Dr. Richard L. Sayer Sr., 81, of Jansen Avenue, Johnstown, died Sunday evening, June 30, 2013, at home with family at his side.
He was born on February 5, 1932, in Ogdensburg, a son of Percy and Lillian Tuites Sayer, and he was a 1949 graduate of DeKalb High School. In 1953 Dick received a B.S. in psychology from St. Lawrence University, and in 1974 earned his Master’s in social work from Syracuse University. He was awarded his Doctorate in social service in 1979 from Northwestern College in Tulsa, Okla. Dr. Sayer was commissioned as a Lay Pastor in 1989 from the Auburn Seminary, Presbytery of Northern New York in Potsdam and in 1997 was the first to be commissioned in the Presbytery of Plains and Peaks in Greely, Colo.
Dr. Sayer was a social worker, dealing mainly with children, and thoroughly enjoyed every position that he held throughout his career. He retired in 1989 as the Executive Director of the Children’s Home of Jefferson County in Watertown, N.Y.
Dick was a 60 year member of the Free & Accepted Masons and was raised in Herman Lodge No. 500 F & AM, in May 1953, and installed as Master in January 1959. He was most recently associated with the St. Patrick’s Lodge No. 4, F & AM in Johnstown.
Dick was a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Johnstown.
In his younger years, he was an avid hunter, fisherman, and enjoyed trap and skeet shooting. Dick was interested in photography and the computer. His greatest pleasure was spending time with his cherished family and close friends.
He was married to Gladys M. Colton on June 27, 1953. She died on July 12, 2004. In addition to his first wife, he was predeceased by a grandson, Benjamin A. Johnson, who died November 1, 2010.
Survivors include his wife, Joan Van Derwerken Kumpitsch Sayer, whom he married on December 29, 2007; three sons, Richard L. Sayer Jr. (Lisa) of Ketchikan, Alaska, Colin M. Sayer (Cheryl) of Morristown, N.Y., and Barry G. Sayer (Alane) of Mercersburg, Pa.; a daughter, Kathy Johnson (Larry) of Fultonville, N.Y.; a brother, James P. Sayer of Canton, N.Y.; two stepsons, Robert Kumpitsch (Georgetta) of Johnstown, and Richard Kumpitsch (Deborah) of Marietta, Ga.; four grandchildren; four stepgrandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Funeral services will be held on Friday at 1 p.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 28 South Market Street, Johnstown, with Father William D. Small, officiating. Burial will take place on Saturday at 10 a.m. at the New Cedar Grove Cemetery, Chaumont. Calling hours will be held on Wednesday from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Robert M. Halgas Funeral Home Inc., 111 County Highway 106 (Corner of Route 29 and Black Street) Johnstown. Memorial contributions may be made to the Shriners Hospital or to St. John’s Handicapped Renovation Project, both in care of the funeral home.