Tommy L. Sawyer, 66, of Nebraska City, formerly Syracuse, died at the Nebraska Heart Institute in Lincoln Oct. 21, 2013. He was born Tommy LeRoy Sawyer on Oct. 25, 1946 at St. Mary’s Community Hospital in Nebraska City to LeRoy Andrew and Betty Lou (Petersen) Sawyer. He graduated from Syracuse High School in 1965.
He entered the Marine Corps on Jan. 6, 1966 and served during the Vietnam War. He was honorably discharged on Dec. 9, 1968. He married Pamela Ann Tuning on Dec. 22, 1967 at the United Methodist Church in Syracuse. They had three children, Stacy, Suzanne and Scott.
After serving his country, Tommy attended Peru State College, graduating in 1972 with a bachelors degree in Geography and a minor in History. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge. Tom was an avid fisherman and loved gardening. He was a devoted Nebraska Cornhusker Fan but his deepest loves were his children and grandchildren.
He worked for Gartner Construction Co. in Unadilla for several years and then owned and operated his own business, Tom Sawyer Painting.
On Nov. 20, 1990, he married Catherine A. Ullsperger in Nebraska City.
He is survived by wife Catherine Sawyer of Nebraska City; children Stacy Salvadori and husband Christopher of Yorktown, Va., Suzanne Dean and husband Shawn of Denver, Scott Sawyer of Syracuse, Michael Apfel and wife Melanie of Hutchinson, Kan., Michelle Asselin and husband Todd of Malone, N.Y., Christopher Apfel of Lincoln, Jill Bruner and husband Matt of Wichita, Kan., and Mark Apfel and wife Lindsey of Bellevue; grandchildren: Zachary and Meredith Salvadori of Yorktown, Alyssa, Christopher, Julia, Ethan and Tobias Dean of Denver, Aspen Apfel of Hutchinson, Autumn Apfel of Wichita, Aubrey and Hayden Bruner of Wichita, and Aubrey and Autumn Asselin of Springfield, Mass.; great-grandchild Tristen Fordham of Centennial, Colo.; sister Connie Gross and husband Brad Trimble of Goodyear, Ariz.; uncle Glen Petersen and wife Emily of Lincoln; niece Kristi Yearout and husband Denny Good of Kanohe, Hawaii; sister-in-law Virginia Ullsperger of Nebraska City; brother-in-law David Ullsperger and wife Rhonda of Nebraska City; other family and many friends.
He was preceded by parents and special aunts Ruby and Lilah Harms.
Funeral services will be held 10:30 a.m. on his birthday, Friday, Oct. 25, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Nebraska City with Fr. Michael McCabe officiating. Burial will follow in the Park Hill Cemetery at Syracuse with complete military services conducted by the U.S. Marine Corps Funeral Honors Detail.
The family will greet friends from 6-8 p.m. Thursday evening with a prayer service at 7 p.m. at Gude Mortuary in Nebraska City.
Memorials may be given to the First United Methodist Church in Syracuse or to the donor’s favorite charity.
Page 2 of 2 - Remembrances may be left at www.gudefuneral homes.com. Gude Mortuary, Nebraska City, is in charge of the funeral arrangements.