DECATUR CO., GA (WALB) - The Thanksgiving holiday is about reflecting on what we have and giving thanks to the blessings in our life.
For one South Georgia family, they will be without a family member this holiday season, but they said he left behind memories that are now being cherished and used to remember him.
WALB visited Norman Sawyer's farm in Decatur County many years ago for a feature story on his remarkable life and talents.
"Norman Sawyer served in World War II, he was sent to Italy," said Sawyer's grandson Joesph Whittington.
Norman Sawyer was what many described as a 'Jack of all trades'.
"He was a great man in every sense of the word. He was a very Christian man and tried to help everyone he could," explained Whittington.
Sawyer was a man who had many talents like singing, carving, farming, you name it, he did it.
"He was also an artist and liked to build things," said Whittington.
Luckily for WALB, we came across Sawyer in the early 2000's as part of WALB Joe Courson's 'On The Road'.
"My grandfather drew a picture of him," said Whittington.
Back in August, Sawyer passed away at 93 years old but his personality, uniqueness and lasting effect on every life he touched is still here.
"He was a true renaissance man, they don't make them like that anymore," said Whittington.
At 83 years old, Sawyer used an old irrigation pipe from his farm and made a cabin in his backyard. Sawyer told WALB it would probably be one of his last projects due to his age, although knowing his drive and creativeness, it wasn't.
"He loved to carve, he carved this alligator," said Whittington.
Sawyers grandson Joesph Whittington said after he passed they found old pictures from his time in the army that he never showed to anyone, tucked away in a drawer.
"It was like a voice from the past, just one last gift that he gave to us," Whittington explained.
And if you thought you heard some of the most interesting things in Sawyer's life, you might be wrong.
"He actually has 20 pet deer that he's had for probably about 40 years now. My Sister and brother-in-law take care of them now," said Whittington.
Whittington calls his grandfather the 'most interesting' man he's ever met, but when it came down to it, there was something Sawyer loved more than anything in the world. His family and his bride.
Sawyer's family said he and his wife of 70 years had a true love story, she passed away almost the same day he did, six years prior.
Norman Sawyer will surely never be forgotten for his service to our country, and his impact on the Decatur County community.
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