SOUTHWEST HARBOR and Sitka, Alaska
On Aug. 4, 2019, Agnes Sampson Sawyer, 93, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family and embarked on her next adventure on a Sunday morning, her favorite day of the week. She was born on Feb. 14, 1926, in Princeton, N.J., to Prof. Edward Sampson and Alfreda Cope Lewis of Philadelphia, Pa.
She grew up in Princeton, N.J., and spent her summers with her grandparents along the shore of Somes Sound, Northeast Harbor, a longstanding family tradition until the mid-’70s when she and Don moved permanently to Southwest Harbor. She graduated from Westover School in Middlebury, Conn., in 1944, and during her college years, she spent a summer in the hills of Kentucky as part of the Frontier Nursing Service, which was a formative experience for her. She attended Russell Sage College in Troy, N.Y., graduating in 1948 with a degree in sociology. That fall, she married Donald Lunn Appleby Sawyer and together they had five children. She worked as a nursery school teacher and certified nurse’s aide. The Episcopal Church was always an important part of her life and she was a longtime and well-loved member of Church of Our Father in Hulls Cove. She spent many years involved with a Christian healing ministry.
Aggie was always on the move, a brisk walk into town most days, hiking the mountains of Mount Desert Island, skiing, sailing, tennis, camping or working in the vegetable garden; you could even find her sledding down the hill with her grandchildren. She was a kind and loving soul with a generous spirit and she was happiest when she was helping and nurturing others. Aggie made all feel welcome and loved to express this with an invitation to tea at her cherished home, “May Place,” which would occasionally be accompanied by Uncle Frank’s gingerbread, a recipe she held close. She loved having her family about her; dinner with extended family often included animated discussions, or drawn-out tales of our colorful forebears. One of her common complaints was that family would continue to talk long after her bedtime, yet she couldn’t bear to leave and possibly miss a good story or shared laughter. Dogs were another big love and were constant companions in her life. She will be so happy to see Ferdy and Jemima again and her childhood terrier, Cary, who was known to occasionally bite the mailman. He is reported to have survived the encounter(s).
At the age of 90, her love of adventure was as strong as ever when she moved to Sitka, Alaska. In her final years, as communication became difficult, those around her, and even those meeting her for the first time, could feel her love and gentle spirit expressed through her eyes.
Aggie is survived by her five children; four daughters, Karen O’Brien and her husband, Bill, of Austin, Texas, Copey McEntee and her husband, Thomas, of Leesburg, Va., Mim McConnell and her husband, Mike, of Sitka, Alaska, and Anna Letaw and her husband, Jim, of Woodbine, Md.; son, Lunn Sawyer and his wife, Denise, of Southwest Harbor; 12 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband, Donald.
There will be a Mass of Christian burial held at 4 p.m., Monday, Sept. 30, at Church of Our Father, Hulls Cove, with a reception following at the church. In lieu of flowers, gifts in her memory may be made to Church of Our Father Outreach Committee, P.O. Box 186, Hulls Cove, ME 04644.