Carl Melville Sawyer of Truro died peacefully in his sleep at home on Oct. 11, 2021. The cause of lung cancer, diagnosed six months ago. He was 92.
Born in Hyannis on Feb. 12, 1929 to Edgar Freeman Sawyer of Lynn, a carpenter, and Mary Christina (Avila) Sawyer of Provincetown, a teacher, Carl was raised in Provincetown. He attended school until the sixth grade, when he left to work to help support his family.
Carl served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, after which he returned to his hometown. He was a regular at the West Yarmouth Rainbow Roller Dome, where he showed off his skating talents. There, he met and eventually married Patricia Dawn Temple. They settled in Provincetown and raised five children.
Carl worked for the Provincetown Water Dept. for many years. He would often say there wasn’t a pipe in town that he hadn’t dug by hand. He was also an auxiliary Provincetown police officer, town jailer, and volunteer firefighter with Engine 3.
He was known as a trapper and scrapper, trapping critters for people and scrapping for copper, aluminum, and brass. He had a talent for construction and plumbing and would often lend a hand to anyone who needed it.
Carl was past commander of the Provincetown American Legion, Morris Light Post 71 and a member of Provincetown VFW, Lewis A. Young Post. As an active member of both veterans’ organizations, he took great pride in attending all Veterans Day and Memorial Day ceremonies. Every Memorial Day, until he was physically unable to do so, he would place flags on the graves of those who had served. He also marched, built floats, and rode motorcycles in many of Provincetown’s 4th of July parades and would assist in lighting the fireworks.
Carl was a friend to everyone he met and a father to more than his own children. He would come home after a long day of work and join the neighborhood in a game of kickball. He stood in as a father for a Boy Scout who lost his dad at sea, and he accompanied three women who had lost their fathers down the aisles at their weddings.
In 1985, Carl and Pat sold the family home in Provincetown and built a house in Truro, but Carl’s heart remained in Provincetown. Up until a few weeks ago, Carl, with Pat always by his side, could be seen on their daily rides to Stop & Shop, after which he would sit at the end of MacMillan Pier to watch the crowds come off the Boston boat. Carl took his last ride down MacMillan Pier and then down Commercial Street on Oct. 11, courtesy of his friend Jim Keefe of the Gately Funeral Home.
Carl is survived by his wife, Patricia Sawyer of Truro; his sons, Timothy Sawyer and wife Eileen of Saint Johns, Ariz. and Jonathan Sawyer and wife Janice of Dennis; and his daughter, Jill Sawyer of Truro. He also leaves a brother, Raymond Sawyer, and a sister, Roberta McKay, both of Provincetown, as well as several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and many friends. He was predeceased by two sons, Mark Sawyer and Carl Michael Sawyer Jr., a brother, Edgar Sawyer, and two sisters, Edith Roderick and Shirley McWilliams.
Calling hours will be held on Sunday, Oct. 24 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Gately Funeral Home, 94 Harry Kemp Way, Provincetown. A funeral service will be at 10 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 25 at Provincetown United Methodist Church, 20 Shank Painter Road. Burial with military honors will follow in Old North Cemetery, Truro.
Donations in Carl’s name may be made to the Lower Cape Ambulance Association, P.O. Box 1721, Provincetown 02657 or by visiting lowercapeambulance.org.
To leave a message of condolence for the family, visit the guestbook at gatelyfuneralservice.com.