The entire Off The Pews family was shocked and saddened to hear about the sudden and unexpected death of Roderick Sawyer, the son of our own good friend, Rod Sawyer, OTP's technical guru.
Among Roderick Chancellor "Chance" Sawyer's many talents and interests, he was a writer for the South Side Weekly, and they wrote a moving tribute article in his memory.
"Chicago's Other Chance: Remembering Lurrkgod" by Luz Magdaleno Flores and Natasha Estevez, October 5, 2023. It begins:
On September 10, 2023, Roderick “Chance” Sawyer passed away suddenly at the age of twenty-eight. The Hyde Park native was a photographer, visual artist, curator, graffiti educator and archivist in Chicago’s Black and brown barrios. His father, Roderick Sawyer (no relation to former 6th Ward alderperson Roderick Sawyer), remembers the first time that an eight-year-old Chance tagged “Chance was here” in their family home. “I asked him why he did that and he responded, ‘I want people to know I was here!,’” Sawyer said. Chance made a profound impact on the streets of Chicago.
This is just the opening of a moving tribute through which you will learn the extraordinary impact this young man had on his community—celebrating the talents of others, expressing the complex life he experienced via multiple creative channels, and sharing his love for his community.
The Sawyer family, immediate and extended, remain in our prayers during this difficult time.
Download a PDF of the South Side Weekly article here. There is a link to the 2017 Chicago Creatives interview inside the article.
The Sawyers are holding a public memorial in late October:
Saturday, October 21st, 2023 - 10:30am - 3p
Green Line Performing Arts Center
329 E. Garfield Blvd (Under the CTA Green Line Tracks)
Chicago, IL 60637
Formal Memorial Service: 10:30am
Reception and Art Gallery Display immediately following until 3p
Join family, friends and colleagues throughout the day!