Thursday, August 7, 2008
Terry Sawyer – ‘a life coach’
By BARRY BURLESON
Family and friends filled The Flame at Byhalia United Methodist Church Saturday afternoon to celebrate the life of Terry Sawyer.
The 57-year-old Byhalia alderman died July 29 after a short battle with cancer.
Tom Sawyer said the gathering was to celebrate his brother’s faith in Christ.
“He didn’t want this service to be about him,” Tom said. “His faith brought him peace and comfort.”
He mentioned a few special memories of Terry provided by Terry’s immediate family, wife Sarah Fay and sons Scott and Anderson.
“Scott said, ‘Daddy always did everything for everybody.’ He said he tried to please everybody.”
“Sarah said Terry was not comfortable in a room unless everyone was happy.”
“Anderson said his dad was at every event he participated in.”
Tom, who lives in California, said every time he talked to his brother, Terry mentioned his family.
“Terry and Sarah had that special bond and relationship,” he said.
Tom said, “Terry was a father figure to a lot of people.”
He smiled when talking about the 12 years Terry took him to motorcycle races.
“He taught me about success and hard work,” Tom said. “At the time it was about motorcycle racing, but in reality, it was about life.”
He said Terry had a love for golf, music, motorcycles and cars.
Trying to come up with one word to summarize his brother, he said “a teacher.” He said he taught through example, through church and through his job as a corporate trainer with Mercedes-Benz USA.
“He gave his love through teaching,” Tom said. “He was a life coach to a lot of us. He loved learning, so he could teach others.
“We will dearly, dearly miss Terry, but his essence and spirit will live on in each of us.”
Dr. Jim Biedenharn, pastor of Byhalia United Methodist Church, said in the last four months he never saw Terry’s faith waiver.
“He had a deep, abiding faith given to him by his Maker,” Biedenharn said. “Faith is of God, and Terry had it in abundance.”
He said, “We are all in grief, but in pain, we find comfort.”
“Thank you, God, for blessing us with Terry.”
Rev. Don Wilson of Byhalia Presbyterian Church read Scriptures from Jeremiah, Joshua, and Ephesians, plus the 23rd Psalm.
From Joshua – “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified.”
From Ephesians – “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.”
Music, in celebration of Terry’s life, was provided by Tommy Woods and Byhalia United Methodist Church’s worship band Prayznmor, of which Terry was a member.
For more on Terry’s life and contributions to the community, see his obituary.
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