Sara Acosta

October 17, 1938February 8, 2011

Many things can be said about Sara Acosta. Known to friends and acquaintances as a friendly, energetic, empathic and decisive woman, her compassionate nature would always shine through, revealing her charm, warmth and conscientious demeanor. She was warmhearted, gentle and organized in all the things she sought to accomplish. Sara was a mentor, a natural “teacher” capable of seeing things clearly, leading others and bringing out the best in all of those around her. She generally had a focus on harmony and peace.

Her parents were Sara Davila and Francisco Defendini. Sara was raised in Brooklyn, New York. When she was young, Sara's friends and family found that “straightforward” and “honest” were perfect words to describe her. Even as a child, Sara demonstrated strong qualities of self-confidence, perceptive ability and a disposition that was enjoyable to those around her.

Sara grew up with one sibling, her sister Madeline (Pupa) Rivera. Sara was constantly involved in all sorts of activities with her family. She was even-tempered, taking care not to get involved in too many family conflicts. This quality served her well, in perpetually bringing harmony, understanding and a sense of peace to the family. Sara carried these traits into her adult life and served as one of many reasons why family and friends found her pleasurable and delightful to be around. Sara was a person who genuinely understood and cared for others, making powerful connections with those she knew.

As a young girl, Sara was imaginative, ingenious, clever and a “novel” thinker. Regardless of whether her peers were older or younger, or came from different backgrounds, Sara could easily relate to other kids. She was an active child who took part in jumping rope. In her spare time she liked reading and dancing. However, to Sara, the most fun to be had was simply playing and spending time with her many friends.

During her high school years, Sara had a natural flair for cheering on and applauding just about everyone. She was constantly offering her support and encouragement to fellow members of the groups and activities in which she participated. She graduated from Clara Barton High School in Brooklyn. She did well in school and genuinely enjoyed telling stories in a way that drew people to her. In this way, Sara had a talent for becoming the center of attention, a kind of social catalyst. Sara was often found to be the lead person facilitating a group activity, frequently filling the role of being “the life of the party.” Teachers and classmates knew Sara as an excellent listener. She placed a high value on learning and always understood that there was a new lesson to be grasped waiting for her just around the corner.

Always considered a “good” friend, Sara sought to understand the things that others enjoyed. For this reason Sara always seemed to possess a never-ending collection of acquaintances. Sara’s friends found her easy to know and get along with because of her talent for being socially at ease, adept at conversation, and always amiable in her dealings with others. Sara would always seek to learn what her friends enjoyed, and she would go out of her way to make sure that their needs were met. Sara was always seen as the type of person who was the more gracious giver. In fact, she sometimes felt ill at ease when she was the one on the receiving end. Throughout her life she had many friends. While growing up, some of her best friends were (Snooky) Frances Phini, Augie Chabiri and Louis Aguila. Later in life, she became friends with Alice Belardo, Carmen, Ren, Sister Janet, Eric and Alma Madore.

On May 1st, 1951 Sara married John Acosta at the St Peter and St Paul Catholic Church of Brooklyn, New York. Compassionate and devoted, Sara worked hard to make her new family happy. By trusting her emotions, Sara did her best to make sure that both the marriage and home life ran smoothly. This is just one more example of how Sara was truly a person of empathy.

Sara’s quality of being a caring and tolerant person who was very accepting of others translated to being a good mother to her children. Sara shared these values with her three children, Debbie, Darlene and Donna. Sara was also blessed with six grandchildren: Keith, John Ryan, Arielle, Kelly Ann, Erika and Peter; plus two great-grandchildren: Alexia and Tyler. Sara related well to children of all ages and was able to connect to them on their level. The children always loved her and she was completely and totally devoted to them.

Sara experienced success in her work life over and over again. Her primary occupation was as a housewife. She was also employed as a cosmetologist, secretary and recruiter. Sara always made the effort to understand what was needed at work, and was well known by her colleagues as a team player. Sara took pride in managing her professional responsibilities and seemed to always know what was necessary to successfully complete a project. Sara was one to take the initiative and her skills at working cooperatively were highly valued. Sara continually sought to learn what her co-workers did well and how they were most effective, a talent that enabled her to help them develop their own potential.

Because she was organized and methodical, Sara took great pleasure in her various hobbies. Her favorite pursuits were reading and dancing. Sara enjoyed sharing her passions with others and could singularly focus on one hobby at a time.

Throughout her life, Sara was actively involved in professional and community organizations. With a talent for focusing in on exactly what was required to be completed, Sara was known to her peers as being able to strengthen any group endeavor. When called on, Sara was a natural leader who created harmony and good relationships within the group, often putting her own needs aside. Sara’s involvement could easily help structure and organize any part of an organization. An added benefit was Sara’s ability to bring valued principles along with her. In high school, Sara was a member of the YMCA.

Sara’s faith was important to her. She was a member of the Cornerstone Christian Church for seven years. During that time, she was active in “Mana from Heaven” and “Virtuous Women”. She was compassionate and warm hearted, someone who truly cared for others and that was clearly demonstrated in her work with the congregation.

Sara was a lover of animals and cherished her pets. One of Sara's favorite was Wendy, a tri-color Collie. They were best friends for 14 years.

Sara passed away on February 8, 2011 in her home at Boca Raton, Florida. Sara fought a brave battle against cancer. She is survived by her husband John; her sister Madeline (Pupa); her daughters Debbie, Darlene and Donna; her six grandchildren and her two great-grandchildren. Services were held at Babione Funeral Home in Boca Raton.

Throughout her life, Sara was a gregarious and enthusiastic woman. She was generous in sharing her personal attributes, giving and helping those she knew and loved. She would often fill the role of coach, bringing out the best in everyone. She was imaginative, original, tender hearted and easy to get along with. Sara leaves behind her a legacy of life-long friendships and cherished memories. Everyone whose lives she touched will dearly remember Sara Acosta.


  • Memorial Service Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sara Acosta

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Madeline Rivera

October 8, 2013

Dear Cookie,

It's almost your 3rd Birthday in heaven. Still miss you very much!

Your little Sister.


Donna Acosta

February 9, 2012

Hi Mom,

I see your twinkle in your eyes every moment I think of you. In my heart you will live forever.

My sweet Mommy.

February 8, 2012

Remembering Aunt Cookie today....can't believe a whole year has gone by already. I hope she is watching from above and sending out her love and kindness to radiate over and replenish her loved ones. I miss you Miss Grumpy... Love , Marilyn

February 8, 2012

Its been a year since you've gone to be with the lord. I miss you every day. It brings me peace to know one day we will all be together.
You are always in my heart.

I love you forever.
Your daughter,

Madeline Rivera

February 8, 2012

To my dear Cookie,
A year ago you left us to be with mom, pop, and Our Lord. You'll always be in my heart and prayers.

Love forever.

Your sister,

February 7, 2012

Dear Darlene, Donna, all the Acosta Family and our dear friend, Madeline,

Know you are always in our hearts and prayer and very specially on Wednesday, February 8th as you re-member dearest Sara on her first anniversary of death.

Our love to each one,
Sister Barbara Gooding and
Sister Anne Rodgers

Larry Kaye

April 13, 2011

Dear Darlene, Donna and family

I visited this wonderful tribute to your mom last month and was very moved and cried. Did it again tonight..Always think of you guys.
Larry Kaye

February 28, 2011

I also remember miss Grumpy as one of my favorite "teacher baby-sitters" being stood in the corner for being naughty never felt like punishment and some how along with that bit of magic you never felt as if anyone else had more of her attention or time and we all felt that way. As we became older she became our own version of Sandra Dee or any one of the young blond starlets of the 50's and 60's and of course she was one of the circle of women who were so influential in my life. I am not a religious person but I believe matter cannot be destroyed, only converted to another form. The energy that inhabits our bodies as consciousness therefore must indeed go somewhere and go on and on because the universe wastes not a bit of it's substance. Wherever you are fare thee well as you sail among the stars my dear aunt Cookie.

Andrea Ramirez

February 26, 2011

Andrea Ramirez

February 26, 2011