Ernest ‘Ernie’ Sawyer, 72, died Thursday, May 1 at Oak Valley Hospital from pneumonia.
He was born in Greenville, Maine. At a young age his family moved and settled in Southern California. He graduated from Ganesha High School, Class of 1959.
Mr. Sawyer eventually relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area and began a 35-year career with United Airlines at the San Francisco maintenance base. He began as an engine mechanic, then a procedure writer and on to an engine maintenance instructor.
In 2000, he retired from United Airlines and moved to Oakdale where he was able to fulfill his dream to have a shop in the backyard to “tinker” with cars. His passion for hot rods led him to ownership of a 1938 Chevy. Spending time on his houseboat with friends and family on New Melones Lake was among his favorite ways to relax. He also enjoyed watching football and NASCAR on TV.
His family thanks Dr. Madayag, Dr. Olson, and the nurses at Oak Valley who provided the best for him.
He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Joani; son, Steve Sawyer of West Virginia; daughter, Cheryl Withers of Georgia; son-in-law, Bryan Conroy; and grandchildren, Kody and Dylan Conroy, Melissa, Justin, Bret, Brittany, and Will; and great-granddaughter, Sadie.
He was preceded in death by his daughter, Stacy Conroy; and parents, Oliver and Jeannette Sawyer.
A gathering of friends and family will be held at the Sawyer home on May 10. For inquiries, call 613-2996.
The Oakdale (Calif.) Leader
May 7, 2014