Williamsport – Monte Ray Sawyer (Buz), 81, of Williamsport, IN passed away on Saturday (April 30th, 2022) in the comfort of his own home with his family by his side after a long, courageous battle with multiple health issues.
Monte was born February 16, 1941, in Danville to Raymond and Wilda (Van Allen) Sawyer. He attended Fithian Grade School and Oakwood Grade School. Monte graduated from Oakwood High School in 1959. While attending OHS, he participated in Track and Football. In the summers he went down to Carterville to help work the family farm.
Monte started drag racing in 1965 as a hobby. In 1968, he bought and built his first race car – a 1968 Camaro. At that time he started racing for Albert Clark – Clark Chevrolet. He then went on to race with Steve Clark and Bill Coonce, and he enjoyed racing for several years before starting a family.
Monte worked for General Motors for about a year and then went to work for Hyster (NACCO) where he worked for 30 years. He worked on the largest lift trucks Hyster produced and he built the last lift truck to leave the plant for NASA. He then worked in the Parts Depot until his retirement in June of 2003.
He married Bobbie Jean Haun on November 23, 1968, in Danville. They have been married for almost 54 years and have raised 3 children together. They lived in Danville until 1987 when they moved their family to their newly built log house in the woods in Williamsport, IN, where they have remained.
Monte’s family was the most important part of his life. He was looking forward to the birth of his first great-grandchild this summer. Monte took great pride in his house in the woods and he enjoyed being outdoors. You could often find him mowing his 6 acres, tending his garden, or splitting firewood. He was known to many as the “Woodman”.
Monte’s family always said he had nine lives because he always overcame the illnesses or injuries he suffered. He was still able to do the things he enjoyed up until the last 16 months of his life which were spent going to kidney dialysis at Davita 3 times a week. His body grew tired and he was no longer able to do many of the things he loved.
Monte will be remembered as a strong, hard-working man and a great provider for his family. He was the epitome of the word “tough”. He often amazed us with his strength, resilience, stamina, and determination and we are thankful we had him for 81 years.
Monte was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond and Wilda, and his best friend, Jim Foley. Survivors include his wife Bobbie, and his 3 children: Nikki Sawyer (Kenny Wait) of Williamsport, Marcie Bostwick (Patrick) of Bismarck, and Matthew Sawyer of Catlin. Also, surviving are his grandchildren: Devin Sawyer of Williamsport who was like his son, Dustin Sawyer of Williamsport, Ashton Sawyer (Zoe Campbell) and Madalynn Sawyer (Kole Snedeker) of Catlin, Ryan and Allie Bostwick of Bismarck, his sisters: Karen Williams of Oakwood and Diana Haggerty (Tim) of Bowling Green, KY, his niece: Kelli Williams of Zionsville, IN and his nephew: Brandon Verhoeven of Owensboro, TN, his uncle: Clifford Sawyer (Judy) of Georgetown, his dear friends: Cliff Wynn, Steve Clark, and Bill Coonce, and many other friends and family.
Monte’s family would like to thank the staff at Davita for the wonderful care they provided to him over the past 16 months. We would also like to thank the staff on the 6th floor at Carle Hospital in Urbana for the care they gave him during his last hospital stay.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 2:00 PM Thursday, May 5, 2022 at Sunset Funeral Home and Cremation Center located at 3940 N Vermilion St. Danville, Illinois 61834. Matt Filicsky will officiate. Entombment will be in Sunset Memorial Park. Visitation will be held from 5:00 – 7:00 PM Wednesday, May 4, 2022 at the funeral home.
Memorials may be made to the American Diabetes Association or the National Kidney Foundation.
Please join Monte’s family in sharing memories, photos and videos on his tribute wall at www.sunsetfuneralhome.com .
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