Richard Sawyer, died December 24, 2002
Richard Sawyer passed away this morning - 12/24. Services will be held Sunday
Dec. 29, 2002
Ramona Sawyer Barth, 91, died October 20, 2002
Ramona Sawyer Barth, 91, died on the morning of October 20th, at Cove's Edge in Damariscotta Maine. She was born in Ware Massachusetts, the youngest child of Rev. Roland and Mary Palmer Sawyer. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Tufts University and held a degree in Divinity from Meadville Theological Seminary at the University of Chicago. In 1934 she married Rev. Dr. Joseph Barth in London, England.
From 1939 until 1955 she lived with her husband and five children in Miami, Florida where Dr. Barth was the founding minister of the First Unitarian Church of Miami. From 1955 to 1971 they resided in Boston, Massachusetts where her husband was minister at King's Chapel. They retired to their farm in Alna, Maine in 1972. Ramona often said that one of her professions was "minister's wife," a calling which she undertook with unflagging care and concern.
A lecturer, reviewer, teacher, and author, she wrote books, monographs, plays, and magazine articles. She was an active and tireless feminist, founded the Maine Chapter of The National Organization for Women, and taught courses in Women's History. Much of her work sought to illuminate the historic contributions, "herstory" she liked to call it, of women such as Edna St. Vincent Millay, Ann Hutchinson, Margaret Fuller, and Susan B. Anthony.
She often utilized animated and energetic public demonstration to "raise the consciousness" of those who disagreed with her, and was well known for her unique and sometimes amusing methods. She once picketed the Playboy Club in Boston, and after gaining a public audience with the manager held up her granddaughter's rabbit, Pinky, for all to see. "This" she said, "Is a Bunny. Your waitresses are women! " The event was widely reported in the Boston media.
Ramona wrote and produced several historical plays which toured throughout New England, and established "She Shirts," a Maine Tee Shirt company highlighting noteworthy women. She founded the Margaret Fuller Women's History Research Center.
For several decades she helped operate the family farm in Alna, and was well known for her green thumb with flowers, and her tireless work habits.
Ramona was predeceased by her husband who died on October 20, 1988, and leaves five children, Nicholas, Roland, Vanessa, Joseph, Jr., and Benjamin, six granddaughters, and five great grandsons. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her name may be made to Miles Health Care, 42 Belvedere Rd. , Damariscotta, Maine, 04543.
Her family wishes to honor her requests that there be no memorial service. In doing so we are reminded of the final paragraph in her book, "The Fiery Angel," a biography of Florence Nightingale. "What greater reward can a good worker desire than that the next generation should forget her, regarding as an obsolete truism, work which her own generation called a visionary fanaticism?"
First posted October 16, 2002