Barbara J. Sawyer, 72: Beloved nursing assistant with thousands of children
SCARBOROUGH — Barbara J. Sawyer, 72, of Scarborough, died peacefully of end-stage liver disease at her home on March 18, her birthday.
Sawyer was born in 1941 at Mercy Hospital in Portland, to Edward Knight Bayley and Bertha Leslie (McDonald) Bayley. She grew up in the Pine Point area, working in the family business, Bayley’s Lobster Pound. She attended Scarborough High School.
She married David W. Sawyer of Scarborough Feb. 14, 1958, and they settled on Sawyer Road. She later raised five children on her own.
After working in local manufacturing, Sawyer furthered her education and became a certified nursing assistant. She then served for over 25 years in Maine Medical Center's maternity ward.
She was known for saying that she had thousands of babies. She was a favorite of first-time mothers, and returning moms would ask for her by name. Years later, mothers would still recognize Sawyer and were always eager to show "Nurse Barb” how her child had grown.
Sawyer's lifelong special joy was children – and the smaller, the better. They thrived in her care, and she was known to all. She was "Mama Sawyer" to neighbors, "Aunt Barbara" to the Sawyers of Sawyer Road, and most of the Bayleys of Pine Point simply knew her as "Barb." Her nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren called her "Gee," a moniker her first grandchild Amanda created by trying to pronounce "grammy."
To everyone she was known as a source of respect and boundless love. Her home was always open to family, friends and neighbors.
Sawyer is survived by her children, David Sawyer of Arnold, Md., Dianne L. Woodruff of Loxahatchee, Fla., Darlene L. Nason of Old Orchard Beach, Matthew T. Sawyer of Bucksport, and Michael A. Sawyer, who lived with his mother until her passing. Also mourning Sawyer is her brother, William Knight Bayley, and her sister, Beverly Bayley-Smith.
Sawyer is predeceased by her parents and her brother, Robert Edward Bayley.
Funeral services were held March 22 at the Blue Point Church in Scarborough. For those desiring to donate to a charity in remembrance of Sawyer, please consider the Morrison Center, which supports the development of children and adults with special needs. Donations may be sent to the Morrison Center, 60 Chamberlain Road, P.O. Box 1539, Scarborough, ME 04070-1539, or call 207-883-6680.