeral arrangements are being provided by Maurice W. Kirby Funeral Home 210 Winthrop St. Winthrop, Mass. Parking is available behind the church or across the street in the Kirby Funeral Home parking lot. For guestbook, please visit www.mauricekirbyfh.com.