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Obituary: Silver, Sarah F.

1.30b v41#3 Sarah photoSarah F. Silver, age 86, dear and indestructible mother, grandmother, aunt and friend, died peacefully in her sleep on January 29, 2016. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Gerald Silver (Gerry), and numerous extended family members. Sarah is survived by her children, Melinda Silver (Melvin Buchwald), Cory Silver (Beth Grace Silver), and Payton Silver (Wayne Kastning), and her grandchildren, Shane Buchwald, Andrea Buchwald and Marcy Silver. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews, their children, and sister-in-law, Marilyn Silver. She is also survived by a bevy of good and loyal friends, some who have known her a lifetime and some who met her just this past year.

Sarah was an independent woman, who acted on her convictions. Born in Chicago, she grew up in Eveleth, Minnesota, the only child of Isadore and Celia Sternberg. Sarah majored in journalism at the University of Minnesota, and left in her senior year to marry Gerry. Sarah was no ordinary mother and wife – championing causes local and beyond: successfully convincing department stores to issue credit cards to married women; creating a badly needed city park; hiring an extraordinary public elementary school principal. Active in party politics, she was on the DFL State Central Committee, and helped form the DFL Feminist Caucus, with a mission to elect women to political office. The group helped elect Joan Growe, who became a longstanding MN Secretary of State. Sarah reported for the Twin Cities Observer and The Metro News, and often was a delegate to the DFL State Convention. She helped establish and was a founding board member for Sojourners, a women’s shelter. If she worked on a board, she often became president – first for P.T.As, later for her condo association, the most difficult position of all.

Sarah turned her Sunday afternoon hobby of “open housing” into a career as a real estate agent. When not working, she loved to travel, frequently visiting her children and grandchildren, and exploring the world. Her retirement mainstays included daily New York Times crossword puzzles, classical and jazz piano playing late into the night, book club, bridge clubs and classes at OLLI, where she parlayed her writing talent into a series of short stories and individualized birthday songs for her many friends. She even wrote a song for Gloria Steinem, which was performed on Steinem’s 70th birthday. Just last week Sarah gave permission for the “The Alley Newspaper” to publish her jingle judge story as part of a neighborhood effort to save the Burma Shave building in Minneapolis.

Sarah knew that her Parkinson’s disease was progressing, but she did not want a funeral. She asked for a “party to end all parties,” so last month she celebrated with her immediate family – Chinese take-out, chocolate pie and tea. For entertainment, she read aloud one of her stories – a spoof on son-in-law, Mel. It was hilarious, and we all had a good time. In the days following, Sarah played many games of bridge with us – she was an ace player.

Sarah was much loved and admired. May her memory be a blessing. We would like to give big thanks to all of you who visited, wrote, spoke and kept her in your thoughts and prayers during this final phase of her life. We also want to thank her caregivers Kate and Joanne, the incredible hospice workers, and the entire staff at Kingston Residence of Santa Fe, all of who faithfully and with heartfelt smiles treated mom with respect and patience, bringing sunshine into her life. Her personal physician, Caroline Kingston, was another bright and constant presence in her new life in Santa Fe.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Coming Home Connection, 418 Cerrillos Rd., Ste. 27, Santa Fe NM 87501 or your organization of choice. A memorial service will be held in late spring in Minnesota.

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