Obituary Listings

Kathryn Cole Sayre

June 12, 1919 October 3, 2018
Kathryn Cole Sayre
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Obituary for Kathryn Cole Sayre

Kathryn Cole Sayre, (Mother of Debbi Nearing) and better known as Big Mama, passed away October 3rd, 2018 after 99 years of a loving life. She was born June 12th, 1919 in Indiana to Dorothy and Glenn Cole. Kathryn grew up with an older and younger brother which offered many fun challenges as a middle child and only girl. As a mother of five children, she managed a household and many moves with each working promotion of her husband, Don Sayre. Big Mama was a multi-talented and caring person. In her younger days, she taught tap dancing, enjoyed ballroom dancing, playing tennis, piano, ice skating, sledding, and attending school. During her school years, she worked at a phone company as well as her dad's shoe store. While raising her three sons and two daughters, she found time to tailor clothes, knit mittens and sweaters, crochet, reupholster furniture, and celebrate special occasions with yummy treats and panache. Her caring heart was made more evident as she cared for newborn foster babies until they were placed for adoption while her youngest daughter was in high school. She enjoyed all card games, baking for special occasions, and family gatherings. She was a voracious reader and kept abreast of current events and loved sharing her thoughts with wit and wisdom. Her great zest for knowledge and sense of humor were enjoyed and appreciated by those who had the pleasure of knowing her. Her extended family consists of 17 grandchildren, 3 step-grandchildren, 33 great-grandchildren, and 3 great-great grandchildren. Kathryn was preceded in death by her parents, Dorothy and Glenn Cole; her husband, Donald A. Sayre; her brother, Bill Cole and his wife Sybil; her younger brother, Dick Cole; her son Donald Richard Sayre; her daughter, Nancy Rettig and her son-in-law, C.H. Rettig; grandsons, Rich Sayre and Scott Rettig. We were truly blessed to have her in our lives. She will be greatly missed and remembered for her fun sense of humor, her candid thoughts, desire to learn, and love for her family and friends. Family and friends are welcome to join in her celebration at Calhoun's in Oak Ridge at 1:00 PM, Friday, November 23rd, 2018.
The family asks that any memorials be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, PO Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38101-9908. Weatherford Mortuary graciously helped with her arrangements. An on-line guest book can be signed at

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Previous Events

Celebration of Life




1:00 PM 11/23/2018 1:00:00 PM

100 Melton Lake Peninsula
Oak Ridge, TN 37830

100 Melton Lake Peninsula Oak Ridge 37830 TN
United States

Memorial Contribution

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN

PO Box 1000 Dept. 142
Memphis, TN 38101-9908

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