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Harrison "Harry" Hill Sawyer, II
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Obituary for Harrison "Harry" Hill Sawyer, II

PORTLAND – Harrison Hill Sawyer II, 84, passed away on October 3, 2017, at Gosnell Memorial Hospice House in Scarborough, Maine.

Harrison was born on April 13, 1933, in Newton, Massachusetts. He graduated from Newton High School and the University of Vermont where he was a member of the Delta Psi Fraternity. At UVM, Harry met the love of his life, Jane Newton, and they married at Trinity Church in Boston in 1957. They started their life together on Beacon Hill where their two children were born. They moved to Maine in 1960 when Harry worked for Sun Oil Company as a company representative. They settled in Portland, Maine in 1964. Harry entered the real estate business on a part-time basis in 1966. By 1968 it was a full-time career and he began building his apartment house company: H.H. Sawyer Realty Company. He was one of the first investors in the Old Port area purchasing buildings on Fore Street and Market Street. Over the years, Harry grew the business to 29 buildings in Portland with 258 apartment units and 43 retail and office units. He took great pride in finding older buildings and transforming them into attractive, well-maintained properties. He also took great pride in his staff at H.H. Sawyer Realty and thought of them as members of his extended family.

Harry had a personality larger than life. No one was a stranger; his smile and genuine warmth allowed him to make instant friendships. He brought great energy and passion to life.

One of Harry’s passions was the Portland Rotary Club. He rarely missed a weekly meeting and no one brought in more new members to Rotary than Harry. He was recognized for this with a Paul Harris fellowship and given a honorary lifetime membership. He stayed active with his weekly tennis group and his weekly breakfast group at Becky’s Diner.

Harrison was very active in the community. He taught Sunday School at St. Luke’s Cathedral, he was a Past President of the Bald Eagle’s Flying Club, he was a member of the Portland High School renovation task force, he was a member and treasurer of the Western Prom Neighborhood Association, he was a board member of the Victoria Mansion, he taught a landlord course for the USM adult education program, he was a Director of the Ocean Trails Condo Association in Jupiter, Florida, he was a Big Brothers-Big Sisters volunteer, he was a member of the Vestry at St. Mary’s in Falmouth, Maine, he was a member and committee chair for the Atlantic House board in Scarborough, Maine, he was a member of the City Club of the Palm Beaches, the Woodlands Golf Club, the Prouts Neck Country Club, the Cumberland Club, and the Grey Oaks Country Club.

Harrison was predeceased by his parents Harrison James and Beatrice Agatha Sawyer, his sister Judy Nichols and his dear cousins Richard and Nancy Johnson of Falmouth, Massachusetts. He is survived by his beloved wife of 60 years, Jane, and his children Sharon Sawyer of Portland and Cathy-Ann and Theodore Wirth of Yarmouth and their children Harrison Wirth and his fiancé Brittany Elliot of Portland, Melissa and Zach Wetherell of Brunswick, and his great-grandchild Hank Wetherell. He is also survived by his cousin’s children Jeff and Paula Johnson of Sandwich, Massachusetts and Jennifer and Michael Bean of Cape Neddick, Maine.

A service will be held at St. Luke’s Cathedral, 143 State Street, Portland on Thursday October 12 at 2:00PM followed by a reception at the Cumberland Club from 3:00- 5:00PM. Arrangements are under the direction of the Conroy-Tully Walker Funeral Home, 172 State Street, Portland. To view Harry’s memorial page or to share an online condolence, please visit

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Portland Rotary Club or the Maine Alzheimer’s Association.

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Harrison "Harry" Hill Sawyer, II, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events





2:00 PM
St. Luke's Cathedral

143 State Street
Portland, ME 04101





3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
The Cumberland Club

116 High Street
Portland, Maine 04101


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