Jerry Sawma 24 May 1946 – 22 October
2016 was born in Niagara Falls, NY. He was a conscience objector during the
Vietnam era then he came to this area and earned his MFA from Umass. He and his wife, Chris Pinney, created their
home in Conway 45 years ago, in one of the first homes he built. After teaching
fine arts in Louisiana for 2 years, he returned to create Bear River Timber
Frame. He and his partner Scott Wallace, designed and built homes with soul to
last generations. Jerry often explained that you can’t build an ‘old house’,
but with time-tested methods, he was proud to make non-poison, efficient and
beautiful homes. He always had lasting relationships with the people he built
for and would do anything, anytime, for family and friends. He believed in
being actively involved in the community and politics. Jerry said it was
important to always make others feel good about themselves and their
accomplishments. Jerry adored his 3 children, Will, Casey, and Maggy, and
relished his time with his 2 grandchildren, Amelia and Willard. Besides his 3
children and wife, Jerry leaves a twin brother Terry, in Texas.
Jerry was an insightful, affable
cynic, who pursued a lifestyle consistent with his beliefs and values, and in
doing so, was revered for his dedication, craftsmanship, expertise and
integrity. Many envied his skilled pursuit of passions. Plus, his humor was
infectious with his wry wit and right on assessments of whatever was going on.
His time was all too brief for all he had to share.
There will be a celebration of
Jerry’s life on Saturday, 5 November from 2pm-5pm at The Barn at Montague
Retreat Center at 177 Ripley Rd, Montague MA 01351.
Contributions can be made to
Franklin Land Trust Inc., 5 Mechanic Street (PO box 450) Shelburne Falls, MA
01370, and The American Chestnut Foundation, 50 N. Merrimon Avenue, Suite 115,
Asherville, NC 28804.
Expressions of sympathy are available at: