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2007 March 5: Ernie Sawyer

Updated: Sep 17, 2021

Ernie Sawyer passed away on Monday, March 5, 2007 at the age of 74 at the Pine Acres Rehab and Living Center in DeKalb. Ernie was born March 23, 1932, in Boone, Iowa. Ernie worked for Osco for 29 years. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Beverly.

For ten months prior to his death, he resided at the Pine Ares Rehabilitation and Living Center in DeKalb, Illinois. Donations in Ernie's memory may be made to: DeKalb County Hospice 2727 Sycamore Road DeKalb, Illinois 60115 or Pine Acres Rehabilitation and Living Center 1212 Second Street DeKalb, Illinois 60115

Best friend a man could have! Fred Dearborn

I’m sure anyone who met Ernie, shook hands, and had a little chat, will always remember him when his name comes up. Ernie was a lobby manager at my first store in Boone, Iowa. Early fifties. He knew that, when, and how much to purchase. Ernie’s merchandise and training talents moved him up the ladder quickly to store manager at Elgin, Illinois. His training talents resulted in many promotions out of the Elgin market. Ernie was always a great friend.. We vacationed together in Hawaii and Mexico with our wives. In Mexico the caddies called him “Big Hombre.” Ernie was ‘very big’ in many ways.

Lou Frantzen

I knew Ernie Sawyer for most of my career. When I moved to Chicago in 1968, I would travel to store #827 in downtown Elgin, Illinois to shop. I loved to visit with Ernie because he always had so many interesting and unusual items to show you. Later I had the good fortune to be District Manager for the Elgin area so I was able to work closely with Ernie and see his wonderful way with people, both associates and customer His merchandising and marketing skills became legendary in the company. Looking back at all the managers I knew while in operations, I never met anyone with such a keen sense about what items would sell and at what price. He made every store he operated more than a drugstore by creating a fun and exciting shopping experience. He trained countless numbers of management trainees, many who went on to hold senior positions in the company.

Ernie Sawyer was in so many ways a key figure in the success Osco Drug. Dave Gillis

Everyone admired and respected Ernie Sawyer as he ‘motivated’ so many of us. He was a great ‘people’ person who cared about everyone around him. I was always proud to call him my friend. Larry Hedges

I had the opportunity to start my OSCO career as a trainee with Ernie Sawyer. Ernie was the manager of our Elgin store #827 and had just been promoted to store manager. I especially remember how friendly and supportive Ernie was to me and to all of the employees of his store. Ernie has a unique ability to find the good in everyone and to help promote that characteristic to make them a more productive person. I got to know Ernie well over the years and found him to be a great manager and wonderful friend. He was one of the most creative merchants that ever worked for Osco and would see opportunities that were unique. As a friend, I don’t’ believe I ever heard Ernie say an unkind word about another person. He was always positive and had a smile on his face. He might occasionally have a negative word to say about the B &B the next morning, but he was always a thoughtful, kind friend. Richard Davis

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