Thomas James Sawyer, age 76, passed away peacefully on Friday, October 1, 2021 in Clear Lake, Texas.
He was preceded in death by his parents, T.A. and Barbara Josephine McNutt Sawyer, and his brother Eddie Gene Sawyer. Tom is survived by his loving wife, Doris of Friendswood, Texas; daughters, Julie Gault (Marc) of The Woodlands, Texas, and Kimberly Vaughn (Bruce), of Pearland, Texas. He also leaves behind granddaughters Sara Katherine Marko of Los Angeles, California; Emily Madeleine Marko of Tulsa, Oklahoma; Amanda Marie Vaughn of Pearland, Texas; Maddie Gault of Waco, Texas, and Ella Gault of Fort Worth, Texas. Tom also leaves one grandson, Cade Marko, of Lubbock, Texas and a host of family and friends to cherish his memory.
Born on December 18, 1944 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Tom is lovingly remembered as a brilliant singer, fierce fish frightener, incredible cook, and a charming, funny storyteller. He is also remembered as a loving, supportive father and PaPa who loved attending his grand children’s events. He was very proud of their accomplishments and called each grandchild several times per week. Everyone will miss his fried fish and cornbread dressing.
A long-time resident of Friendswood, Tom graduated from Galena Park High School and attended North Texas State University. While at North Texas, Tom majored in vocal performance and studied opera. He was a member of the 1964 A Capella Choir, under the direction of Professor Frank McKinley, who Tom counted as an early mentor and friend. In 1964 the choir was selected by the U.S. State Department’s Cultural Presentations Program to represent the United States with concert performances in Portugal, Spain, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Luxembourg, Belgium and Switzerland.
As an incredibly talented baritone, Tom sang many of the solos in the choir pieces they performed. Upon returning to the United States, the choir performed at the World’s Fair in New York City. He was awarded the New York Metropolitan Opera National Council scholarship in 1964 and the opportunity to become a member of the world-renowned Vienna State Opera in Vienna, Austria.
However, life had other plans, and Tom transferred to Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas to obtain his Bachelor’s and Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He spent his career in the oil and gas industry and traveled internationally consulting and building many different projects. Tom was blessed to have many friends around the world. He also continued to sing in church throughout the years and was very proud that his grandson Cade continued his Red Raider legacy.
Services for Tom will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, October 7, 2021 at University Baptist Church (Chapel) in Clear Lake, Texas.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations in Tom’s name to the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation at myasthenia.org.