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Melvin Wayne Sawyer

September 24, 1933 — February 13, 2024

Orem


Melvin Wayne Sawyer of Orem, Utah passed away at his home February 13, 2024, at the age of 90 from non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He was born in Rock Springs, Wyoming on September 24, 1933, to Archie Hyrum and Vida Evelyn Peterson Sawyer, and was the oldest of three children. His father owned the Sawyer Sign Company, specializing in neon signs. He married Sylvia Wood on September 5, 1959, in the Los Angeles LDS Temple. They were married 64 years.

After graduating from Rock Springs High School in 1951, where he lettered in basketball and track, he attended BYU for one year. He then went on a French mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for two and a half years (1953-1956). While there, he was the president of the Bordeaux Branch and later served at the mission home in Paris for fourteen months as the mission accountant. He returned to BYU and completed a BA Degree in Sociology in 1957. He served in the U.S. Army Reserves for six years, ending in 1963. He earned a Ph.D. in Psychology from BYU in 1976.

Mel started his working career as a Probation Officer at the Utah Juvenile Court in Ogden, then worked for Orange County Probation in Santa Ana, CA for eight years. He then returned to Utah to work for the Clearfield Job Corps and then as District Director of Juvenile Court Services in Provo. While certifying for the Utah State Psychologist Exam, Mel worked as a counselor for Provo Canyon School. His final employment was at the Utah State Hospital in Provo as a Psychologist for twenty years until retiring Dec. 2008 at the age of 75.

Mel was an avid fisherman and hunter. He grew up fishing the Wind River Mountains in Wyoming and continued to fish streams and lakes in Utah and Idaho. He made several trips with close friends and family to Alaska to fish for salmon and halibut. 

He competed in basketball, softball, and track, winning numerous medals and the Cedar City and Provo Summer Games and the World Sr. Games in St. George. At BYU, he was on the Wyoming Club Basket Team, winning the Intramural Championship. He loved playing basketball and continued to play with staff at the Utah State Hospital until the age of 87 when the pandemic hit and prohibited further play. He was famous for his 3-point shooting and had the nicknames of “Jamel” and the “Melman” as he always delivered! He was an expert shot with firearms being on his high school and BYU ROTC rifle teams and earned expert medals for his shooting in the Army.

Mel was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in many capacities including Elders Quorum President, Stake Athletic Director, Counselor at the Missionary Training Center, Stake High Counselor, Bishop of the 184th Married Student Ward, Temple Ordinance Worker for both Timpanogos and Provo Temples, and Counselor at the Orem Canyon Breeze Senior Living Center Branch. 

Mel was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend. He never had an unkind word to say and was very loyal to his family and friends. The “Master Angler” has now returned home and continues to be a “Fisher of Men.” He will be greatly missed.

Mel was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Major General David Sawyer, and his sister, Carol. He is survived by his wife, Sylvia, and by his children: Melene (Randy) Goggins of Sandy, UT, Mark (Sharla) Sawyer of So. Jordan, UT, Suzanne (Jeff) Montgomery of Sandy, UT, Cameron (McKenzie) Sawyer of Sandy, UT, and Courtney Sawyer of Salt Lake City, UT. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Jeanne Tucker Sawyer of Springfield, VA. Mel has twelve grandchildren and eighteen great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, February 24, 2024, at 12:00 Noon in the Cascade 2nd Ward LDS Chapel located at 481 East Center St., Orem, UT. A viewing for friends and family will be held from 10:30 am to 11:30 am, prior to the funeral. The burial will be in the Orem City Cemetery.  

Condolences for the family may be expressed on this page.

For those unable to attend the services in person, they can be viewed via Facebook Live, Saturday, February 24th at 12:00 p.m. at the following link:https://fb.watch/qp_WgJ-IO1/




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Saturday, February 24, 2024

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Funeral Service

Saturday, February 24, 2024

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LDS Church - 480 East Center Street

480 East Center Street, Orem, UT 84097

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