obit template2018-11-29T12:10:12+00:00

Shane Todd

Although he was taken from his loved ones much too soon, Shane Sawyer made a significant impact on all who were within his reach. He was known for his strong work ethic, his fun loving and optimistic personality, and his unending love for his family, but his unwavering faith even in the midst of adversity is his shining legacy. A devoted husband if ever there was one, Shane loved nothing more than becoming a father, and his son filled his days with unspeakable joy. All who knew him would agree that his heart was as big as they come, his strength, courage, and unconditional love unmatched. A friend of Shane’s was a friend for life, and his smile coupled with his approachable demeanor made others feel at ease. He will be deeply missed but forever treasured by those too numerous to count.

The 1970s were a colorful time in American history. It was just as this decade was getting started that Rick and Deborah (Friedlund) Sawyer were pleased to announce the birth of the son they named Shane Todd on March 9, 1971. Raised in McFarland, Wisconsin, he was the younger of two boys in his family and was raised alongside his brother, Scott. His father worked as a restauranteur while his mother worked in sales. In many ways Shane was a typical young boy and could spend hours just riding his big wheel.

From the time he was little there was nothing that was more important to Shane than spending time with his loved ones. His family was quite smitten with him, too. When his Grandma Seekins came to pick him up on one occasion when he was around three years old, she could only laugh when Shane pulled a frog out of his pocket while in the car and asked her what to do with it. He quickly figured out that when visiting his Grandma Sawyer that he would be offered any treat he chose by announcing that he was hungry as soon as they got to her house. Of course she always had plenty to choose from! In fact, Shane loved treats in general and looked forward to going out for ice cream with his family. When he was younger he and his mom shared a cone with a scoop of peach for him alongside whatever she chose. Back rubs from Grandma Lee were also something that Shane savored.

Beginning as a young boy Shane was a bustle of activity. He loved several sports including swimming, basketball, soccer, football, downhill skiing, and tennis. As a family the Sawyers took many memorable trips and vacations together, and these usually revolved around an activity such as golfing, skiing, tennis, or hiking in state parks. They also frequently attended Brewers games. Shane was a student at local schools and also worked part-time during the school year and full-time during the summers doing a variety of things that earned him some money as a teen. After graduating from high school he went on to UW-Madison School of Business. With his Bachelors of Business Administration degree under his belt, Shane briefly managed a men’s clothing store for a time. In 1995 he enlisted in the United States Army and served until1999. Shane’s military duties took him all over, and he rose to the rank of sergeant as he gave everything he did his all.

Shane always told his mother that the woman he would one day marry would need to be both beautiful and smart, and he found exactly that in Lisa Pretorius. They met while he was working at Strong Investments in 2000, and with a desire to establish a life together the sweethearts were married on June 15, 2002, in Peoria, Illinois, deeply in love. The newlyweds enjoyed a honeymoon in Maui, and with a shared love of traveling, Shane and Lisa also traveled to London, Oxford, Washington D.C., and Florida as well as many trips to Door County.

Throughout his life Shane experienced a rewarding career. He loved his job as a financial analyst, so it seemed only natural that he furthered his education by achieving the title of Chartered Financial Analyst. Shane enjoyed his work so much that he regularly referred to his work as his hobby, and it also stands to reason that he counted his coworkers at BMO Harris as family. He was so dedicated and so loved his career that he continued to work until the end of this February.

Life was forever changed for Shane when he and Lisa welcomed their son, Jonathan, into their hearts and home on June 1, 2012. From the moment he became a father it seemed to be a role that was tailor made just for Shane as he was intentional in sharing even the routine things with Jonathan. One of their most cherished routines was at bedtime when Shane read to him every night.

A lover of life, Shane was a man of many interests. He was accompanied by an unwavering faith and was an active member of SS Peter and Paul Catholic Parish. It’s not surprising that his fellow church members were also like family to him. He enjoyed watching movies and relaxing with a good book, especially mysteries and espionage stories, golfing, and working out. An avid sports fan, he was passionate about his alma mater, Wisconsin Badgers, the Packers, and the Brewers. In fact, Shane went to a Brewers game three weeks before he died.

Both Shane and his loved ones were given a tough pill to swallow when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2005. He never let his diagnosis slow him down, and his faith was never stronger. Shane faithfully continued to attend Mass including this past Easter. He was such an inspiration throughout his battle not only in his steadfast faith, but also in his general demeanor as he remained positive, never let it get him down, and his sense of humor remained intact.

An extraordinary man to know and love, Shane Sawyer was the sort of man whom everyone wanted to know. He was known for his never-ending smile, his caring spirit, and his huge heart in addition to his personal faith. Shane’s devotion to his family was unmatched, and his shining work ethic, loyal friendship, and his continual strength are all to be admired. His memory will remain alive in all who were blessed to know and love him.

Shane Sawyer died on May 10, 2014. Shane’s family includes his wife, Lisa; son, Jonathan; parents, Deborah (Friedlund) and Rick Sawyer; brother, Scott (Kathi); grandmother, Donna Sawyer; nieces and nephews, Jack, Megan, Leslie, and Luke Sawyer and Jude Beason; in-laws, Mary Ann and Murvel Pretorius; many aunts, uncles, and cousins. He is also survived by many good and loyal friends.

Past Comments


I remember the first time I met Shane in Milwaukee. To prepare for our meeting, he read the Catcher in the Rye just so he could better understand me! I have never liked someone so much as I liked him the minute I met him (sorry, husband). It’s impossible not to smile while talking to or thinking about him. Our last minutes together were spent eating my favorite cereal- and probably Shane’s too- Lucky Charms. He was young at heart, just like me, and thats what I loved most about him.

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