Local women helping others in memory of their grandsons
by Jennifer Cohron
Oct 14, 2012 | 1508 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Shelia Huffman, left, and Sue Sawyer are making knit hats and friendship bracelets in memory of their grandsons who were both killed last year in tragic accidents. Photo by: Jennifer Cohron
Shelia Huffman, left, and Sue Sawyer are making knit hats and friendship bracelets in memory of their grandsons who were both killed last year in tragic accidents. Photo by: Jennifer Cohron
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Joe Huffman Jr. and Darrin Sawyer have more in common than they ever realized.

Both loved to play Pac-Man, sometimes together at the home of Huffman’s grandmother, Shelia.

Both died in tragic accidents three months apart last year at age 20 and 15, respectively.

Now, both have grandmothers who are honoring their memory by making hats and bracelets for underprivileged children.

Huffman came up with the idea three months ago after a neighbor taught her how to knit the hats.

“He never did like for anybody to go cold in winter,” Huffman said about her grandson, who was known to most family members as “Bubba” but whom she always called “Nanny’s little man.”

Sue Sawyer, Darrin’s grandmother, said he was also the type of person who would give someone the shirt off of his back.

“He would come in the room where I was and ask if I was cold. Even if I said no, he would still get another blanket to put on top of me,” Sawyer said.

Sawyer will be making friendship bracelets to give to each child who receives one of Huffman’s hats.

The bracelets symbolize the bond that the boys shared as well as the one their grandmothers have developed since their deaths.

Huffman has made 27 hats so far, and Sawyer is starting to work on her bracelets.

Their goal is to have approximately 75 or 80 of each by the first week in November.

The women are currently seeking nonprofits in the area, particularly those that serve children and the homeless, that would like to help with distribution.

This Saturday will be one year since Joe Jr. died in an auto accident.

In July, Sawyer’s family marked the one-year anniversary of his death in an ATV accident.

Although their lives were cut short, their grandmothers don’t want them to be forgotten.

“I feel like they’re both up there looking down and they’re pleased with what we’re doing,” Sawyer said.