The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK


December 11, 2012

Modena G. Sawyer

Published 12-11-12

ENID, Okla. — Funeral service for Modena Sawyer, 95, will be 10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012, at Anderson-Burris Funeral Home Chapel, with Rev. Kim Giles and Pastor Susan Waters officiating. Burial will be 1 p.m. in Auburn Cemetery, southwest of Cherokee. The cemetery is on land settled by her husband’s relatives, who had come from Auburn, Ky.

Modena was born June 13, 1917, in Caddo County, near Eakly, to Ray H. and Viola (McCully) Rexroat and died Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012.

Modena graduated from Kingfisher High School in 1935, and married Dennis H. Sawyer in 1936.

They lived all of their married life in Enid, except from 1960 until 1965, when they lived in El Dorado, Kan., and she worked at Pond Jewelry Store.

During the 40s, Modena worked at Randall Hatchery, Vance AFB Restaurant, and beginning in 1965, she worked at C.R. Anthony’s for 35 years. She continued with their successor, Stage Stores, until they closed the Enid store in 2000. She later worked part-time at the downtown Enid Hallmark Store.

Modena was a longtime member of Bethany United Methodist Church, where she held offices in the Crusader’s Sunday School Class and the Alice Miller Circle. At age 87, she felt called to put out a monthly church newsletter.

When her children were young, she was a Girl Scout leader and along with her husband, helped her son achieve the Eagle Scout Award. The family enjoyed fishing, camping and traveling.

At age 77, she took her third trip to Hawaii and took her 79-year-old sister with her.  

She was interested in genealogy and did much research of both the Sawyer family and the Rexroat family. She loved reunions and hardly ever missed the annual Rexroat reunion or annual Kingfisher Alumni reunions.

In 1998, she helped bring four orphaned siblings together in a reunion after they had been separated for more than 67 years. Modena had been their babysitter when she was 12-13. One of her latest projects was gathering used Christmas cards and sending over 22,100  to the St. Jude’s Ranch for children in Nevada. She will  be remembered for being a caregiver to her friend, Goldie Louise Green, until her death in 1999.

Survivors are her son, Gene Sawyer and wife Dorothy of Sand Springs; two granddaughters, Lori Rotramel of Sand Springs, and Cori Moore and husband Adam of Pennsacola, Fla.; great-grandchildren, Logan Rotramel of Sand Springs, and Autumn Moore of Pennsacola, Fla.; sister, Ruby Bomhoff of Oklahoma City; and many other relatives and friends.  

She was preceded in death by her husband in 1988; her son in-law, Major Richard Cali in 1981; her daughter, Janet Cali in 2005; great-granddaughter, Cassidy Rotramel in 2010; her brother, Vernie Rexroat; and sisters, Goldie Raines, Mary Randall, and two sisters who died in infancy.

Memorials may be made to Bethany Methodist Church.

Condolences online at

(Submitted by family)


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