On Wednesday, March 31, 2021, James Martin Sayre passed away peacefully at the age of 89 at his home in Thoreau, NM.
Jim was born to Malvina (Searles) and John Sayre on the family farm in Hills, MN on February 29, 1932. In 1938 the family moved to Canton, SD, where Jim attended grade school. Jim moved with his mother and siblings to Rapid City, SD in 1945. At 17 he began riding bulls, retiring from professional rodeo in 1964.
After working for Homestake Gold Mine for a year, serving as Constable of Central City, and painting houses, Jim decided he wanted to be artist. Artistic from a young age, he was self-taught, with mentoring from local artists who became lifelong friends. Jim was among those who founded the Deadwood Company of Fine Arts.
In 1977 Jim moved to Thoreau, NM and married Caroline (Isely) Mattox. Together they built a welcoming oasis for artists and friends amid the beauty of the red mesas of western New Mexico where Jim continued his art. Jim considered himself a steward of his corner of the world. His high desert yard became a sculpture garden. Birds frequented his bird bath, heated in the winter, and Jim adopted multiple dogs who strayed into his yard over the years.
Jim was compassionate, honest, sincere, and appreciative. He loved his friends and his family. Jim loved life.
Jim was preceded in death by his wife, Carol, his mother, Malvina, his stepfather, James Huffer, his father, John, siblings, Francis Sayre, George Sayre, Lula Shehan, Caroline Sayre, Beverly Rake, and Victor Sayre, step son, David Mattox, and nephew, Rory Sayre. He is survived by his step children, John Mattox, Cindy (Mattox) Rappana, Rob Mattox, step grandchildren Christopher Mattox, Daniel Mattox, Zarah Mattox (Johnson), Zach Mattox, Ashley (Rappana) Crane, Dene’ (Rappana) Rosser, Robin (Mattox) Lucero and Eva (Mattox) Cunningham, seventeen step great-grandchildren, nieces Jennifer (Sayre) Bohmbach, Becca (Sayre) Hegg, Meredith (Sayre) Weiland, and Kim Rake, and three great nephews.
A Celebration of Jim’s Life will be held at his home in Thoreau, NM on Saturday, May 22, 2021.
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