Charlene J. (Parsons) Sawyer passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 15, 2013 in her home at The Samarkand in Santa Barbara CA at the age of 83. Charlene is lovingly remembered by her children Troy Harris of Santa Barbara, Tina Osenga of Littleton CO, and Keith Harris of Ojai Valley CA; grandchildren Jessica Sneed of San Jose CA, Brandi Harris of Austin TX, Kimberlee Osenga of Manhattan KS, Jeremy Osenga of Lakewood CO, Kristen Nix of Oklahoma City OK, and Austin Harris of Seattle WA; great-grandchildren Brendon, Fiona, Jagger, Jonathan and Juliana; her brother Roy Parsons Jr. of New-port Coast, CA; and nieces and nephews Andrea, Lucinda, Joel, Royson and Bruce. Charlene is predeceased by her husband Irvin T. Sawyer of Costa Mesa CA, her parents Mildred R. and Roy A. Parsons Sr. of Richvale CA, her brother Mervyn Parsons of Chico and her first-born child Kenneth Allen Harris.
Charlene was born in Gridley, CA on July 30, 1929. She graduated from Biggs High School in 1947 and went on to earn a Certificate in Christian Education from Bible Institute of Los Angles (BIOLA) in 1950 and an Associate of Arts in Music from De Anza College in 1971. Her primary job was that of a homemaker although she held various positions in churches and at Mount Hermon Christian Conference Center throughout her life. Charlene enjoyed singing in choirs, playing piano, and traveling extensively across the globe, often to visit missionaries. During her 11 years living at The Samarkand she joyfully interacted with other residents and staff, played Beanie Baby Bingo, refused to pass a jigsaw puzzle without placing at least one piece, enjoyed playing board games, and discovered her surprising talent doing watercolor paintings.
A family graveside service was held at Gridley-Biggs Cemetery on Monday, July 8, 2013 with her son-in-law Bob Osenga officiating.
A casual celebration remembering Charlene’s life will be held at The Samarkand Chapel in Santa Barbara, CA on July 27, 2013 at 3:00pm. Light refreshments at the poolside pavilion will follow. Those who would like to bless Charlene’s family by sharing memories of your times with her can do so by emailing them to Farewell.Charlene@gmail.com.
In lieu of flowers, a Charlene Sawyer Memorial fund has been established to support the Culture Meets Scripture Workshops of Jo Shetler, a Wycliffe missionary Charlene supported for over 60 years. Memorial donations may be sent to:
Wycliffe Bible Translators (or simply “WBT”)
PO Box 628200
Orlando FL 32862-8200
(Please write “Charlene Sawyer Memorial” on the check.)