Aubrey “Lou” Sawyer

June 7, 1935 - August 7, 2008

06/07/1935 - 08/07/2008

Past Services

Service
Thursday August 14, 2008
7:30 pm
The Church Of The Ascension
4853 Princess Anne Road
Virginia Beach, VA
757/495-1886 | Directions

Virginia Beach—

Aubrey L. Sawyer “Lou”, 73, passed away Thursday, August 7, 2008. He is preceded in death by his parents, Nelson and Effie Sawyer; and his brother, Terry Sawyer.

Lou graduated from Norview High School in 1953, and graduated from the Norfolk Extension of the College of William and Mary. He received his masters of music from Virginia Commonwealth University. His first employment as a conductor was at Trinity Baptist Church, Norfolk Va., now Trinity Word of Faith. Lou worked for the Virginia Beach school system for over 22 years, serving as a choral director, baseball coach and curriculum coordinator. Most recently, he celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Virginia Beach Chorale, conducting the Chorale for over 20 years. Lou was teaching at Tidewater Community College and Old Dominion University at
the onset of his illness. He was a member of the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity, American Federation of Musicians, Local 125, and excelled in writing and arranging music. He has performed with Della Reese, Mitzi Gaynor, Shirley McClaine, Tommy Newsome, Billy Butterfield and his best friend, Pat Curtis.

Mr. Sawyer is survived by his loving wife, Margaret “Peg” Sawyer of 13 years; 2 step children, Amanda Pociask, her husband Joey, Randolph Donathan and his wife Cassie; Amanda and Joey’s son, Lou’s grandson “J.J.”; brother, Willard Sawyer, his wife Nora; and many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins, who loved him dearly.

A memorial service will be held Thursday, August 14th, 2008 at 7:30 PM, in the Church of the Ascension 4853 Princess Anne Rd., Virginia Beach with Father Jim Parke officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Virginia Beach Chorale, 420 Thalia Road, Virginia Beach, VA., 23452. Condolences may be shared with the family at altmeyer.com

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Sheila McWaters-Wilkes
8 years ago

“The shadow of your smile now that you are gone, will color all our dreams and light the dawn…now when I remember spring, and all the joy that love can bring,I will be remembering the shadow of your smile, dear Lou”. Peg, my thoughts go to you and the family in this time of loss. Lou was my teacher, my mentor, my friend and I loved him dearly. We not only shared our love of music but a deep friendship.Sadly, I was away when I heard of his passing. Our world of music lost a great interpreter but God’s heavenly chorus gained a singer, teacher, and conductor. I know that he is tuning the angels up and awaits our joining him one day, God willing. It is now his time to rest and all we can do is rejoice in knowing this wonderful, kind man with the gentle smile and loving heart. A part of him will be in all that knew him and loved him. My prayers are with you and your family.

Hal J. Bonney, Jr.
8 years ago

Ah, I knew Lutrell better than most, for I taught him for two years at Norview High. One could see in him much talent, good, unselfishness and promise. It meant so much to see him occasionally thereafter. I am sad at the loss. God bless. “Mr. Bonney”

Susan Thompson Kotarsky
8 years ago

Although I never had Lou as a teacher during my years at Kempsville High, I knew that he was a superior teacher. The music world has truely lost a great person. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this time of great loss.

Richard A. Crosby
8 years ago

As the National President of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, brother Sawyer’s fraternity, I want to express my deepest condolences to his family. His “fraternity family” will miss him, and we are richer for having had him as a part of our Brotherhood.

Wendy van Gent
8 years ago

Dear Family and Friends of my dear friend, Lou Sawyer,

I must agree with the words of Dave Kunkel whose e-mail informed me of LouâÄôs passing âÄì and that is whenever I think of Lou Sawyer, a smile always comes to my face. I would like to add however, that it usually was followed by a deep groan after a bad joke! Lou hired me into the VBCPS as a choral director and gave me my first evaluation âÄì to which I promptly exclaimed, âÄúAnd who is this about? Did I really do all that?âÄù

Lou, you encouraged me, you made me a better musician and teacher, we judged together, we laughed together, and I will miss you dearly. Peg and family âÄì my deepest condolences âÄì and to Lou âÄì my fondest memories!

Much love,

Wendy

Kimberly Cross
8 years ago

Dear Peg and Family,

It is with great sadness that I write to tell you how sorry I was to read of Lou’s passing. My mother was Joyce Murtland and I know she loved both you and Lou dearly. She always spoke so highly of Lou and his talents. I know that the “heavenly branch” of the Virginia Beach Chorale is now being directed by one of their own. Please know that my entire family has you in their thoughts and prayers during this difficult and sad time. Fondly, Kim Cross

Sandi Thompson
8 years ago

Dear Peg and Family:

I don’t have to tell you how much Lou meant to me. He was my friend and Choral Director for the 20 years he was with the Virginia Beach Chorale. We had a special bond and I truly loved him.

I like to think he’s starting his own branch of the VB Chorale upstairs right now. He’s found Monte, Lil Bet, Joyce, Cecil and a lot of others up there to get started with. Pat’s on the keyboard! His Mom is basking in the glorious sounds as she always was here on earth.

I’ll miss him terribly as we in the Chorale strive to continue his legacy of excellence.

God Bless each of you and may He give you peace and comfort during this really hard time.

Love, Sandi

Tom Purcell
8 years ago

Dear Sawyer Family,

I joined the Chorale a few years ago and am proud to to say “I knew Lou Sawyer”. I am honored and so fortunate to have been able to sing under his direction. I always left a Monday rehearsal having learned something new about music and always with a smile on my face after one of Lou’s jokes. He made all of us better musicians. He is one of the finest musicians I will ever know. He has done so much for me, our Chorale, and our community and will always be in our hearts and in our music.

My deppest condolences and prayer’s are with you.

DALE
8 years ago

I am sorry to hear about the death of Lou. He was my choral director at Kempsville High School from 1970 to 1972. He encouraged me to contiue with my piano and to major in Music Education at James Madison University. He will be forever in my heart as I continue to play the piano. By now he has probably organized the angels into choral parts as in rehersal as we speak. His music will be forever in our hearts. What an awesome legacy he has left us.

May GOD bless his family in their time of loss.

Thomas & Mary Huhn
8 years ago

I have known Lou for many years, and through Fiesta-val Music Festivals got to know him even better. As a long time resident of Chesapeake, I often returned to that area to direct Virginia Beach and Williamsburg events. On numerous occasions, our panel of choral adjudicators was led by Lou Sawyer. I always looked forward to his warm smile, and his continuous supply of corny jokes. Along with those wonderful traits, Lou was a true professional, and will be missed by all who had the pleasure to know him. May God bless you, Lou.

Robin Doyle
8 years ago

I just learned today of Mr. Sawyer’s passing. It made me so sad that I never told him how much it meant to me to have him as music teacher at Kempsville High, so I’ll tell you. He was so patient, encouraging, and fun! I loved every minute of the 3 years

I spent first in chorus, then in madrigals. I was sad when he left the classroom for the students who would never get to study under him. I myself have taught for 20 plus years and would love to be half the teacher he was. He was truly an inspiration! I know his passing has left a hole in your lives. I will pray for you as I understand that grieving is a long process. Blessings to you.

Wendy Cameron
8 years ago

I met Mr. Sawyer year’s ago as I am one of the nurse’s that took care of his mother, Effie Sawyer @ Sentara Nursing Center, Va Beach. It was always a delight to see him as his presence was always so delightful. I just wanted his family to know that you are in my prayer’s. God Bless, Wendy Cameron

Stephanie Drake Prince
8 years ago

I would like to express my deepest sympathies to Lou’s family and his friends.

Lou gave me the music that would be known now to have shaped my life. He took me under his wing when I was just 18 years old and taught me so much. I can still hear him coming down Thalia Rd. in his old Mercedes. Lou is a very special person that will always hold a very special place in my heart.

Stephanie Drake Prince

Madeline
8 years ago

It has been my honor and pleasure to have judged Fiestaval Chorus Competitions with Lou for the past few years. I will miss his smile, his teasing and his wonderful stories about teaching in Virginia Beach. I will miss him dearly. Loving thoughts and prayers to his family.

Diane Taylor
8 years ago

It was with great sadness that I learned of Lou’s passing. When I first came to the Virginia Beach School System, Lou was my coordinator and very quickly became my friend as well. He had a wonderful sense of humor and shared with me invaluable musical teaching tools that have remained with me ever since. I will miss him dearly, and my thoughts and prayers are with his family.

John and Freddi Morgan
8 years ago

Lou has touched the lives of so many of us. He has taught us that music is so important in teaching us peace and compassion. Peg, and family, please know that you will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.

Wanda Bailey
8 years ago

Lou Sawyer was my chorus teacher when I first attended Bayside High School in 1964. He was a wonderful teacher and conveyed his enthusiasm for music to his students. He later became the choir director at Trinity Baptist Church, which was my home church at that time. His creativity and direction of the music uplifted both the services and the music specials. He stayed committed to the church during good and bad times.

When my father-in-law passed away in 2004, my mother-in-law gave Lou a check for the help he provided with the services. He never cashed the check. That was the kind of person he was, always willing to go the second mile.

I am grateful for the privilege I had of working with Lou, and I am saddened by his death.

Wanda Bailey

Wanda Bailey
8 years ago

Lou Sawyer was my chorus teacher when I first attended Bayside High School in 1964. He was a wonderful teacher and conveyed his enthusiasm for music to his students. He later became the choir director at Trinity Baptist Church, which was my home church at that time. His creativity and direction of the music uplifted both the services and the music specials. He stayed committed to the church during good and bad times.

When my father-in-law passed away in 2004, my mother-in-law, Mary Bailey, gave Lou a check for the help he provided with the services. He never cashed the check. That was the kind of person he was, always willing to go the second mile.

I am grateful for the privilege I had of working with Lou, and I am saddened by his death.

Wanda Bailey

The Sounds Of Joy
8 years ago

Lou was a great musician and an even greater man. The members of The Sounds Of Joy are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our brothers in the music community.

Our deepest condolences to his immediate family, extended family, and other members of his music family.

Ann Sawyer
8 years ago

Lou was an outstanding musician, choral director, base player,and teacher. The music profession has definitely been left with a huge void. My prayers and thoughts are with his family and friends.

Norma Bass
8 years ago

Lou was one of the greatest musicians that I have ever known. I will truly miss him at Monday night rehearsal time.He always sent us on our way with laughter in our hearts.

Joe M. DeBeasso
8 years ago

Lou will greatly be missed. I had the lucky opportunity to know him on many levels. As a music supervisor while I was in the Beach Public Schools music program, a professor while I attended Old Dominion, as a fraternity brother in Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Lou was one of the Charter members of my home chapter at ODU, as a director, and most importantly as a friend.

OASAAS LOU!!!

Joe M. DeBeasso

Board President

The New Sounds of Joy, Inc.

Former Vice President

Phi Mu Alpha – Iota Tau Chapter

Dr. Leroy Briggs
8 years ago

May God continue to bless Lou’s family, and always remember that Lou is now with our Heavenly Father, because the life that he lived, pleased and glorified God.

“God is Love”

Patricia
8 years ago

Mr. Sawyer was my choir director for 4 years @ Kempsville High School. I have followed him through my Mom who new him from the school board. When I think of that teacher that made a difference in my life, Mr. Sawyer would be that teacher. How wonderful that he shared his love of music with so many. I know he will be greatly missed by the community for the Arts in Virginia Beach. Please except my sympathy for your loss.

Patricia

Patti Hershberger Morrow
8 years ago

Mr. Sawyer was such an inspiration as a person and chorual teacher at KHS 1970-1973. Many, many, wonderful memories will live on forever in all of our lives that knew him. And to his family, my deepest condolence.

Beverly Kronenburg MPU
8 years ago

My thoughts are with you, Margaret, as you experience such a great loss and pray that God will give you the strength you need to endur this time of grief.

Ryan Ripperton, Executive Director, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity
8 years ago

On behalf of all of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, I write with deepest condolences on the passing of Lou Sawyer. As a charter member of our chapter at Old Dominion University, he helped to create a group that has seen almost 300 young men embark on a lifelong commitment to music and ideals of character. He will certainly be missed by all Sinfonians.

Mary Ann Malloy
8 years ago

On behalf of artistic director Ms Agnes Mobley-Wynne and all the members of Schola Cantorum, I would like to extend to the family and friends of Lou Sawyer our sympathy on his passing. Lou’s significant engagement in the local music scene over the years helped positively shape the futures of so many individuals and organizations! He will be sorely missed.

Mary Ann Malloy

President

Schola Cantorum

David L. Davis, Province Governor, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity
8 years ago

On behalf of Province 18 and all brothers of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity, please accept my condolences. Brother Sawyer was a founding member of Iota Tau chapter, and his legacy will live in the hearts of all musicians with whom he taught, performed, and influenced. We are all grateful for his gifts of music. Once a Sinfonian, Always a Sinfonian…

William Hunter
8 years ago

On behalf of SYMPHONICITY Chorus I would like to extend our collective sympathy on the passing of Lou Sawyer. He was a great musician and friend to all. The Tidewater choral community will miss him dearly but I am sure that he has found St. Cecilia at his new home and they are comparing notes on celestial choral performances.

William Hunter

Chorus Manager

Symphonicity Chorus

The Symphony Orchestra of Virginia Beach.

Mel Belcher
8 years ago

Peg,

So sorry to hear about Lou.

I wish I could make it to the service on Thursday, but I’m still in the hospital with this broken hip.

Much love,

Mel

Millie Donathan
8 years ago

Peg, Amanda & Randy

Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time with losing Lou to something higher then sometimes we can understand. He was a wonderful husband and father to Amanda and Randy. He will always be remembered. Millie & Bernie Donathan

Charles & Billie Riggs
8 years ago

Peg,Billie and I have been away and just learned tonight that Lou passed away last Thursday. We plan to attend the service tomorrow. The video is so well done. What an incredible person Lou is and will always be. Words cannot describe what it means to me to be counted among your friends these past nine years! My ministry at Trinity Baptist was rich and full because of Lou.

Love Charlie and Billie

Jody Smith-Dunn
8 years ago

Peggy, my entire family sends our love to you and your family. We are here to help you in any way that we can. May the peace of Jesus fill your heart to carry you through this. I love you.

Donna Corbet
8 years ago

So now we know who’s singing in the Choir of Angels ~ or is it conducting the Choir or Angels.

We have been touched and blessed by Lou’s love of music!

Best Wishes,

Donna and Todd Corbet

Wendy Young
8 years ago

Virginia Beach has lost one of its greatest musicians and promoters of the arts. Lou was an amazing man, and a wonderful friend. We are all blessed for having known him. Peg, Amanda, and Randy-we hold you in our hearts. We will miss him!

Wendy Young

Executive Director

Symphonicity-the Symphony Orchestra of Va. Beach

Burt and Bobbie Gilliam
8 years ago

We are so sorry to hear about your loss. Please know that we are keeping you in our prayers at this most difficult time.

Donna Dudley Dunleavy
8 years ago

Whenever I think of my high school years, Mr.Sawyer is the first teacher that comes to mind. He was my choral director at Kempsville High from 1966-71. I will always remember his infectious laugh and the twinkle in his eyes when he smiled. Not only did he share his knowledge and love of music with his students, he challenged us to do our very best in music and in life.

To his family, know that there are many who share in your loss. May God comfort you in the days ahead with the knowledge that he is singing with the angels, no longer in pain.

God Bless,

Donna Dudley Dunleavy

KHS Class of 1971