It’s All Over

My beautiful husband, Patrick John Sawyer, is gone.  His heart simply gave out around 2:30 a.m.

My heart…

My kids…


This Post Has 452 Comments

  1. amandahansen

    Sawyer family,
    Our deepest condolences on the loss of such a wonderful person. Please know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.
    Amanda Hansen and family

  2. hpscott

    I can hardly believe it. I was worried, but believed deep down that I’d see his Raleigh at the Northside Hall (IUSB) bike rack in no time.

    My deepest sympathies to Nancy, the children and Pat’s awesomely supportive family.



  3. carolann19

    My deepest sympathies go out to you Nancy, your beautiful children and your family. Patrick truely loved and cherrished life. He will be greatly missed but thought of and spoken of often.

  4. david

    Nancy (& Kids)

    (Reader From California)

    I am deeply sorry to hear of his passing. I kept up with the news, and the past couple of days from the Patrick Sawyer website. My thoughts and prayers are with the Sawyer Family. Especially Nancy & The Kids!

  5. kristin Hendrix

    I am so saddened to hear this news, I think we all had the deepest hope for a full recovery. My deepest and most heart felt condolences, your family will remain in our prayers. You will make it through this, you will be ok. I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s a loss alot of people are going to feel, it’s a loss to our community. God bless you.

  6. memooney

    I’m so sorry to hear this news. We will continue to hold all of you in our thoughts and prayers.

  7. Deb Baker

    I am truly sorry for your loss. Please know that you and yours are in my family’s thoughts and most sincere prayers. God is sad for your loss as well.

    Deb B.



  9. agoulet

    Pat was one of the best men I’ve known: strong, clear, loving, conscientious, gentle, funny, curious. I can’t imagine or comprehend this news. Nancy I have admired what you and Pat built together for so long — a wonderful purposeful marriage and an amazing family life based on shared values and principles. The loss is immense — and we can only know a fraction of it as his friends. We also know that Pat’s strength and love will persist and remain in everything and everyone around you and that is a testament to what an incredible person he is and was. We are thinking of you every minute and we share in the shock and sadness at what has happened to such a valued and good and honorable man.
    Jed Esty

  10. lari johnston

    Dear, dear Nancy and kids,
    We are so saddened to hear of Pat’s passing. Please know you are in all of our thoughts.
    With much love and respect,
    Lari, Jim, Jack, Katie & Ruthie Johnston

  11. Erin Swoboda

    To the Sawyer family. You do not know me, but I am a good friend of Pat’s brother Tim. After news of the accident, my family and I have put all of you in our thoughts. I now have had a brief glimpse into the world of what you have been experiencing over the past days…Please know that you and your children are in our thoughts as you cope with your loss.
    Sincerely, the Swoboda family.

  12. Guy and Sonja

    Nancy and Kids,

    We are deeply saddened and shocked by your loss. We expected Pat to pull through and paddle with us again. On our recent trip to MA with Pat we observed how involved he was with his children. We could tell his children meant alot to him. He was a great father!

    Your family will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.

    Guy and Sonja Gilman

  13. proudmamanwife

    From Patrick, Christina and Madison, Lyndsey and Jillian our thoughts are with your family. God be with you in a such time of need. If you need anything we are here for you .
    The Halls’

  14. Joseph Harmon

    Nancy, Children, and Sawyer & Fink Families, We are so sorry to hear of Patrick’s death early this morning. We have been keeping him and all of you in our prayers since we heard about the accident. Please know of our sincere and heartfelt sympathy. He would have made a terrific nurse with his determination, care, and compassion. May his kind and gentle soul rest in peace. — Joe, Julie, Christian, Oliver, John, and Lucy Harmon

  15. dmcmille

    We are greatly saddened by your loss. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers. Please accept our deepest sympathies. Kathy and Doug McMillen

  16. Angel Konkey

    There are just no words . . . May you find peace and comfort in each others’ love and in Pat’s memory and legacy.
    The Konkey Family (Friends of the Mary Meck Family)
    David, Angel, Christina, Matthew, Nicole, Sarah, & Mia

  17. j.agostino

    Dear Nancy, Danny, Joey, Tommy, Laura and extended Family,

    I have been praying for Patrick and your family since hearing about the accident on the news. I am so sad to hear that Patrick is gone. My deepest condolences and sincerest prayers that God will see you through this and help you know why this was his plan. Be sad and grieve now, but I hope in time you come to know that it is not really all over. It is the beginning of reaping what you and Patrick have sown in a life together; Family, Faith, Adventure, Love and much more that is most wonderfully obvious for us all to see. You will most definitely endure… Love always endures.

    With Love, Prayers and Deepest Sympathy,
    Jessie and Kristin

  18. Paul_Jenny

    Nancy and family,
    I am so sorry about Pat. I have no words of wisdom only words of sorrow. Pat was a good friend. He spoke highly about his family. It was obvious that his greatest achievement in life was his family. A day never went by that he did not talk about a member of his family. Pat was a great man. He will be missed each and every day. You and your family are in our prayers. If Jenny and I can do anything for you, please call.

    Peace and respect,
    Paul and Jenny

  19. CathyB


    I just found out about Patrick’s accident – and I am truly saddened by this news. My heart goes out to you and your beautiful children.

    I’m not sure what to say except that I am sending you as much love and energy as possible for the strength to endure this moment – and to continue on. And you will, even though it may not feel like it right now.

    I know Patrick loved you all so much – and you all loved him in return. That love is always there – Always.

    With many hugs,
    Cathy Brockway (Nashville) – formerly of Mishawaka

  20. Tre

    We don’t know why
    They are taken from us
    Only the Lord knows
    And in Him we must trust

    When your days are finished
    You will see them once again
    The Lord will bring you together
    Knowing this, will diminish your pain

    May all your cherished memories
    Help you through this time
    Your love will never die
    Keep this thought in mind.

    Uncle Pat,
    I love you. Your kindeness, compassion, and all that you given us through love will be cherished.

    Nancy & Kids,
    My prayers and thoughts are with you always. I’m always here for you.
    Love Tracy

  21. Javier Comelli

    My deepest condolences on the loss of Pat such a great paddler. To me, this is hard to believe…

    My prayers to the family,
    Javier Comelli

  22. Patrick Mayette

    Dear Nancy, Danny, Joey, Tommy, and Laura:

    My prayers and thoughts are with all of you during this most difficult time. Patrick will always be alive in your hearts and will be waiting for you in Heaven. Living here in Italy has put me a little out of touch, but I am extending my most heartfelt sympathies and a long distance hug for each of you. I will offer up a rosary for Patrick, each of you and your extended family that God may grant you special blessings during this most difficult time. Remember, it is not good-bye; rather it is until we meet again in God’s presence. If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know.

    Peace and Love,

    Patrick Mayette

  23. MichianaWoof

    Sawyer Family,
    I am so incredibly sad to hear of the passing of Patrick. I am praying for all of you. I know this is an incredibly hard time. All I know is that God must have great plans for him up in heaven. It’s not goodbye, it is see you soon.

  24. loridelascio

    Oh Nancy.
    My heart pours out to you and your children. May you feel God’s loving arms wrapped around you at this time.
    Love, cousin Lori DeLascio

  25. jordan

    Please accept our sincerest condolences.
    Matt & Stacy

  26. jamccabe

    Nancy and kids,

    We are truly sorry for your loss. I don’t think we can even begin to comprehend what you and your family must be going through.

    This only goes to show how short life can be for anyone of us. There is a lesson for all of us in this tragedy. Enjoy life, hug and kiss your spouse as often as you can, and tell your kids you love them every day. Don’t take life for granted. Life is just too short, even if you live for 100 years.

    We are praying for you and your family,
    Jon, Monica, Michael, Alex and Ben McCabe

  27. Tim Primrose

    Nancy, Danny, Joey, Tommy, and Laura:

    I am so sorry. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. We at school have lost a great classmate, colleague and mostly a great friend.

  28. ahenkelm

    Nancy and family-

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Pat was well known in the IUSB community. He was always upbeat and full of life. He will be deeply missed. I am very lucky to have been able to know him and work with him. You are in my thoughts and you have my deepest sympathy.

  29. Carl Greci

    Dear Nancy and Chidren,
    We are very saddened by your beloved Pat’s passing. Our hearts and prayers go out to you. May God sustain you during this difficult time. May Pat’s memory be cherished always by those who love him.

    With our deepest sympathy and prayers,
    Carl, Vivian, Mark, and Timmy Greci (YMCA Stingrays)

  30. diana

    My name is Diana Ford my husband is Phil..a childhood friend of Pat and Dan…although I have never met heart goes out to all his friends and family, I’ve heard so many stories of them all growing up together. There are no words that can ease the pain of this horrific situation. Please know that our prayers are with his wife and his children as well as the rest of his family.

    God Bless,
    Diana Ford

  31. Mary Jo Thomas

    Dear Nancy and Children,

    My thoughts and prayers go out to you during this very sad and difficult time. Know that you have lots of love surrounding you now and always.

    May God Bless You All.

    Mary Jo Kloska Thomas and Family

  32. Lisa and Derek

    My heart aches for you, Nancy, and for your children. My prayers and thoughts are with you now, and through the tough road you face ahead. I loved the marathon analogy you used in your blog. This is a new marathon, now. I know Patrick will be with you in spirit through this journey. Pace yourself, and let the Lord carry you when you need rest.

    Your cousin,

    P.S. My mom is here, and wants you to know she sends her love and prayers, too. We are hear for you, and are willing to help in any way.

  33. Don Poole

    I didn’t know Pat But My heart grieves for you all. I can not comprehend your loss. My prayer is that God will send comfort and rest your way in the coming days.
    Don Poole and Family

  34. boldyns

    How??? We are so sorry for your loss Nancy. There are no words to comfort you…you are in our thoughts and prayers. The Boldyn Family (Joe and Sarahs’ Neighbors)

  35. Susan

    Nancy, kids, and family,
    My deepest sympathies goes out to all of you. With all my heart I expected him to pull through. He was such a great guy, I will definitely miss him, and he will certainly always be a part of the accelerated group. My thoughts and constant prayers are with all of you. If there is anything that I can ever do, let me know.

  36. Paul Taylor

    What a sad day this is. I never knew the man: I wish I had.

  37. Toni Richardson

    Nancy & family,

    I am deeply saddened to hear of the loss of your husband My grandson had such a wonderful time with Patrick during the kayaking sessions at the HECF InHome Conference in March. May the presence of God’s Holy Spirit comfort, keep and sustain you during this difficult journey.
    Toni Richardson-HECF Vendor Registrar

  38. hollyreynolds

    Dear Sawyer Family,

    My thoughts and prayers are with you, I know that no words can help you right now, I tragically lost my father very recently and I know that the world just doesn’t seem to be working properly right now, its just not fair that such great people have to be taken from us. Pat will be missed deeply in the paddling community.


  39. Jean

    Dear Sawyer family,

    I want you to know that my prayers and thoughts are with you. Patrick was a classmate of mine, and was an exceptional human being. I am so sorry for your loss. He will be incredibly missed, and my heart goes out to your family.


  40. Tina Sawyer

    Nancy and Family,

    My deepest heartfelt sympathies go out to you and the kids. I know that words cannot help you right now; but please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your children. Reading all of these comments, it is ever so apparent to me that Patrick touched the lives of so many. He was well-loved and well-respected by everyone that knew him. I feel very blessed to have been on of the people that knew him and could call him family. I cannot fathom your pain and your loss. My heart aches for you. I pray that God gives you the strength you need to get through this terrible time. Walk your path one step at a time – with courage, faith, and determination. In time, your steps will become firm and your footing will be solid again. Keep believing in yourself and know that you are loved by so many. Patrick will be deeply missed.
    Tina Sawyer

  41. KJE

    The impact of Patrick’s accident and your family’s subsequent struggle has rippled a great distance. I am a co-worker of a friend yet my family has been feeling your struggle. You have been gracious and courageous to share your updates with us.

    I hope Patrick’s life and loss inspires others as it has me to adovcate for genuine bicycle safety in roadway design. I realize this small thing pales in comparison to your family’s grief and the large space he’s left behind for you all. But for the rest of us who may be able to influence the way roads are designed, we owe it to you and Patrick to not forget what you have had to go through.

    May God comfort you. You live among people who genuinely care and wish to help you find your way through this sad chapter.

  42. goran

    Pat was one of the most wonderful human beings I ever met or will ever meet in my life. I cannot believe that he is gone.
    May all of God’s Love be with you and your family.
    Goran Gavran

  43. Maureen Malone

    Dear Nancy, Kids and Fink Family,

    I just got on the blog for the first time to see how Pat was doing when I read “It’s All Over”. It didn’t even click with me that it meant Pat was gone.l It never dawned on me that he wouldn’t pull through this.

    I only met Pat a couple of times but have known the Fink Family forever. It’s obvious that he touched many lives. My thoughts and prayers will continue to be with all of you during this difficult time.

    Maureen (Brunett) Malone

  44. Sue Anderson

    I was stunned to learn of Pat’s death. The words don’t seem to be enough, but please accept my heartfelt sympathy. In my class he was relentless in his search for knowledge. Please know that he will be missed by his faculty and colleagues at IU South Bend.


  45. Deb Marr

    To the Entire Sawyer Family,

    We were so sorry to hear about Pat’s death – how devastating for such a sudden loss. We are thinking of you.

    Best wishes,
    Deb Marr and Jim McLister

  46. khillmel

    Dear Nancy & family ~

    I cannot believe this! The news hit me in-the-gut! I was waiting to get the ‘right’ address from your mom, Nancy, to get ‘in here’ . . . .

    . . . . may your Spirits be lifted Up with your dearest husband, father, family member ~

    I’m happy to have been there w/you for a moment-in-time @ the hospital yesterday. Pat WILL be w/ you Always ~

  47. abelhastings

    Wow. I can’t believe this news. I’m shocked. What a special person. What a loss. I’m thinking back to the first day we met you both in New York. We knew you were both so fantastic. To see him in our tee-shirt from our first race reminds me of what kind of person he was – one that would drive 500 miles to help a friend he just met. I feel so lucky to have known him. Our hearts go out to you. -Jen and Abel


    Dear Nancy & Family:

    When the faculty told me about Patrick’s accident
    here at IUSB on our floor, I knew — I would be over at the Grotto that evening at Notre Dame, offering up the rosary for my friend Patrick and his family. We had shared many conversations over the last several months in the labs, or he — would stop at my office.

    Please know that many rosaries were said that
    day at the Grotto. He use to say to me: “Say a prayer
    for me Shirl….” He is home with Our Lord now.

    Shirl – Secretary IUSB

  49. Karen Dudas


    The last time we saw your family was a great pleasure, yet a big surprise. Duane and I were sitting in a restuarant in Indian River, MI and I looked to the parking lot only to see our friends from Indiana packing up their van. As one would expect, you were in town for a paddling event – one, I believe you and Pat were personally hosting. Although brief, that encounter, along with a handful of other times we’ve had the pleasure to spend with Pat, I learned a few things. Firstly, Pat had passion. Obvious passion for his family and physical activity. Secondly, Pat had strength, both physically and mentally. Thirdly, Pat had endurance; be it in a race or the drive to finish nursing school. Most importantly, though, Pat passed all of that on to you. Although, this will be the hardest possible time in your life, Pat has given you the tools to go on. He will be dearly missed, but it’s comforting to know that with his gifts and the support of your family, you will make it through this. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.


  50. Amy M.

    The Milliman family is thinking and praying for the Sawyer family.

  51. Anne Andere

    To Pat Sawyer’s family,
    I am saddened to learn of Pat’s death. I have no words to explain. He was a good person, being my lab partner, he helped me alot. My deepest and sincere sympathy are with all of you. I pray that the almighty God will give you inner peace and comfort and provide you with strength as you go through this difficult time. God bless you all.


  52. jimgm20

    Nancy and family,
    I am just heartbroken by the news. Pat was one of the most decent, humble, kind, and dedicated men I knew. I first knew Pat when he came out to play in the South Bend Ultimate Frisbee league. One day I had my kayaks on my roof at Ultimate and Pat asked me all about them. Soon he had his own boats and was racing up and down the St. Joe.

    My boats sit too long on dry land but this weekend I will have them out on the Anacostia. I will have my youngest daughter in my lap just as I remember how Pat paddled around with his little boys.

    Jim Goeke-Morey and family
    Washington, DC

  53. Bob Perkins


    Pat has been on my mind since the accident and you and your family will continue to be in my prayers as you adjust to this tragic loss. About four years ago, I asked Pat what kind of canoe I should get. He told me I don’t want a canoe, get a kayak. It only took one paddle in a kayak, and I was hooked. My passion is in whitewater kayaking, but I would have never known how wonderful paddling could be without the friendship of Pat.

    Best wishes,

  54. Mark Veldman


    I am so, so sorry for your loss.

    Anne and I have many fond memories of Pat:

    Playing on the Orange Team together in Ultimate. Anne coaching your son on Zack’s soccer team. Talking sponsorship on his fund-raiser for the St. Joe river.

    Pat always seemed to be working on another project, striving toward another goal.

    He will be sorely missed.

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

    Mark and Anne
    Zack and Aleida

  55. Stephanie Fischer

    Patrick was a classmate of mine at IUSB. I was truly saddened to hear about Patrick’s passing. I send my deepest condolences to his wife, children, and family. He will be missed.



  56. Lisa Streib

    Dear, dear Nancy;

    I just found out about Pat. I am so sorry. You and Pat were so wonderful to me when I needed your support. My heart is breaking. I hope you know how much you guys have meant to me. If I can help in any way, please let me know. I’ll be praying for you and the kids. with love, Lisa and Kinsey

  57. dawsyw3

    Nancy,Children and extended family . I am so sorry to hear of the sad news. Was thinking in the way home from work tonight about how Patrick was doing. then wham got hit with the sadness. Please know we are all out here for you and will still keep you in our prayers. Hope you keep this website going for a long time. You have many friends here to help you over the bad rough times.

  58. Gerry Gardetto

    I am so sorry to hear this news. Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

    God bless you and your family.

    Gerry Gardetto

  59. Bill Saunders

    Nancy and family

    I too share a sense of profound sadness today. I’ve known Pat since we were 9 years old. I can still remember the day that I happened to meet Pat and Dan on an early summer day. The 3 of us became fast friends, and we were nearly inseparable for years. So many wonderful memories have been flooding back since I learned of the accident from Dan. Those memories of that special soul, along with the knowledge that Pat will be waiting for us all with his huge smile and huge heart, will certainly help us make it through these very trying times.
    You are in our prayers.

    Bill Saunders

  60. Mark Spurrier


    i know I speak for everyone in the Michiana paddling community whe I express my deepest sorrow at your loss. We are all much poorer with his passing.

    You and your kids are on all of our minds and in all of our prayers.

  61. Roy and Sandra Hyle

    We cannot effectively express our sorrow! We had so hoped and prayed that Patrick would overcome this adversity! Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Sawyer family! May our God give you peace and understanding. I know that your lives are filled with beautiful memories! Those sweet and wonderful memories will live with each of you forever!

  62. mbchernik


    I am so sorry to hear this news. My deepest heartfelt sympathies go out to you and your kids. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Your Cousin Mary Beth

  63. Cameron

    I am saddened to hear of your loss, while I didn’t know Patrick, I do know Mary Meck and I have had the joy of coaching his nephew Ted for the past few years.

    The Riley Boys Swim Team and the South Bend Swim Club send our prayers and condolences.

  64. Sinane

    Nancy, I~m here in Brazil and just heard of your devastating news. I wish I could be with you to hug you. I wish I could have shown you and your family just a bit of the amazing support, guidance and love you gave us when Dad was dying. I just remember what a calming, tender manner he had. I didn~t know Pat well; but his compassion and gusto for life and down-to-earth manner were evident in everything he did. I always loved hearing Andrea talk about you, Pat and your kids as all of these qualities I just mentioned seemed prevalent in every decision and activity you embarked on together.

    Nancy, Eric and I hold you and your children and family in our prayers.

    Sinane Goulet and Eric Anderson

  65. Bruce Harris

    Dear Nancy and family –

    We just heard about the awful accident and the events of the past several days this morning as we were driving back from Canada. We were shocked and saddened by the news.

    As everyone else has said, Pat was the most wonderful guy in the world. always willing to give good advice, always willing to help, always with a smile. We will all miss him.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. If there is anything we can do to help you, please do not hesitate to call.

    Bruce Harris, Ginny Kevorkian Anna and Greg

  66. The Caylor Family


    I heard of your loss thru my mom today and I am so sorry! I want you to know that we are thinking of you and your family and that you are in our thougts and prayers.

    Mari Caylor (Whitcomb)

  67. Julie DeMaegd


    I am so very sorry to learn that your husband has passed away. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time. His legacy, his energy, and the work he did for this community will now carry on through you and your children.

    I never realized that you were his wife until I saw you on the news. I was good friends with your sister, Annie, at St. Joe. You are a strong woman, Nancy, who has incredible faith and family surrounding you. I know that you will be uplifted in the coming days and weeks by so many…it is obvious your husband touched many lives, but it is YOU and your sister who touched mine, and for that I am grateful.

    Again, my prayers are with you…know that the sun will rise, tomorrow, and you will have an angel to guide you.


  68. Jeannie

    Oh, Nancy. Even as I cry, I still can’t imagine. Hugs to you, sweet lady. I’m so, SO sorry.

  69. Brittany Bridwell

    I am so very sorry to hear about the loss of your husband, such a wonderful man! Patrick was a ray of Sunshine wherever he went and he always encouraged me to think positive and do my absolute best! I am a 5th semester IUSB Nursing student and I saw Patrick often and he always greeted me with a warm smile!
    I can remember last summer as I worked hard in Anatomy and Physiology II Patrick was just beginning the accelerated program and he sat down with me several times to explain a concept I was struggling with. I’m sure he had many other things on his mind at the time, but he was always so willing to help me and never seemed too busy!
    Another memory I have of him was on my first day of clinicals this Spring, I was walking across campus, by the library, in my new bright red nursing scrubs and I heard someone yell out, “Nice red suit” and I looked up and it was Patrick, again with that big smile! 🙂
    He will be missed but never forgotten! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your entire family during this difficult time!
    Numbers 6: 24-26-The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. May God Bless You!

  70. Allison Rodts

    I cannot say that I knew him well, in fact we may not have ever spoken words, he was simply the smart man who sat a couple of rows in front of me in class…but when I heard the news about a fellow student…I knew exactly who Patrick Sawyer was. Us nursing students have a sort of comraderee. We are a family at IUSB pouring ourselves, our time, our energy into a common goal: THAT DEGREE! And sadly now we pour our hearts, our sympathy, & and our prayers out to the family and friends of Patrick. In this very difficult time please know that many are thinking of you and praying that the Lord will place his hands upon you and bring you peace.
    Allison Rodts
    Fellow Nursing Student- IUSB

  71. Maureen Wijnen

    Dear Nancy, Danny, Joey, Tommy and Laura,

    I just can’t believe that this has happened. It is too sad. My heart goes out to all of you. Our whole family has very fond memories of Pat teaching us all how to canoe. His enthusiasm and patience were amazing.

    But what I remember most is watching him with you, his family. His love for you was so strong and clear. We are thinking of you. With love – Maureen, Stephan, Andy, Nalani, Marijke and Carsten

  72. Andrea Bikfalvy

    I am so, so sorry. My thoughts and prayers will continue to be with you.


  73. Missy Richardson

    Dear Sawyer Family,

    This is a very sad day…Today we have lost a true inspiration to us all. Patrick had a genuine LOVE for his family and in life. It showed in all that he did. He moved so many people…exhausted at times he always wore a smile and was there to lend a hand no questions asked. This was his true calling. Yet we always question how such great people are taken from this earth… no explanations as to why this happened…so we must all remember to take life in everyday and live it to the fullest…I know it does not help the pain of a loss so great…but Patrick would want you all to remember him doing all the things he loved to do…living his life to the fullest and loving his beautiful family as he did and will forever. Patrick will be greatly missed.

    With Love and Prayers,
    Missy Richardson

    P.S. If i can help in any way please let me know.

  74. Andrew

    To all of the Sawyer Friends and Family,

    I didn’t know Patrick; however, as a community member I’ve been swept up by the emotion and news surrounding Patrick’s tragic accident. I must say to your family, be strong, as Patrick was most apparently not only a man of strong physical nature but a man of strong physical character and he would want his beloved wife and children to hold close to their love and memories and always cherish them.

    There will be tough times ahead and your hearts will always feel a little less full without him in your life but have solace in the fact that his life was full of love, joy, and the splendor provided him by he natural beauty of the world around us.

    May God Bless You All,

    Let angels wings take the place of bicycles and boats… and God speed friend…

  75. Mary Beth and Lenny Dominello

    Dear Nancy, Danny, Joey, Tommy and Laura, all in the Fink and Sawyer families and friends,
    Our hearts are with you in this incredibly sad time. We are lifting you in our thoughts and prayers. God bless and comfort you with His infinite love, mercy and grace.
    II Cor. 2:3-4 Praised be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all consolation! He comforts us in all our afflictions and thus enables us to comfort those who are in trouble, with the same consolation we have received from him.
    Mary Beth and Lenny Dominello

  76. TheresaZaruba

    Words cannot describe how saddened I am to hear about the passing of my uncle….I’m in complete shock . My heart aches for you and your children Nancy!
    You are in my thoughts and prayers!


  77. bobbiecostigan

    Sawyer family,
    Our deepest condolences, you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.
    Bobbie Costigan and Family

  78. kevin macias

    Sawyer Family,
    Your husband and father was a great man, I am a friend from IUSB who he was teaching how to paddle. Out of the blue he asked me if I was interested and I said yes, I had only talked and paddled with him a few times but I’m heart broken for you because, again, he was an amazing man.

    Kevin Macias

  79. AimeeTakach

    I am so sorry for your loss. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

    Aimee, Michael, Abigail and Ethan Takach

  80. vilma

    Dear Nancy,

    Our deepest sympathies goes to you and children.
    May the beautiful memories of Pat keep all of you lifted up this difficult time. He will always be in our hearts and mind …
    May God send you more strenght.
    Vilma, Marius & Elena

  81. Leslie VanParys

    My heart broke when I heard about Patrick. I am so sorry for you loss. Dear Sawyer and Fink families my family and I send our love and condolences to all of you.
    Love ,
    Leslie (Grant) VanParys

  82. Mary-Kate Oatman

    My condolences to you and your beautiful children. Patrick was a very kind and smart man. He will be missed. My thoughts and prayers for your entire family.

    Mary-Kate Oatman & family

  83. nski12

    Sawyer Family……I am a 7th semester Nursing student at IUSB, I remember Pat taking me out to canoe one morning and teaching me the ropes…..he was always there to talk to for whatever you needed him for…..I also work in the ICU and would go check on him frequently thinking he would pull out of this horrific accident…..because if anyone could have survived this tragedy, that man would be Pat…he was in great shape and was very healthy….I rarely see so many gifts instilled in one man….he was smart, a good father, a good husband, caring, disciplined, and had passion that poured out of him….he was a man you could always count on for anything. most people wonder if they ever made an impact…..Pat can rest in peace knowing that he most certainly did!!!!! My deepest condolences to your family…….we loved him and he will be truly missed…..


  84. Jerry Begue

    Nancy Sawyer and family

    Pam and I are heart broken to recieve the news that Pat has passed. Pat was a wonderful person, always a gentleman and a true joy to be around. He will be greatly missed.

    Our prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.

    Jerry and Pam Begue

  85. Bernadine Galko

    To the Patrick Sawyer Family,

    You do not know me. I am a cousin of Julie Sawyer (Tim’s wife) and just heard of this very sad news. I am so sorry for your loss. I did not know Patrick, but reading your site, he sounds like he was a wonderful husband and father.

    I understand what you are going through since I lost my husband nine months ago…the pain is horrible, but you will get through it with wonderful family, friends, and prayer.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Bernadine Galko

  86. Tara Stokes

    I just have to write one more time. I have been thinking about Patrick and your whole family so much these last few days. I just want you to know how much our students mean to us. We really get close to them as they are learning, struggling, growing, achieving….we really become a family and they mean more to us than the students probably realize. I had many talks with Patrick as he was one of my few male nursing students that REALLY enjoyed OB nursing. He said he was even considering being a midwife!! And we spoke of advanced practice nursing a lot. He was just so interested in learning and growing in this profession. I believe he would have been a GREAT nurse! I am so sorry for your loss!!


  87. Paige Risser

    Dear Sawyer family,

    Although I haven’t met any of you, I, like others, have been following your story in the local media. My husband also bikes to work most days, so I felt a special interest in Patrick’s recovery. I write recovery because I believed he would recover. I am heartsick to hear he didn’t, and filled with sorrow for you. He clearly was an exceptional, community-minded person. Please know my family is keeping you all in our thoughts, and wishing you strength and peace.
    Paige Risser

  88. margiebellhorn

    Nancy and family – you have all been in our thoughts and prayers and will remain so. We are so sorry for your loss- please let us know if we can help you and the kids out in any way. Love to you all (mom and dad too).

    Margie, Brian, Maggie and Erin (Bellhorn Family)

  89. Ann Secord

    Dear precious Sawyer family,
    You don’t know me but I am Patrick’s cousin. I’m the eldest daughter of his Aunt Dottie Ann – his father’s sister. After the family left Milwaukee we didn’t see our cousins much – but we often referred to the Kokomo Sawyers I do remember Patrick as a baby but was struck by his unmistakable Sawyer good looks when I saw the pictures on the web page.
    What a horrible, senseless tragedy for your family! I’ve read every word posted thus far and am not only weeping for your loss but for the fact that I had such a spectacular cousin that I never had the opportunity to know. Thank you Nancy for your strength in posting all of these updates. I’ve made sure that all my siblings and other Sawyer cousins have the link to it as well. You and your sweet children will be in our prayers as you go on from this awful loss.
    Love, Ann (Beccy) Secord

  90. Regina Fink


    I am so, so sorry.

    My thoughts and prayes are with you.

    Love, Regina

  91. hsawyer33

    I’m so sorry Nancy and counsins. My prayers are with you. Pat was such an inspiration.


  92. Dan Plath

    I am so sad to hear about Pat. It has been a long time since I last paddled in an event with him. Though it has been probably 13 or so years, Pat left a strong impression with me that has lasted since then. I will keep Pat and your family is in my prayers. Likewise, I hope and pray that public officials will take notice and start making our cities more pedestian friendly. Words cannot convey how sorry I am for your loss.

  93. steveandkris

    Nancy and kids,

  94. DaveFink


    I could not be more sorry for your loss. I regret that I did not know Pat better than I did and that we have not seen you in so long. I’m sure you are feeling a sense of overwhelming loss, but please take comfort in the joy and love I am sure you brought to Patrick’s life. Please let me know if there is anything at all I can do. I will pray for Patrick and your family.

    All my love,


  95. pbrunett


    I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I cannot imagine the grief you and the kids are experiencing. Pat’s legacy will always be with you in your children and through memories of the times you’ve shared. May God’s grace and comforting hand be with you and your kids during this difficult period. Our prayers and thoughts are with you.

    Patrick, Diana, Justine, Miranda, and Calista Brunett

  96. Rob and Carole Clegg

    From our paddling community we would like to wish all the strength and courage to Nancy and their family. Patrick will always be remembered for so many of his unselfish, enthusiastic efforts for our sport. He served both on our Marathon committee and in USACK, doing more than we could ask for. His creation and continued growth of the race in South Bend is testimony to one of the many things that he did for marathon paddling. I hope that this race will continue and keep the memory of Patrick alive.

    Having spent time with both Patrick and his family, he was a wonderful husband and father – an encouragement to me. He was an inspiration and a good example to all of us.

    Nancy has been a solid supporter of our sport and has done so much more than we could have asked for, setting up webpages, following the results, sharing the trips abroad with us, gathering information and putting it out there to help and build our sport.

    Nancy, we will be praying for you and the family to have strength and courage in these difficult times ahead. May God give you all the comfort that you need at every moment of each day. Many of us here are ready to help with anything that you might need, please just ask.

    With kind thoughts and prayers on behalf of all.
    Robert Clegg

  97. steveandkris

    We are struggling with this loss, to you and your family and beyond to Michiana as a whole. Pat always had a smile, and a positive outlook. Steve is hurting so at the loss of one of his best friends, that he asked me to do the writing. Please know that you are in our thoughts constantly.

  98. JudyBarfknechtkuehn


    Please accept our condolences. It is with regret that I must say I didn’t know Pat other than he was one of Uncle Bob and Aunt Pat’s young sons. We lost contact with the Sawyer cousins before the younger kids came along. He does look like what I remember his older brothers looked like.

    It looks like you have 4 beautiful children and that you and Pat were very happy.

    Know that you are all in our thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time.

  99. lee blakemore

    Nancy – There is no words to express our sadness for your loss. Pat was a great guy. This summer was the first summer that the girls and I are able to use the canoe that Pat gave us. The girls love going out in it and Reka is actually getting quite good with the paddle. I know this would make Pat very happy and we will always remember Pat when we use the green canoe.

    God bless you and your family.

    Lee, Corinne, Reka and Eden.

  100. Michelle Bowers

    As I sit here struggling to find the right words, all I can think is how wonderful a person Pat was and how sorry I am that we have lost him. We met at IUSB about 3 years ago, and ever since I have admired Pat for many things: his dedication to and desire for learning, his intelligence, his passion for nursing, and his caring down-to-earth personality.

    During our classes and hospital clinicals, Pat was always a great source of information and personable conversation. And anytime I saw him studying or having lunch, I could count on his great, friendly smile and the open invitation to join him. I always thought it was funny to see Pat’s truck in the very closest parking spot at school. I’ll miss all these things about him. My fellow IUSB students and I will cherish our memories of Pat.

    Pat and his family have been in my thoughts and prayers since I found out about the accident on Sunday night. Nancy, you and the kids will continue to be lifted up in my prayers. My deepest sympathies to your family for the loss of such a beautiful person.

  101. JennySecord

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. I’m another cousin (Pat’s Aunt Dottie’s youngest daughter). Pat and Dan were the two Sawyer cousins I remember the most since they were my age. Pat was only a month younger than me and my twin brother, Mike.
    This is such a senseless tragedy. I’ll keep your family in my prayers.

  102. Laura Meyer

    Nancy, Danny, Joey, Tommy and Laura,
    I will always remember when Pat took Kate and I out for our first kayak lesson. Even though we paddled from one side of the St. Joe river to the other, instead of in a straight line, Pat always had an encouraging word for us. He was a special man and will be greatly missed. We care about you and are praying for you.
    The Meyers – Mike, Laura, Josh, Luke, Molly, Melissa and Megan

  103. Doug Urey

    Nancy, Danny, Joey, Tommy and Laura,
    We can only imagine your sorrow. Our prayers go out to you and your families. Pat is one of the really good ones. We only learned of Pat’s accident today through our South Bend connection. Laureen and the kids were there a few weeks ago and came back commenting how much safer bicycling is here in Oregon. We never imagined it would hit so close to home.
    The Urey’s – Doug, Laureen, Brandon, Jessica

  104. in Idaho

    To the loving family and many friends of Patrick Sawyer;

    The heart-wrenching loss of such a profound human being can be very difficult to understand.
    As I have read through all of the comments left by those who know, love and respect this man it is obvious to me that the time he spent in your lives he touched your hearts, offered a kind, encourging word, a smile, or an ear to listen, accompished a lot of the work God intended him to do during his short time on this Earth.
    Patrick obviously felt there was more of himself to give and chose to study to become a nurse. His desire to learn and accomplish more and give more of himself is a lesson to us all. His work will not go undone. He brought into this world 4 very fortunate children and because of him they shall carry that same desire. They will continue to be guided by his love and his memory.
    May the love, prayers and peace of those around you help you all through this time and the days, months and years to come. Cherish every smile from one another and know Patrick is smiling with you.

  105. RandyW

    Nancy, Danny, Joey, Tommy and Laura,

    I am so sorry for your loss. I only got to meet Patrick once when he offered to help with my kayaking skills. I could tell right away what a dedicated hardworking person he was. I only wish I could have got to know him more. I know you have a lot of family and friends for support but if there is anything you need, I am there for you.

    Randy Whiteman

  106. sweiss

    O my God! O my God! Verily, thy servant, humble before the majesty of Thy divine supremacy, lowly at the door of Thy oneness, hath believed in Thee and in Thy verses, hath testified to Thy word, hath been enkindled with the fire of Thy love, hath been immersed in the depths of the ocean of Thy knowledge, hath been attracted by Thy breezes, hath relied upon Thee, hath turned his face to Thee, hath offered his supplications to Thee, and hath been assured of Thy pardon and forgiveness. He hath abandoned this mortal life and hath flown to the kingdom of immortality, yearning for the favor of meeting Thee.

    O Lord, glorify his station, shelter him under the pavilion of Thy supreme mercy, cause him to enter Thy glorious paradise, and perpetuate his existence in Thine exalted rose garden, that he may plunge into the sea of light in the world of mysteries.

    Verily, Thou art the Generous, the Powerful, the Forgiver and the Bestower.


  107. Kathy Ritchie

    Patrick was a previous student of mine at IUSB and I also knew him from the family’s involvement with the Michiana Stingrays as well. He was a wonderful person who was dedicated, intelligent, friendly, and very caring. I am so sorry for your loss. He will be missed.

  108. KathySteveSkinner

    Dear Nancy & family,

    Our deepest sympathies are with you now and as you deal with this terrible tragedy. I didn’t know Pat, but from everything I’ve read he’s an amazing husband, dad & friend. He will live on in the hearts and minds of all the people he has touched. You were blessed to have such an incredible spirit in your lives, it should have been for many more years. Hold on to your memories, share them and your pain. Know that the thoughts & prayers of many, many people are with you now & always.

    To Danny, Joey, Tommy and Laura,
    I’m so sorry you Dad was taken from you. He loved you to eternity & back & will be with you always. He watches over you and loves you forever. He was a shining example of what a Dad should be. It should have been for many more years. Our thoughts & prayers are with you.

    Kathy & Steve Skinner
    Steve & Kathy Skinner

  109. Jamie Detwiler

    Nancy, kids, and family,

    Even though you don’t know who I am, I was given the pleasure to meet your husband, father, and family member at IUSB through the nursing program. I met Pat all the way back in Anatomy and Physiology and new from that moment he was one of the most intelligent students I had ever met. Through many of our future classes together, as well as clinicals, he was always someone you new you could go to if you had a question or didn’t understand something. He was always so happy and had such high goals and aspirations for his future. It was nice talking with him because many of his future goals and mine were the same. I can only imagine what a great father he was. He showed how caring and compassionate he was when working with the children in our pediatric clinical together. It was so nice to see a man so attentive to a young child or babies needs.

    I am truly sadden and heartbroken not just for the loss of a fellow student, but for you, Nancy, your children, and his other dear family members. There are no words I can leave you with that with soften your pain or hurt, but I will continue to pray for you, Nancy, all of your children, and family that have been so deeply devastated by the loss of such a beautiful person. He is and will remain an example to all.

    Jamie Detwiler
    Fellow IUSB Nursing Student

  110. Isabelle Odhiambo

    My thoughts and prayers are with Patricks family. May God give you the strength that you need especially during this very difficult time.

    Isabelle Odhiambo
    Fellow IUSB nursing student

  111. pam metts

    I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. I knew Patrick through paddleing with my sister and brother-in-law Deb and Bill Kanost. I thought Patrick was a very nice person and I thought he was amazing as a paddler.I remember your paddlefest races you hosted, you made them fun for everyone and their families.My heart and prayers go out to you and your family. Pam Metts

  112. Kelsey Solano

    I am lifting you and your family up in prayer during this difficult time. It was my pleasure to have known Patrick as a fellow nursing student

    Kelsey Newcomer Solano

  113. Hannah Kim

    I am so saddened and heartbroken to hear the loss of your husband.
    I know Patrick personally from school. We happened to sit next to each other in class and discussed the coming exams and homework. I remember that he was so excited about getting into an accelerated nursing program. he was an excellent student and wonderful friend. My payers go out to you and your family.

    Hannah Kim

  114. Julia

    Nancy & kids,

    Our family sends you our deepest sympathies and prayers of support. Your dad laid a great foundation for you to know how to embrace life and honor him in that. What a great gift he has left you!

    Yours Truly,
    Julia Fenstermacher & Family
    (From the Homeeducators Conference)

  115. kayakgirl

    While I was not blessed to have known Patrick, you or your family, my heart goes out to each of you. My hope is that you find comfort in knowing that even those with whom you have never met are praying for you…praying that you find strength in this most difficult time.

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