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Proudly serving Northumberland County in the province of Ontario, Canada. All rights reserved. Peacefully at home, on Tuesday, June 23, , in his 62nd year. Beloved husband of Jane nee Mann. Cherished father of Danielle. He will be sadly missed by many nieces and nephews. Steve Sawyer was not a man that could be described by simple adjectives, but rather by concepts. He was driven by hard work and determination. He was a visionary, an entrepreneur, an architect, a builder, an artist, a teacher, and most importantly a true friend. Steve was born in Oshawa Ontario.
At the age of 15, he moved to Grafton when his dad purchased Shelter Valley Park campground which consisted of 13 campsites, a picnic pavilion, and a rickety old slide. It was from this day that the course of Steve's life would forever be changed. Steve worked hand in hand with his dad, Bill, cutting trees, clearing sites, and running hydro and water to help expand the campground.
This went on for many years as Steve worked to build a mini putt course, swimming pond, shuffleboard and volleyball courts. Today the campground has sites and is predominantly full of seasonal trailers with some campers calling the park their summer home for as many as 40 years. After graduating from high school, Steve went to the University of Waterloo where he studied Kinesiology.
He could continually be heard saying that the most important thing his degree taught him was that he could learn anything he wanted to by reading a book. With this mindset, he returned home from school and decided that he was going to build a golf course. His dad Bill, however, was not fully on board with this, so Steve and Bill negotiated a deal where Steve bought the campground in After buying the campground Steve then decided that, despite not having any money, or knowing anything about building a golf course he was going to build one.
Steve had three very special defining qualities; passion, the belief that no task was ever too hard to learn, and that God had his back. These qualities alone may not amount to much, but when put together they can create something so magical; something that may not even seem possible in a dream.
This is exactly what he did. He had a passion and love for golf that was indescribable. This was coupled with a belief in himself that was so strong that despite all of the odds against him and the mountain of work in front of him, he knew God would make it possible. There was a forest of trees and three feet of poison ivy everywhere.
Steve was describing where a particular golf hole was going to be, where the tee-off would go, and where the green was going to be, and all I could think was that he was crazy. This was the most miraculous thing about Steve, he was a visionary. He was able to see things that other people could not. He saw hundreds of trees and valleys and thought if I cut those trees down and move forty feet of dirt with a bulldozer, then I will have a ature golf hole.
With this mindset, he walked into the forest with a chainsaw one winter and just started the job. There were thousands of hours spent cutting down trees, clearing out the brush, using the bulldozer to move tons of dirt and stone from one location to another, picking out rocks, raking, putting in an irrigation system, and then finally planting the grass. During this twenty-year journey, there were many tasks and obstacles, but Steve did not let any of them stop him, and he never stopped learning.
He was a perfectionist and wanted his work to be impeccable. For this reason, he always wanted the jobs to be done himself. Therefore he learned everything there was to learn about both building and maintaining a golf course. The employees of the golf course do not always have the most enjoyable jobs, especially during the building process. Raking for eight hours straight in one location can be beyond tedious, but the employees could never complain because every job they did Steve did too.
Whether it was raking all day, fixing the sewage system, splitting wood, or working on the bulldozer, nothing was beyond his dignity. He was beyond humble with his work and he never flaunted that he was the owner and deer. When the course was finally opened and he had completed the building phase, Steve could most often be found on the golf course from dusk to dawn looking and working like a laborer.
Golfers would often speak to him and have no idea that the man they were talking to was the architect who was responsible for the beauty that they were seeing and experiencing. He joked that his hands were like Picasso, but he was a different type of artist.
His canvas was not a blank sheet of paper, but rather a forest of trees, and he did not use paintbrushes to create his masterpiece, but rather a bulldozer and a chainsaw. He was an architect, but his supplies were not concrete, wood, and glass, but rather grass, sand and water. He was a doctor, but not of sick and injured people, but of grass. For him, he had nineteen patients and his job was to make sure that every summer and every winter all nineteen patients were as healthy as possible despite the days of drought, the days that were cold, and the days that were hot and muggy.
He went to great lengths to keep all of those patients as healthy as possible. When disease struck he did not prescribe drugs, but rather chemicals and water. Much like a parent, he did not have a favourite hole, but he said each was unique and special in its own way and each hole had its challenges during the building process. For Steve the golf course was more than just a material thing, it was his heart and soul. It was a labor of love, a passion, and a dream. Through building the golf course and campground he created a place that has brought many people laughs, happiness, and solace in their trying times.
It turned employees into friends and friends into family. Once people came to the valley they found peace, tranquility, and comfort in the serenity of the beauty. We can thank Steve for creating a place that has allowed for many memories to be made. He was an inspiration. He was like a modern-day superhero who wore many hats and managed to touch the lives of many people. He was a loyal friend, he was a great brother, a wonderful husband, and the most supportive and loving dad that a daughter could ask for.
He passed along many life lessons and he will be missed dearly by many friends and family. He fought hard during his short battle with cancer and although his masterpiece may not have been finished we know he is perfecting his golf game in heaven. A celebration of life will take place at a later date to pay tribute to Steve. Thank you to the staff of St. In lieu of a wake a drive-by parade will be held on Sunday, June 28 at 1 pm open to all who wish to come and pay their respects. We ask that you meet at the Grafton arena parking lot at In order to minimize our impact on local traffic we will proceed from the Grafton arena on Highway 2 east to Vernonville Road.
At this point the family will be present near the mini golf for you to pay your respects. When leaving we ask that you proceed south on Shelter Valley Road. Please do not leave your vehicle at any point. Are thoughts are with the family. We new Steve for many years. Good all around person. Terrible to hear. Fond memories of this man. He once stopped everyone from teeing off, caught up to Sean King and myself, and played the last few holes with us. Really nice, friendly guy. I am so sorry for your loss of Steve. He was a fine gentleman and entrepreneur.
I know how you feel and I send prayers and good vibes in your healing process. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you Jane and your family. Steve will be truly missed. Our deepest sympathy. Our deepest condolences to Jane and Danielle from the Drumm Family!! My family and our parents were all neighbours in the Oshawa Days! What an amazing story and eulogy as our prayers go out to your family at this tough time! Prayers to Jane and Danielle Brian Drumm. Jane and Danielle; Such beautiful words for a good man.
I remember Steve explaining a concussion to me when Molli and Danielle played hockey together. My sincere condolences for your loss. Heartfelt condolences to all the family as you go through this most difficult time. RIP Steve. Jane and Danielle we are so very sorry to hear about Steve. He was definitely one of a kind and we're grateful we had the opportunity to get to know him. Our sincere condolences. We are so sad to learn of the passing of Steve. We are blessed to have known him and will always feel his presence when playing the fantastic course that he somehow was able to carve through the wildnerness.
To Jane, Danielle and all of the extended family we offer our deepest condolences. Although we never met Steve we have heard so much about him from our long time great neighbours Bert and Shelley. Jane I knew you briefly years ago from work and our kids Teagan and Danielle were the same age and we visited the park once before.
Our deepest condolences to all of you for your incredible loss. Many do little in a very long life but Steve has left the most incredible legacy with that beautiful golf course and park only he could see from trees and hills. We had the pleasure of driving around it with Bert and Shelley and it has such an incredible feel of peace and tranquillity not like any other golf course I have seen.
To be able to look out and see him everywhere in the park and golf course will bring you comfort and smiles, knowing he is there. Deepest sympathy to you and your family The Millers. Dear Jane and family, Our deepest sympathy for the loss of your husband Steve, thinking of you during this difficult time Linda Simmons. What a lovely tribute to Steve. We agree with all that was said and we emphasize that most importantly he was a great Husband and Father.
We Love you all. For Jane and Family You have my sincere condolences! I will always remember Steve as passionate, humble and successful at all of his ventures. He made his own luck and in a quiet and proud way. Grateful to have met Steve in my life.Athletic Grafton, Ontario guy lookin for good people
email: [email protected] - phone:(735) 450-6912 x 6076
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