BANGOR – Winona (Cole) Sawyer passed away peacefully the morning of Friday, March 8, 2013, at a Bangor Hospital. She was born Dec. 19, 1920, in Enfield the daughter of Amy Stone Cole and Albert J. Cole, a well-known local businessman.
Winona lived in Bangor during her school years, and graduated from Bangor High School, class of 1938; Oak Grove School for girls, 1939; and the University of Maine, class of 1943. She taught school in Bangor, Alexandria, Va., and substitute taught for many years at Bangor junior high schools. Home economics for boys in Bangor were never to be the same after her classes. Winona was a member of First United Methodist Church, Bangor, where she taught Sunday school for 50 years, United Methodist Women, and Bethany Circle. She was a charter member and former member of PATAWA Club; President of the University of Maine Women of Southern Penobscot County; and a recipient of Black Bear Award for dedication to the University of Maine by the Alumni Association. Her happiness in life was fulfilling the needs of others. Winona and Wally wintered in Ormond Beach, Fla., for many years where she was an active member of Ormond Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, a volunteer and chair of the hospital’s Pinkadilly Thrift Shop where she earned a 5,000 volunteer hour medallion, and was a member of Winning Women of Florida for over twenty years. The Polaroid Corporation stock values will surely plunge with Winona’s passing since she was an avid consumer of their instant cameras and film, to the joy of absolute strangers wherever she traveled, and the embarrassment of her immediate family. Winona observed, “God blessed me with wonderful parents, faith, a healthy body and spirit; and thanks to my husband of all these years and my son, for adding so much to my life” and was fond of stating, “Keep on keeping on!”
She was predeceased by her husband of 68 years, Wally; brothers, Gerald Cole of Portland and Chesley Cole of Bangor; and sister, Jackie Cole Wakefield of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Winona is survived by her son, W. Tom and daughter-in-law, Bonnie (Prince) Sawyer, of Richmond Hill, Ga.; granddaughters, Shannon Sawyer of Leesburg, Fla., and Patricia Sawyer Bauer; great-grandchildren, Jonas, Roark and Maren Bauer, all of Naples, Fla.; siblings, Dorothy Cole Warren and Galen Cole, both of Bangor and Vaughn Cole of Ormond Beach, Fla.
A celebration of Winona’s life will be held 9-11 a.m. Saturday, July 20, at the Family Reception Center of Brookings-Smith, 163 Center St., Bangor with internment at the family’s cemetery plot in Enfield. She will be buried alongside her loving husband and several family members that afternoon, immediately after a typically large family get together over lunch. Memorial gifts in Winona’s memory may be sent to First United Methodist Church, 703 Essex St., Bangor, Maine 04401. Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.BrookingsSmith.com.