Athens – David Michael Sager, 67, of Athens passed away at his residence on Friday, Feb. 12, 2021.
Born in Athens on Feb. 23, 1953, he was the son of the late Kathryn Hess Sager. Dave participated in football and track while also becoming the salutatorian of the Athens High School class of 1971. He would go on to Ohio University where he earned three masters degrees. During his school years, he was employed by Charlie Ben Laughlin at Stanley Steamer and was also the assistant manager at the Athens City Pool.
After his schooling, he was hired by the Athens City School District to teach at Athens High School from which he retired after 30 years of service. During this time, students, teachers and administrators all simply referred to him as “Sager”. During the entire thirty years, Sager had a way to drive everybody he knew nuts, but they all still loved him! He served on the Principals Advisory Board and was also the Key Club Advisor which helped with the Athens Kiwanis Club (of which he was also a member) annual Pancake Day. Once a year, Sager would lead the charge at Athens High for its annual Blood Drive and its Can Food and Coat Drive. Sager could get kids to “pass out” giving blood as was evidence by having the most successful blood drive in southeast Ohio every year he was in charge. And the Can Food and Coat Drive was such a hit a large box truck was necessary to haul away Athens High’s southeast Ohio’s wining donations. Former Athens High School principal Mike Meek said of Sager “He changed his students lives, he was their biggest supporter and would go to bat for his kids.” Meek continued “He influenced so many kids in a positive way and helped get them through school.” Sager was also an annual tradition during Senior Follies where many of his former students would perform “The Sagerettes” to delight of the capacity crowds!
Dave Sager Powerwashing LLC was Dave’s “side job” where several of his former students would work. This business will proceed in Dave’s absence as one of his former students John Sams takes over. John has been Sager’s right hand man for the past twenty-seven years.
Sager’s summer love was Hockingport, OH and the Ohio River. In his younger years he owned many boats, some floated, others sank, but they were always his pride and joy. One summer day in the 70’s Sager would wonder upon Mastopa Island about two miles north of Hockingport. This would become his summer paradise which he would refer to as “Pure Polynesia”. There have been t-shirts spotted around southeast Ohio with the slogan “Sagers Island Pure Polynesia.” He would spend many a nights on the island and the legend “some pirate living on an island” began. It didn’t take long before all the so called “locals” rename the island “Sager’s Island” and oh boy if that island could talk! Sager also became referred to as “Old Man River” as his fleet went from a 16 foot wooden boat to a 45 foot house boat. The Sager stories have been known to become urban legends in Hockingport over the years, or have they? You had to be there!
He is survived by his brother, John (Teresa) Sager; niece, Shannon (Jordan) and nephew, Travis; cousins, Bob (Camellia) Matters, Pam (Tom) Pierson, Billy (Diane) Matters and Kathy (Lantz) Repp; special friends, John Sams and Tiffany Schwarzel.
Besides his mother, Dave was preceded in death by his grandparents, Bob and Letha Hess; and his aunt and uncle, Elaine and Bill Matters.
Graveside funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021 at West Union Street Cemetery in Athens.
In lieu of flowers, Sager has started a scholarship found that donations may be made to: Dave Sager First Step Award Scholarship at Athens High School, C/O Guidance Department, The Plains, Ohio. 45780. Sagers’s wishes are that everyone can put a smile on their face and get a good laugh at his expense. Share a Sager story with a friend and laugh, he’d want it that way....the guy with the pen in his hand is smiling right now and always will when he thinks of Sager.
Friends are encourage to sign the online guestbook at whiteschwarzelfh.com. Arrangements have been entrusted to the White-Schwarzel Funeral Home in Coolville, Ohio.