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880 Hopmeadow Street
P.O. Box 335
Simsbury, CT 06070
Phone: 860-658-7613
Fax: 860-651-0476
Sara Sturges

Sara M. B. Sturges

February 2, 1923 - April 28, 2020
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On April 28, 2020 Sara M. Sturges passed away peacefully in her Simsbury home, her beloved dog Happy by her side. She was born on February 2, 1923 in Cleveland, OH, the daughter of Margaret and John H. Tressler.

From early childhood Sara was interested in art, perhaps influenced by her always seeing words in colors and her being very light sensitive. She earned a bachelor’s degree in art from the College of William and Mary. During and after college she worked as a docent/player at Colonial Williamsburg. She then earned a master’s degree in social work.

After traveling around the eastern U.S., Sara settled in Simsbury, CT and began a career in teaching and community service. She was a much loved and respected preschool and kindergarten teacher in Granby and briefly in East Granby. When a mother with a son in morning kindergarten wondered where he could be while she worked, Sara said she would stay with him all afternoon, playing and teaching. This lasted the entire term.

After retiring Sara did volunteer teaching at Betances school in Hartford, and she served many years as a docent at the Hartford Athenaeum. For several years she was the stage/set manager for productions at the Mark Twain Masquers.

In the mid-1970s she joined the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science. For twenty years she was a leader at IRAS’s annual summer conference on Star Island, off the coast of Portsmouth, NH. For her leadership, in 1999 she was awarded an IRAS Service Award.

Adventure continually called to Sara. In the early 1960s on rally weekends at Lime Rock Racetrack, Lakeville, CT she occasionally drove a male friend’s Porsche 911. Later in life, she travelled to Italy and twenty-four other countries. In 1991 she was on the first ship that cruised the reopened Volga-Baltic canal from Moscow to St. Petersburg. She continued exploring her world as an avid reader.

A lover of animals, dogs were an important part of her life after she moved to Simsbury. With her three sons she raised and bred a female Gordon Setter. At the end of her life she raised Happy from a puppy to a loving, constant companion.
A long-time member of the Unitarian Society of Hartford, Sara hung many art exhibits in the ambulatory of the church. Her efforts over the years were appreciatively recognized by the church board of directors with a formal certificate of appreciation.
Sara is remembered as a very smart, engaging, attractive, and articulate woman.

She is predeceased by a brother Jack Tressler, and survived by sons William (Tad) Bailey, Robert (Ty) Bailey, and Peyton Sturges, and by niece Kate Smith and nephew John Tressler. Also surviving are spouses, seven grandchildren and one great granddaughter.
Instead of flowers, please send contributions to the Unitarian Society of Hartford, 50 Bloomfield Avenue, Hartford, CT 06105, or the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science, David Klotz, Treasurer, 82 Goose Lane, Coventry, CT, or to a charity of your choice. The Vincent Funeral Home of Simsbury is caring for the arrangements. Please visit Sara’s “Book of Memories” at for online tributes.
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Robert Gale Wilson

Posted at 03:45pm
We were so sorry to learn, belatedly, of Sara's death. Apparently, we had talked with her briefly on the phone a week before her passing, but did not sense that sad event so soon. From the time of our unforgettable traveling with her in Italy, she has been a very dear friend. We enjoyed her time with her in our home on visits to Virginia, and we have treasured our communications by phone and mail with her over the years. In early 2020 we had contemplated visiting her--a plan precluded by the Coronovirus complications. Our sincere condolences to all the family members, who no doubt will miss her in so many ways. Sara was a very lovely and loving lady whom we will always remember with the fondest of thoughts.
Our best to the family,
Robert Gale & Anne L. Wilson
Williamsburg, Virginia

Barbara & Al Grotheer

Posted at 05:17pm
Sara was our "seat mate" at Hartford Stage for over 30 years. We became friends and shared many a pre-theater dinner and several luncheons over the years, exploring many fine restaurants in the Hartford area, until Sara was no longer able to attend. We thoroughly enjoyed discussing theater, art, music, and her extensive travels, including her annual preparations for Star Island. She was always full of enthusiasm about so many aspects of life, and she expressed great interest in our adventures, as well. She was always delighted when we visited a place she had been previously, and she had so much to recommend to us. We shared wonderful books, postcards, and small gifts from travels.
She is greatly missed.
Our sincere sympathies to the family. She spoke of you all every time we saw her.
Barbara & Al Grotheer

Ruth Jacobson

Posted at 01:48pm
So many memories of this vibrant, energetic lover of life, music, art, travel and of her eyes as she spoke of life experiences. She walked into my studio during the first Simsbury Open Studios weekend about eighteen years ago and was a welcome visitor ever since. She always brought me items from her travels and articles or books related to our discussions and our love of art. Of course, my husband and I hung my work in the Unitarian Meeting House and helped her find and hang other artists' work, as well.
Sara enjoyed listening to and watching our living room classical music concerts and could engage in amazing conversations with everyone.
She came to my openings in other galleries until she was unable to climb the stairs. She would then ask for virtual tours.
Her commitment to art and to so many wonderful artists meant a great deal to all of us. I was a kind of lending library of my paintings for Sara. She would study/enjoy each one, write her feelings about it and then return it for the next. Sara seemed really connected with the painting which is still in her home, as I believe, she saw herself in that work. She seemed to caress each painting with her eyes, as though she was actually painting it herself. So many memories. I miss her dearly.

Karen Humes

Posted at 11:32am
Mrs. Sturges was my kindergarten teacher at Old Town Hall. I remember going downstairs to get the milk from the basement. She was such a loving woman, so kind and a wonderful teacher. I had so much energy and couldn't sit still, and she embraced it and gave me the ability to move. She would let me go on and on with my stories, and would smile! Thank you for the awesome memories and the kind teacher you were!

Bill Revill

Posted at 06:25pm
I 'll always remember Sara's enthusiasm and appreciation for my paintings and her willingness to show them at the Hartford Unitarian Meeting House. Her support and her kind words were deeply appreciated and I thank her for that. My condolences to the family.

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