May 17, 2019


On May 11, 2019, Martha Sawyer, loving wife, mother, grandmother, family member and friend, passed away at 74 years old. The daughter of Juan and Gloria Avila, and daughter-in-law of Berlin (Mickey) and Elena Sawyer, she was born in Key West and graduated KWHS Class of 1962, where she loved being a majorette.

Martha was a vivacious person whose life revolved around being active and helping others, and most often providing activities and opportunities for children. She owned a kindergarten, dance studio and children’s clothing store.

For more than 20 years she conducted the Old Island Days Beauty Pageants, coached cheerleading, Spinerettes twirling team, modeling clubs and dancing teams. She loved being surrounded by people.

One of her most meaningful experiences was being involved with Relay for Life, both in Key West and in Georgia. Martha’s family was her life.

She is survived by her best friend and husband of 57 years, Nelson Sawyer; her three children Jean Marie Galvan (George); Tammy Osterhoudt (William) and Nelson Sawyer; her four grandchildren, Anthony Galvan, Kendall Galvan, Devin Osterhoudt and Nelson Sawyer Jr.; her brother John Avila (Gretchen); her uncle Henry Odgen, aunt Zaida Fraga, cousins Pat Labrada (Terri), David Fraga (Linda), Paul Fraga (Jeanne) and Danny Fraga (Jade) and multiple nieces and nephews. Martha will also forever be remembered by her extended family and dear friends.

Services will be held Friday, May 17, at 4 p.m. at St. Mary’s Basilica.