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William “Buzz” Joseph Sawyer Jr. , 90, of Williamsport, MD, passed away, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, at the Williamsport Nursing Home.
Born Wednesday, May 16, 1928 in Whitakers, NC, he was the son of the late Willie and Effie (Hamill) Sawyer.
Buzz graduated from Granby High School, NC in 1946. He received his B.S. in mechanical engineering from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC, where he was the captain of the track and field team. In 1959 Buzz was asked to represent the United States as a member of the U.S. Track and Field team, running races in Istanbul Turkey, Iran and India. He served with the U.S. Air Force for three years. He was employed with Fairchild Aircraft, Pangborn and Mack Trucks, retiring in 1987. He also worked part time for the Hagerstown Herald Mail Newspaper as a sports writer, covering football, basketball, track and other related sports. He was the founder of the Cumberland Valley Athletic Club and the JFK 50 Mile Race, the oldest ultra marathon in U.S. history. He was inducted into the Washington County Sports Hall of Fame and into Granby High School Sports Fall of Fame. In March 1963, Buzz and 10 others embarked on the JFK 50 mile race and finished it in 13 hours and 10 minutes. He was also a member and ran for the Baltimore Olympic Club. Buzz was an avid Baltimore Orioles fan and a friend of Cal Ripken Jr. and his family.
He is survived by his four cousins, Vivian Williams Warren (John) of Rocky Mount, NC, Tom Williams, Jr. (Becky) of St. Augustine, FL, Ralph Williams (Susan) of Greenville, SC, and David Williams (Jackie) of Wake Forest, NC.
Buzz will be buried with his parents at Battleboro Cemetery, NC with a private graveside service. A Celebration of Life service will be announced at a later date.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Douglas A. Fiery Funeral Home, 1331 Eastern Blvd. North, Hagerstown, MD.