The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Death Notices

April 16, 2014

John Leslie Sayre

Published 4-16-14

ENID, Okla. — (March 28, 1924 – April 11, 2014)

John Leslie Sayre, loving husband, father and grandfather, minister, theological librarian, university librarian, seminary dean, tour director and gardener passed away on Friday, April 11, 2014, at Foxwood Springs Living Center, Raymore, Mo. John was born in Hannibal, Mo., to John L. Sayre Sr. and Clara Lucile Haden on March 28, 1924, and was raised in Norman, Okla.

John graduated from University High School in Norman in 1942. He studied one year at the University of Oklahoma and transferred to Phillips University (Enid, Okla.) where he graduated in 1946, with a BA in religion.

John was ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in 1946. In 1947, he entered Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Conn., and graduated with his Master of Divinity in 1950.

On June 18, 1948, John and Herwanna L. Harrouff of Lawton, Okl., were married at University Place Christian Church, Enid, Okla.

From 1950-1957, John served as campus minister for the Christian Church in Stillwater, Okla., where all four children were born.

In 1957, John moved to Austin, Texas, to become campus minister at University Christian Church.

In 1962, John was called to be the seminary librarian at Phillips Graduate Seminary in Enid, Okla. He received the Master of Library Science Degree in 1963. Ten years later, in 1973, the Ph.D. in Library Science from the University of Texas. In 1971, he was promoted to the position of university librarian for Phillips University, overseeing both the Graduate Seminary Library and Zollars Memorial Library. In 1987, John was appointed dean of the seminary, in addition to his duties as seminary librarian.

John retired from Phillips Theological Seminary in September 1989, and he and his wife moved to Foxwood Springs Living Center in Raymore, Mo., where they started Sayre Tours. He served as Volunteer Director of Special Activities at Foxwood for many years.

John and Herwanna devoted themselves to sharing the joys of attending cultural events, traveling the world with others, organizing and directing tours, especially to Scandinavia. In 1985, John was officially recognized as an honorary citizen of the city of Mullsjö, Sweden, in recognition of this special relationship with its community.

John is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Herwanna L. Sayre of Raymore, Mo.; four children, Barbara A. (Don) Hutchins of McLean, Va., John Richard Sayre (Mary Phillips) of Galesburg, Ill., Alan D. Sayre (Linda Record) and Melody L. (Roy) Hildebrand of Enid, Okla.; five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.  Grandchildren: Constance (Sean) Gallagher, Enid, Okla., Jeremy (Jennifer) Hildebrand, Enid, Okla., John Aaron (Ali) Sayre, Louisville, Ky., Chris Hutchins (Amy Fox), San Francisco, Calif., and Allison Hutchins, McLean, Va.; great-grandchildren: Grant and Evan Gallagher, Enid, Okla., Taylor and Jax Hildebrand, Enid, Okla., and Hazel Laura Sayre, Louisville, Ky.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Robert Haden Sayre; and his sister, Clara Ruth Sayre.

A memorial service will be 10 a.m. Saturday, April 19, 2014, at Raymore Christian Church, 500 Peace Drive, Raymore, MO 64083. A memorial service primarily for the residents of Foxwood Springs Retirement Community will be 10 a.m. Thursday, April 17, at Bromwell Lounge. Arrangements are by Mt. Moriah & Freeman Funeral Home, Kansas City, Mo.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Raymore Christian Church or to the Fellowship of John, P.O. Box 701, Raymore, MO 64083.

(Submitted by family)


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