Sarah L Withers

June 24, 1939April 27, 2022
Sarah “Sally” Latimer Withers 1939-2022. “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say ‘I used everything you gave me.’” – Erma Bombeck Sarah Marshall Latimer was born on June 24, 1939 in Ohio to Mary Elizabeth “Libby” Perot Latimer and Major William James Latimer; the family was stationed there as her father was an ordinance officer in the US Army. Sally was the 4th of the five Latimer children. Her surviving siblings are Dotty Greer, Bill Latimer, and Betsy Miller. Her younger sister, Ann Strate, passed away in 2009. As a two year old, Sally first met her future husband in Manila, Philippines in 1940 when both the Latimer and Withers families were stationed there. After evacuation from the Philippines in 1941, where her father died as a Japanese POW, Libby Latimer settled the family at "Little Magnet": a stone farmhouse in Paoli, Pennsylvania. Growing up in "Little Magnet", Sally was an active child: skiing, ice skating, playing field hockey, lacrosse, and basketball. Sally debuted in Philadelphia society in 1956 on the arm of her beloved step-father, Jack Bracken, who had married Libby in 1954. She attended nearby Agnes Irwin School, graduating in 1957. In school, Sally excelled in math, sports, and choir. In the autumn of 1960, while attending business school for accounting and still living at "Little Magnet", Sally was re-acquainted with William “Bill” Withers, by then a 1958 graduate of the US Naval Academy who was on shore leave in Philadelphia. Bill proposed 6 months later, and they were married July 24, 1961 at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Paoli, Pennsylvania. Sally and Bill moved often in their 60+ year marriage, thanks to Bill’s service in the US Navy as a Nuclear Submariner, and his later career in Nuclear Power Plant Engineering. Their first child, Wendt Withers (wife Christy), was born in 1963 in New London, CT; second child, Kathy Miklos (husband Todd), was born in Kailua, Hawaii in 1965. Wendy Withers (wife Danean Wisely) was born in 1967 in Honolulu, Hawaii, and Emily Acosta (husband Juan) was born in 1969 in Charleston, South Carolina (In the same Navy Base hospital as her paternal grandmother, Katherine Zalesky Withers). Favorite moments for the family were summers spent at the Bracken Camp at Pocono Lake Preserve, Pennsylvania. Sally was adept at sewing (clothes, quilts), jewelry making, knitting and crochet, and she sang in every choir at Episcopal and Lutheran churches from Nebraska,in 1970, to Illinois in 2000. Sally also raised 4 amazing children while working as a bookkeeper over the years. She mastered tennis, especially when she and Bill lived in Vero Beach, Florida. Sally suffered a severe stroke in June 2000 while she and Bill were visiting Colorado. Bill quickly moved heaven & earth (and all of their worldly belongings) to Fort Collins to be near their daughters during her recovery. Sally and Bill joined Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Fort Collins, and were faithful members of the congregation. Sally’s exercise included walks in the neighborhood, where she greeted all of the cats and dogs by name! Sally and daughter Kathy both carried the US Winter Olympic Torch on its way to Salt Lake City, Utah in January 2002, as it traveled through Colorado. Some of her favorite recent memories with her family were Disney cruises, Adventures to China, the Baltic Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, Danube River cruise, and a South Africa safari. She loved her knitting group, book club, and stroke support group as well as playing games with friends and family. The family celebrated her 80th birthday at Sylvan Dale Ranch in Loveland, CO in 2019. That autumn, she joined her church group for a Holy Land Pilgrimage. Sally and Bill celebrated their 60th Anniversary with church and community in 2021. A service will be held in her honor on Friday, May 13th at 10 AM at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church.

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