John Vincent Sauers

John Vincent Sauers, 70 years old, of West Goshen Township, West Chester, Chester County, PA died on May 20, 2024, from an anoxic brain injury from COPD. John had also been battling bladder and prostate cancer for 8+ years.  John was the husband of Gayle Litwiniec-Sauers with whom he spent 35 years of marriage, the father of John Anthony “CJ” Sauers, Michael Racelis and Kristianne Racelis, and grandparent to Kaili Racelis, Nicholas Racelis and Gabriel Leo Fox.

John was born in Hazleton, PA to Vincent J. Sauers and Anna (née Shisko) Sauers before moving to Brookhaven, PA where he graduated from Sun Valley School District. He went to Penn State University main campus where he majored in Education and earned his bachelor’s degree in education.  John spent several years as a high school history teacher before realizing that he was not a person that enjoyed being behind a desk or looking at 25 desks in front of him.   He enlisted in the Pennsylvania State Police on January 4, 1982, and was stationed in Somerset County, PA before transferring to Chester County and working out of the Embreeville Barracks, Troop J. He proudly wore the Pennsylvania State Police uniform while serving in various leadership positions.  John was a Field Training Officer, a Criminal Investigator, an Undercover Narcotics Officer (Troop J- Vice), and Evidence Custodian before rising through the ranks to the position of Corporal.  For many years, John did not take the promotional tests because he knew that if he were to get the “rank” it would also mean that he would be behind the desk again, and he knew from experience it was not a place that he preferred.  John was best working on the streets with the men and women in uniform and for the people of Pennsylvania, working to solve problems and protect the people of the state through his experience that was honed over the years on the job.  He didn’t always follow the “Letter of the Law”, but he always upheld the “Spirit of the Law” with duty and honor.  John was opinionated and he tried to handle each problem in an efficient manner.  John was the man who would question why things were done a certain way, wanting to always do what was right and fair for all, even if it meant questioning his superiors.  He was intelligent, but carried himself in such a way that he would let people “think he didn’t understand” to lure them in and to get them to talk and open up.  It is one of the skills that made him one of the best investigators and interviewers.  He had a way about him that made you want to keep on telling him things. John’s last assignment before retirement was working the Turnpike at Troop T- Bowmansville in Berks County.  John loved the area, the people and the men and women he worked with.

When not working and even after retirement he preferred to dress like a “mountain man” in camouflage and neon knit hats in the winter, and barefoot, shorts and a tee shirt in the summer.  He was not into “fashion”, eating in fine restaurants, or going out on the town.  He loved being at home, hanging out with his dog, hunting and fishing when he could, chatting with his neighbors and following the National and Local news.  Always a lover of history, he enjoyed politics and the debates as they played out in real life.

John was a special character, and they broke the mold when he was born.  He loved his family; he loved the United States of America, and he loved his time volunteering with the Naturals Lands Trust posting signs during hunting season at Crow’s Nest in Chester County.  He was often seen sitting on the front porch stoop where he would be smoking a cigarette or talking on the phone.  He would greet all the neighborhood children, their parents and pets when they went past the house.  The young children in the neighborhood affectionately called him “Old John”, and he loved it.   He didn’t always know their names, but he always had a tall tale to share with them when they would walk over to speak to him.  Even after they were long grown up and moved away, when they would come back, they always stopped to say “hello”.

John hated technology, refused to use GPS in a car, abhorred Alexa and Siri, and carried a flip phone until the day he died.  It was on his flip phone that he would call people in the neighborhood that lived alone.  John felt that everyone who lived alone needed to know that someone would check on them to see if they were still alive.  He showed his love and caring by calling people, preferring to leave short voicemail messages that were politically incorrect, socially unacceptable or blunt and to the point. Some messages would actually say, “Hey, are you dead? Call me if you get this message so I can check you off.  He would call each person in his family with similar messages, and even if they didn’t pick up the call, he would leave a message, which would ultimately make everyone laugh.

John was adored by his grandchildren, Kaili Arianna Racelis and Nicholas Edward Racelis, and was just getting to know the youngest addition to the family, Gabriel Leo, when he passed away.  John knew that he was “different”.  John marched to his own drum, and he did what he wanted to do when he wanted to do it.  He knew for years that he had cancer but chose to keep it private and not seek treatment.  He did not want a funeral, anyone’s pity or their tears. John was very vocal about what he wanted and didn’t want after he died, and he shared those wishes with his wife, who is adhering to each and every one of his choices. He chose cremation and asked that his ashes be scattered on the lands that gave him so much joy when hunting. He wanted people to remember him with a smile, and to hoist a drink in his memory should they feel so inclined.

John never wanted to be a burden to anyone and until he took his last breath, he was stoic and never complained or let on that he was dying. John lived long enough to make peace with everyone that ever had an issue with him over the years.   John spoke a little softer, he tried a little harder, he made an effort to let everyone know how much they were appreciated and loved in his way while he was alive.

John Vincent Sauers is also survived by a brother Gerard Nicholas Sauers of Lancaster, PA, and a sister-in-law, Mary Louise Mollieri.

John was preceded in death by his parents, Vincent Joseph Sauers and Anna Bernadine Sauers, four siblings, Jeffrey, Joseph, James and Mary Katherine, and his first wife, Margaret Rea Sauers.

In keeping with John’s wishes, his wife, Gayle Litwiniec-Sauers will be hosting a celebration of life to honor him.  Please reach out to Gayle at [email protected] if you wish to be notified of the pending time and date in the future.