Sayers bequeaths gifts to schools, library

Published 11:44 pm Wednesday, December 3, 2008

When Sam Mike Sayers taught at Demopolis High School, he left a legacy of good education and fond memories among his students and fellow faculty members. That legacy will continue for future DHS students, as the estate of him and his wife, Elizabeth, has provided an endowment to the Demopolis City Schools Foundation (DCSF) of $94,025.64.

In accordance with his love of Shakespeare and literature, Sayers’ estate left an endowment of the same amount to the Demopolis Public Library.

Both checks were presented to DCSF executive director Jan McDonald and library director Morgan Grimes on Wednesday at the office of Billy Coplin, who handled the Sayers’ estate. The checks were presented by Barry Bledsoe, the executive director of the Alabama Baptist Foundation, which was the executor of the estate.

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The money is not restricted, and will be placed in a no-penalty certificate of deposit for the DCSF until its budget and finance committee and executive committee determine how to use it.

Sayers’ sister, Margaret Carter of Demopolis, and his great-grand-niece, Josie Elizabeth McAlpine, were on hand for the presentation.

“Sam Mike was the very first person to take out a named endowment for the Foundation, in March of 1996,” McDonald said.

Sayers came to Demopolis in 1930 and was employed with the U.S. Postal Service in Demopolis for 35 years, having served as the assistant postmaster. He returned to college to earn a teacher’s degree and taught at Livingston University and Linden High School as well as at Demopolis High School.

He was a member of the First Baptist Church in Demopolis, where he served as a deacon and Sunday school teacher. He was named Demopolis’s Man of the Year in 1983.

He served in the Army and was a World War II veteran, being discharged as a master sergeant. He passed away on Sept. 27 at the age of 93.

“This is the largest single endowment ever for the Foundation,” McDonald said. “The endowment fund was started as a way to ensure the future of the Foundation. The interest is used to help pay for the grants; the principle is never touched. We’re trying to build on this endowment to reach what Hugh Lloyd used to call ‘the hallelujah goal’ of $1 million. That’s what our focus is, and we were well on the way until the stock market decided to tank, but we are still well over halfway there.”

“I feel honored to receive this amount of money, “Grimes said, “and to work in a place where someone would be willing to leave such a substantial amount. It’s really exciting to receive this.”