Forever Reudle

Dearest family and friends of John Sawyer

John passed away suddenly in the early hours of Saturday morning (7 November) at his turangawaewae (spiritual home) of Reudle on the Isle of Mull, Scotland.

His cause of death is still unknown but he was with me, Karlene, his partner of nearly 10 years. Whilst we are still in shock of this event, I have the comforting memory that his final day with us was the epitome of how John lived his life: with sheer joy for the world filled with botanical discovery, tireless endeavor and original thinking about nature conservation.

Not only was he an expectant father, he was also excited about the launch of Wild Mull ( on Sunday, a personal project behind which he was the driving force and was starting to gain widespread community interest and support. This on top of lichen spotting in hazel wood, the satisfaction of putting up fence posts and eating a meal from a book he authored ‘Gourmet Tramping in New Zealand’ meant that John’s last day was full of happiness and promise.

The exact date of a memorial service is still to be determined but will be held in Edinburgh and hoped to be on a day between Wednesday 25th and Friday 27th of November.

Thank you for all your messages of support and condolences, we will be in touch in due course.

May his legacy continue in all those that he inspired:

E kore e ngaro he takere waka nui: the keel of a great canoe cannot be lost.


This entry was published on November 11, 2015 at 12:25 pm and is filed under Castles. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

5 thoughts on “Forever Reudle

  1. Gilli Lewis on said:

    Kia ora Karlene, so very sorry to hear this news. It is shocking and awful. So hard to believe.
    He was a wonderful man, much loved and respected all over the world.
    I know how much he had been loving living with you in Edinburgh, and able to visit Mull often; and I was delighted to hear you were expecting a baby together. He would have been so excited. He would have been an awesome dad.

    This is a very beautiful and apt tribute to John. So glad his last days with you were full of love and nature on Rheudle. He did so love that special place.
    Thinking of you at this very difficult time.
    Much love

  2. Marcus Mackenzie on said:

    So sorry to hear of John’s passing. I only knew him briefly, hitting some tennis balls over the last year with him but he was a lovely man who talked so passionately about his ‘Mull’.
    Marcus. Drummond Lawn Tennis Club

  3. Mark Fergie on said:

    Only knew John this year and had a fond likeness for him. Such a loss.
    My thoughts are with his loved one’s.
    Mark Fergie

  4. Mark Fergie on said:

    Met John at the tennis and had a fondness for his Gentlemanly manner and his interesting
    life. Such a sad day for all.
    My thoughts are for his loved one’s.

    Mark Fergie

  5. Graham Thomson on said:

    I partnered John in the DLTC Men’s Doubles competition this year, he was an old school gentleman who was a joy to play tennis with. Such a loss, my condolences to his family and friends. Regards,

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