The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

October 14, 2013

John Moore Sawyer, Jr.

The Journal-Register

MEDINA — John Moore Sawyer, Jr., biofuel pioneer, farmer, businessman and former Livingston County Supervisor Oak Orchard On-The-Lake, Waterport, NY, October 13, 2013, at the age of 72, after a battle with leukemia, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family.

He is survived by his loving longtime companion, Isabell Erwin; five sons, Michael Sawyer (Andrea) of Geneseo, NY, Eric Sawyer of Geneseo, NY, Stephen Sawyer (Elizabeth) of     Geneseo, NY, Marc Sawyer of Austin, TX, and John Sawyer III of Groveland, NY; two grandchildren, Jack and Molly Sawyer of Geneseo, NY; two sisters, Ruth (Stephen) Staley of Indialantic, FL and Deborah (Richard) Short of Alamo, CA; and several nieces and nephews.

John attended Lyndonville School until age 11 when he moved to Geneseo and attended Geneseo grade school, Wilbraham Academy, Wilbraham, MA and Alfred University. He was a three sport athlete through high school and played football and track in college.

John Sawyer was a biofuels pioneer as the founder of Western New York Energy, LLC, the first ethanol plant in the Northeast United States. Founded in 2004, the company constructed a $90 million, 55 million gallon annual capacity fuel ethanol production facility in Shelby, NY that began production in November 2007. Coupled with its corn oil extraction process and the adjoining food grade CO2 plant, the plant is widely regarded as a world-class facility. John was very proud of the hundreds of direct and indirect jobs created in the Western New York economy by the ethanol plant.

John was also involved in farming and the food industry in Western New York for over 45 years. He owned Genesee Valley Cold Storage, LLC, a large food distribution facility and low temperature warehouse in Mt. Morris. He owned and operated a 1,500 acre crop farm in Livingston County. He was also involved in the construction and restaurant business.

John was a former Livingston County Supervisor, town of Mt. Morris, former Vice    Chairman of the Livingston County Water and Sewer Authority, former advisory board member of Norstar Bank and Wyoming County Bank, former planning board member, charter member of the Livingston County Chamber of Commerce, Geneseo Foundation (Sturgis Society, SUNY Geneseo), 50-year member of the Alfred University Alumni Association, Alfred University President's Council, Alfred University Saxon Athletic Club, member Rochester Yacht Club, former officer and member Oak Orchard Yacht Club, member of the New York State Farm Bureau, the New York State Corn Growers Association, New York State Restaurant Association, American Frozen Food Institute, Associated New York Food Processors.

In addition to his busy schedule, John always found time to help many projects and charitable organizations; also as a major contributor. To name a few: Hoag Library, Albion, NY, Hospice of Orleans, SUNY Geneseo Hospitality Room, University Medical Center (Strong Memorial Hospital), Orleans County Museum, Orleans County YMCA, and a number of charities and educational institutions he had supported for many years.

There will be no calling hours. All are invited to attend a memorial service of John's life on Friday, October 18th, at 10AM at St. Joseph R.C. Church located at 106 S. Main Street in Albion, NY. The family will hold a private interment ceremony at the Mt. Albion Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hospice of Orleans, P.O. Box 489, Albion, NY 14411; Geneseo Fire Department, 133 Center St., Geneseo, NY 14454; Carlton Fire Company, 14341 Waterport-Carlton Rd., Albion, NY 14411.

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