Former Akron Mayor and Democratic US Congressman, Tom Sawyer has died after a long illness, at the age of 77.
State and local political leaders are offering condolences and respect for the man described by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine as "one of the nicest people I have ever worked with", and by Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan as someone who "selflessly dedicated his life to public service".
Sawyer was born in Akron on August 15, 1945, graduated from Buchtel High School, and earned both his Bachelor and Masters degrees at the University of Akron.
He served in the Ohio State House of Representatives, from 1977-1983, was mayor of Akron, from 1984-1986, and then was elected to the US House of representatives in 1987, serving there until 2003.
Although he was unsuccessful in two succeeding bids for reelection to Congress; he returned to public office in the Ohio Senate, where he served from 2007-2016.
He is survived by his wife, Joyce, and daughter, Amanda.
The Akron Beacon Journal reports that calling hours will be from 5 to 8 p.m. July 11 and 10 to 11 a.m. July 12 at Billows Funeral Home, 85 N. Miller Road in Fairlawn. A funeral service will be at noon July 12 at Billow's. A celebration of life will be from noon to 3 p.m. July 12 at Our Lady of the Cedars, 507 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road.