William Sawtelle liked beagles. He liked homemade bread and crab soup. He liked his clocks manual, his sports cars British, and his pulled pork with vinegar. In this world of chaos and choice, Bill walked a straight, steady line. Head not raised high in overly pointed pride, head not turned low in fear or shame, but face forward, eyes straight ahead, steadfast in his march.
Even as a child in the woods of Wisconsin, Bill followed through. The same audacity that brought him to raise a great horned owl as a boy in those woods, also brought him to MiT and to the Navy. With the mind of a nuclear physicist and the courage of a sailor, Bill had the uncanny knack of having dreams that were at the same time, simple and bold. He enjoyed a well-made sports car and never said no to sailing, but these pleasures were never pretentious, rather about the adventure of movement and beauty of craftsmanship. Whether his adventures be on land or sea, he approached them generously and quietly. It is in this manner that he loved. His love was simple and strong, fearless and dedicated.
And it is in this way that he left us, early on the morning of March 21st 2018. He passed in peace in the hospital, calmly, without struggle, entering into the next step of the lineage of being. Though he leaves behind his wife Karen, his two sisters Ronna and Sally, his two children Cherie and Steve, four grandchildren, and two great grandchildren, the certainty in which he passed from one form of being into the next, reassures us that his presence will be continually felt, and that, in death, just as in life, Bill knows exactly what he is doing.
A Memorial service will be held Saturday March 24, 2018 at 4 PM at Baker-Foster Funeral Home 5685 Lee Farm Ln. Suffolk, VA 23435. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be offered to the Suffolk Humane Society, 412 Kings Fork Rd., Suffolk, VA. Condolences may be offered below.
Baker-Foster Funeral Home
5685 Lee Farm Lane
Suffolk, VA 23435