Sawyer Gordon Wild Places Memorial

Jackson Hole native Sawyer Gordon, 22, died on Sunday, June 11, 2017, due to injuries sustained in a paragliding accident in Salt Lake City, Utah on June 7. Sawyer passed surrounded by those who loved him. He was an accomplished skier, mountaineer, climber, fisherman, and athlete. Sawyer lived for the outdoors and encouraged others to leave no trace and to preserve the natural environment for future generations.

Sawyer was completing his bachelor’s degree with a dual major in electrical engineering and physics at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and was employed by PacifiCorp as a student engineer. Set to graduate next year, he planned to pursue a career involving power generation and distribution, to work for a few years, and then take some time off to travel and ski. Our world has suffered a tremendous loss of a beautiful mind and courageous soul with his passing.

Constantly curious about everything, Sawyer would set his mind to doing something and not stop trying until he figured it out. Recent new pursuits included raising chickens, brewing beer, learning to play the guitar, and volunteering for Big Brothers Big Sisters in Salt Lake City. Fun times with Sawyer involved some combination of mountains, water, costumes, and fireworks. His laugh and smile were infectious. He wanted to experience all life had to offer all of the time. Sawyer provided the impetus for getting people to explore the natural world with him, and he surrounded himself with friends who reveled in recreating outdoors. He was a grounding force in a wonderful and close community of friends and family in Jackson and Salt Lake and will be missed by many. He loved his dog, Hubble.

Sawyer was a 2013 graduate of the Jackson Hole Community School where he continued to grow his leadership qualities, quick wit, and fun-loving nature. He participated as a Boy Scout throughout his youth where he nurtured his outdoor skills and his love of wild places. During college breaks, he worked for numerous local businesses over the years. He was a caring, compassionate, spontaneous, funny, competitive, engaging, sharp, strong, thoughtful, headstrong, positive, and intellectual young man. The world was opening to him in so many ways.

Next to his bed, Sawyer kept a book of quotes about ideas that resonated with him. His family shares two of them here:

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” Steve Jobs

“A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.” Charles Darwin

There will be a gathering of family and friends on July 15, 2017 at 10:30 am at the Commons in Teton Village to celebrate Sawyer’s vitality and lust for life. His family, Susan Mick, Bob Gordon, and sister Sloane, request donations in his honor be sent to the Sawyer Gordon Wild Places Memorial Fund at the Bank of Jackson Hole. Funds will go toward preserving wild places in Utah through action.


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Susan Mick 
Jackson, WY
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