The songwriter who penned these words: “May the Work I’ve Done, Speak for Me.
May the Life I live Speak for Me.May the Service I give, Speak for Me” was
referring to the daughter, mother, wife, grandmother, and great-grandmother we
knew as our beloved, Mildred Johnson Sawyer.
She was bom Mildred Johnson on July 15, 1921, in Adel, Georgia to Ruby and
Thomas Johnson, and was the third of twelve children, most of whom preceded her
in death. Mildred was educated in Georgia and a graduate of Cook High School in
the late 1930s.
As a young woman, Mildred moved to Daytona Beach, Florida, where she enrolled
into cosmetology school. Being such a poised and polished lady herself, she loved
doing hair and making her clients beautiful. While in Daytona Beach, she met and
befriended the cducator, philanthropist and humanitarian, Mrs. Mary McCloud
Bethune, who became a significant mentor in Mildred’s life. It was Mrs. Bethune
who encouraged Mildred to become a member of the Improved Benevolent &
Protective Order of Elks of The World, specifically the Peninsula Temple #329, in
Daytona Beach. She served brilliantly on the efforts of scholarship, mentorship, and
other civic efforts on behalf of the community.
In 1944, Mildred made Miami, Florida her home. Once relocated, she transferred
her membership to a local temple of the Elks, the Antlers Temple #39. There, she
continued to work with, and mentor youth participants. She organized countdess
balls, dances, and cotillions to support to efforts of scholarships for youths in the
While in Miami, she caught the eye of a handsome and debonair young man named
David Sawyer. The two courted, fell in love, and were join into holy matrimony in
the late 1940s. To this union, two handsome sons Anthony and Guy, were born.
Mildred and David had a wonderful life together. They loved family-time, traveling,
and attending community/social events. They were married almost 50 years, at the
time of his passing, in 1993.
To provide for her family, Mildred worked as a Domestic Homemaker for private
families on Miami Beach, for over 30 years. A God-fearing woman of great faith,
Mildred was a member of Mt Herman ÁME in Miami Gardens, Florida, now under
the pastorale leadership of Rev. Michael K. Bouie. She served on the usher board
and was a faithful church member for more than 50 years.
As we remember Mildred today, we remember a classy lady, who was a socialite in
the Miami community. She had a heart for service and a passion to work for the
betterment of children. Besides spending time with her family, her hobbies were
going to the senior citizen center, playing Pokeno, dancing, making jokes and
getting her hair done. Her children and grandchildren were her absolute joy; but in
2000, when she became a great-grandmother- those little people gave Mildred life!
She adored her great grands!
On August 13, 2021, while surrounded by loved ones, and listening to the words of
the 23rd Psalm, Mildred Johnson Sawyer peacefully departed this life. The final
words of the songwriter says, “When I am resting in my grave, and there’s nothing
more to say, may the work I’ve done, Speak for me”… Surely, her work, efforts and
generosity that made the difference in the lives of many-has spoken for her and we
believe – God is pleased!
- Wright And Young Funeral Chapel
- 12-1:00 PM
Wright And Young Funeral Chapel
15332 NW 7th Avenue
- 08/23/2021 at 1:00 PM