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 www.vincentfuneralhome.com for online tributes.