March 22, 2022

Sharon Laraine (Chatfield) Sawyers

Sharon Laraine (Chatfield) Sawyers, 84, of Lincoln passed away on March 21, 2022 at The Waterford College View after an extended illness.  She was born June 23, 1938 in Crowell, Texas to Charles Nicholas and Betty Oletta (Elliston) Chatfield.

Sharon attended Union College in Lincoln graduating in 1960 with a BA degree in Social Sciences and was honored with a listing in Who’s Who in American Universities and Colleges.  In 1988 she earned a Master of Community and Regional Planning from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and was inducted into the Tau Sigma Delta Honorary Society for Architecture and the Allied Arts.

Her work experiences included instructor positions at Union College and South East Community College in Lincoln, serving as Executive Secretary of the Union College Alumni Association, Research Assistant in the Department of Community and Regional Planning at UN-L and Preservation Planning Associate at the Nebraska State Historical Society in Lincoln.

Sharon was married in 1965 to Harold Keith Sawyers, a professor of architectural history in the Department of Architecture at UN-L.  She grew to share her husband’s passion for architecture and for many years provided assistance and leadership in numerous Nebraska projects focusing upon town histories, building research and development of several booklets.

She and her husband loved to travel and together they explored a large swath of Nebraska and the United States.  Their numerous overseas adventures took them to over 100 countries and all seven continents.  As a result of their many extended visits they came to regard London as a second home.

Sharon also developed an interest in genealogy resulting in uncovering several Sawyers and Chatfield family connections overseas.  One enjoyable outcome of her work resulted in locating a family of Sawyers relatives living in Northern Ireland.  In the years that followed Sharon and Keith visited them several times during their many visits to the United Kingdom.

Sharon is survived by her husband of 56 years, nephew Charles Edmond Chatfield of Crowell, Texas and niece Dena Kay (Chatfield) Vineyard of Altus, Oklahoma.  She was preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Betty Chatfield and brother Wayne Nicholas Chatfield of Crowell, Texas

Private family burial will be at Wyuka Cemetery.


  1. I will remember fondly chatting with Sharon as she loved to share all her trip experiences. I have missed looking out the window and seeing her in the yard since her illness.

    We are thinking of you Keith.

    Your neighbor

  2. Keith,
    John & I were saddened to see Sharon’s obituary in our paper this morning. We also felt terrible to find out about her extended illness. It’s been a over a couple of years since we last saw you due to COVID-19 shutdowns.

    We will always remember her in her role as our Travel Group leader. She always did a wonderful job & she was so knowledgeable of anything about travel. You & she were unsurpassed by anyone we knew in your world travels.

    We are so sorry for your loss of your life partner in travel & in your life. Thinking of you & remembering her.

  3. Keith, We are so sorry to hear of Sharon’s passing. She was always such a delight to visit with at the PAL brown bags and other events. May your wonderful life and memories with Sharon give you some comfort, smiles, and peace.

  4. Keith,
    Sharon was such a bright, curious, and pleasant person. I loved connecting with you both related to genealogy research. Her interest in new discoveries was always contagious and her fascination with Stonehenge and your frequent inspirational visits there will remain in my thoughts for a long time.
    Jim and I wish you God’s peace and strength in the days ahead with the loss of a wonderful life companion. Feel free to contact us if there are any genealogical items you would like LLCGS to keep for you.
    Judi and Jim Cook

  5. Keith,
    I was so very, very saddened to learn of Sharon’s passing. Since I first met her in 1965, she has been one of my favorite people with her enthusiasm,
    good humor, and optimism. I loved knowing about your travels to so many
    places. I know Sharon was a wonderful helpmate as you both worked on
    architectural history projects to add to Nebraska history. In all she did,
    she made a constructive contribution to the situation. She had a very special intellect that made her such an interesting person. I have missed
    seeing you both during this pandemic, and will miss having that special
    friend that I felt she was.
    I know losing a spouse is a terrible loss, but I hope soon the pain of losing her will be replaced by the wonderful memories that you had together.
    Sincerest condolences,
    Delivee Wright

  6. Keith,
    Becky and I are saddened by the news of Sharon’s passing. We so enjoyed our visits and hearing about your projects together or about your many travels. Let us know if we can do anything

  7. Keith, I am so sorry for your loss of Sharon. You have always brought light to the Brothers of Acacia Fraternity. I am thankful that Sharon was so understanding of the effort you put into the fraternity. Keep well!

    Justin Cardisco


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