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H.C. Alexander Funeral Home

821 Fourth Street, Norco, LA

OBITUARY

Sarah Lynne James

June 17, 2000July 17, 2019
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Sarah left this world tragically on July 17, 2019, after enjoying an evening out with friends, near her LSU campus where she was a sophomore studying biological engineering. Sarah was born in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada on June 17, 2000 and lived there until she was five years old. Her family then relocated to Lake Jackson, TX where she lived until she was 11 at which time her family moved to the Destrehan, LA area (Montz, LA). Each summer she spent time in Montana and Indiana visiting with her grandparents, aunts & uncles, cousins, and extended families, and many friends. Sarah enjoyed hiking in the mountains of Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and recently in Yosemite National Park, Sequoia National Park and Big Sur area of California. Her family had taken several other adventurous trips to Banff National Park Canada, Big Bend National Park, Vermont, Niagara Falls, Mackinac Island, The Great Smokey Mountains, and Appalachia. Sarah made some very special friends throughout her childhood in many different areas, including Alberta, Texas and Louisiana. She kept in touch with many of those to this day. Her youth included lots of activities like soccer, swim team, and girl scouts. She played clarinet in grade school band and took piano lessons. She expressed her love of art by painting and drawing. Sarah also developed an early habit of making lists – for everything! Upon moving to Louisiana, Sarah had a somewhat slow adjustment but one day she decided she was going to excel and make her initial mark through academic and other organizational achievements. She developed a strict habit of “study time” every day after school and applied herself. She competed with fury and volunteered for many activities. Her social life and friendships also blossomed from there. Sarah volunteered for Wetland Watchers when she was in elementary school and she loved showing others the live animals that are native to Louisiana and enjoyed working as a counselor at Swamp School. Sarah was a talented writer and won second place in 2014 for her nonfiction story in the State of Louisiana’s LA Writes Youth Writing Contest. In 2015 Sarah competed at the state level at the Louisiana Science and Engineering Fair. During her high school years Sarah was voted by her peers as “Most Likely to be President”, “Most Likely to Cure Cancer”, and in 2018, “Most Likely to Impact the World”. Sarah played tennis at Destrehan High School for four years and was team captain and a State Finalist her senior year. Sarah was a gifted artist and was part of the Talented Art program at Destrehan High School. She was a member of the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) teen squad which is a creative youth development program that aims to “develop the creative potential of its participants to live richer, fuller lives and develop the critical learning and life skills they need to become active contributors to their communities”. Sarah joined her St Charles United Methodist Church family in 2015, and was confirmed along with her brother. She went on mission trips to Rio Bravo, Mexico in 2017 and 2018, where she worked on a construction team and was member of a medical team with “Louisiana a Mexico – Manos Juntas Con Jesucrito”. Sarah was honored to represent Destrehan High School in 2017 at the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State of Louisiana. In April of 2017, she started to realize that medicine was to be her path after being selected to participate in “The Perry Initiative’s Perry Outreach Program” at Tulane University. The program’s goal is “to inspire women to pursue careers in Orthopedic Surgery and Engineering”. Sarah served as National Honor Society President during her senior year and was the first in her high school to be awarded a scholarship from the national chapter. She was a member of the St Charles Parish School Superintendent’s Student Advisory Board. Sarah was elected to Destrehan Homecoming Court her senior year. Sarah was named Destrehan Student of the Year and St Charles Parish Public Schools Student of the Year, and also graduated salutatorian of Destrehan High School in Destrehan, LA in 2018. Sarah had recently completed her first year of the Biological and Agricultural Engineering (BAE) FastPath program (a selective program where she would earn her Bachelors of Science degree in Biological Engineering, and then work concurrently on her medical degree and PhD) at LSU in Baton Rouge, LA. She was honored to be named on the President’s Honor Roll for achieving > 4.0 in her engineering studies to date. Sarah had just ordered a study guide and was beginning to prepare for her MCAT which she planning to take next summer. She was also a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority, being a legacy from her grandmother Jenny Lou (Lu-Lu). In April 2019, she was awarded the Wiley D. Poole Memorial Scholarship at LSU’s Department of BAE awards banquet. A close LSU friend said: “Sarah loved to be involved and do as much as she could, when most people just did the bare minimum”. Sarah was employed part-time at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge where she performed lab work as an assistant. She worked a second part-time job as a medical secretary at Associates in Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine in Baton Rouge, LA. And Sarah had just started a third part-time job as a medical scribe in the emergency room at a local hospital. Sarah developed a close and lasting relationship with many of her elementary and high school teachers and her LSU professors. She was blessed to be surrounded by many talented teachers, mentors, friends and family who loved her. Sarah had a very subtle sense of humor – early on she learned how to make funny faces from her mom and dad, listening to “A Fidgety Frolic”, reenacting entire episodes of “Jay Jay the Jet Plane”, doing an impression of “Turn Around Bright Eyes”, performing silly dance routines, and many more. We’ll never forget one night at the Embassy Suites, when Sarah, age 10, did her “Mountain Stomp Dance” in the lobby for at about 10 minutes. While Sarah was an accomplished student, she was not all about the books. She had a passion for style and was a talented makeup artist, often helping her friends get ready for special events. She loved shopping—especially at thrift stores! She was always thrilled when she found a fashionable piece for a great deal and would say “I’ve got a lot of college to pay for, you know…” with that special smile of hers. Sarah was very close to her younger brother Clay. Although they often fought, as good siblings do, they were very attached to each other and had gone through many experiences together. They shared an excellent sense of humor and love for each other. Sarah dearly loved spending time with her grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and extended family and friends. She would occasionally chastise her parents for not having more social gatherings. Sarah developed a love for Crawfish Boils while in Louisiana – and undoubtedly the social aspect. Although Sarah was great at setting and achieving goals, she artfully worked to achieve balance in her life. She based her 2018 salutatorian speech around the quote displayed on the wall in her family’s kitchen: “Life is not a matter of milestones, but of moments”. This served to remind her to take time to enjoy the path, and not just the destination. Thank you Sarah James for the million wonderful moments! Rest in Peace sweet girl, knowing you were dearly loved and that you made a difference in the lives of many. Sarah is survived by: Parents - Doug and Becky (Rhodes) James of Montz, LA; Brother – Clayton James; Grandparents - Mel and Pam James of Bigfork, MT; John and Mary Rhodes of Bremen, IN; Chuck Siderius of Kalispell, MT; Aunt - Beth (Rhodes) Bogunia and cousin Bryant Bogunia of South Bend, IN; Aunt and Uncle - Kim (James) Zipp and Gene Zipp of Woods Bay, MT; Beloved pets, Emma (Emma Moo-Moo) and Amber (Amber-Bamber), two Labrador retriever-mix rescue dogs. Sarah is preceded in death by: Grandmother – Jenny Lou (Lu-Lu) Siderius of Kalispell, MT; and Uncle – Clifford Melbourne James, III (Trey) of Kalispell, MT, who are holding her tight until we see her again. Relatives and friends of Sarah James are invited to attend a Memorial Visitation at St. Charles United Methodist Church, 1905 Ormond Blvd. Destrehan, LA 70047, on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 from 5:30 PM until 7PM. A Memorial Service will be held at the church Thursday, July 25, 2019 at 11 AM. Officiant, Pastor Michelle Harris, Honorary Pallbearers: Clay James, brother; Bryan Bogunia, cousin; Ethan Headings, boyfriend; Noah Wilkins, friend; Matt Lewis, friend; and Nicholas Dufresne, friend. H.C. Alexander Funeral Home in charge of arrangements, please visit www.HCAlexander.com to view and sign the online guestbook. In Lieu of flowers the family has established a memorial fund, please consider donating to the Sarah James Memorial Scholarship Fund, you may donate by writing a check to Sarah James Memorial Scholarship Fund and send to either St. Charles United Methodist Church (1905 Ormond Blvd. Destrehan, LA 7047) or Destrehan High School (1 Wildcat Lane, Destrehan, LA 70047), or donating via www.Gofundme.com (Sarah James Memorial Scholarship Fund).

  • DONATIONS

  • Sarah James Memorial Scholarship Fund
  • Checks may be sent to Destrehan High School for the Sarah James Memorial Scholarship Fund
  • Checks can also be mailed to the St. Charles United Methodist Church for the Sarah James Memorial Scholarship Fund

Services

  • Memorial Visitation Wednesday, July 24, 2019
  • Memorial Service Thursday, July 25, 2019

Memories

Sarah Lynne James

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Joseph Guichard

July 24, 2019

She is my class member in destrehan high school reach her to your holy Spirit Jesus tell her she is be ok with you Jesus name amen she is class president

Rebekah Verghese

July 24, 2019

Read: Tuesday 4:00pm ...continued....

That was always your job, you know.
you're the one with the plans; i'm the one with the big dreams
together we were supposed to accomplish
everything and anything
there's nothing that made our eyes glint
like ambition
if we weren't the best, then we weren't finished
mistakes only mistakes if you don't fix them
if you aren't where you want to be then there's still work to be done
and with that you picked up your pencil
and started writing our story
I pick up my pencil now and promise to finish it

P.S.: I promise all your favorite plot twists

Rebekah Verghese

July 24, 2019

Read: Tuesday 4:00pm

i was so scared walking into that Kindergarten class starting Elementary School
we were in the big leagues now
And you walked in and my heart
stopped fighting my ribcage for a way out
if I was scared, you looked terrified
so I took a deep breath and gathered my strength
what's your name?
Sarah, you whispered

long distance isn't even that hard
not what people made it out to be
we only saw each other every once in a while
but it was always like it used to be
time had nothing on infinity
if I didn't tell you about it
did it even happen to me?
we knew everything and anything
our conversations ended with semi-colons not periods
finality is never as final as it seems
your response starts where I left off
and we just are

I have never met someone so deeply ingrained in me
our reflections look the same to me
only the details are different
they are met with indifference
our eyes see the same things
our minds think the same things
our hearts beat to the same rhythm
so you must understand how broken it felt
when your heart stopped hours before mine
and where mine picked up again
yours no longer mimicked my wavelength; out of phase

if perfection were a person
they'd still feel inferior next to you
you had your flaws, but for some reason
flaws look good on you; like yours
were freckles instead of impurities
you like to be seen but only if you like what you see
you always get what you want only because you know what that is
you didn't have time to kick pebbles
you were too busy moving mountains

I keep looking back through our conversations
the only one that makes it hard to breathe finishes with
Read: Tuesday 4:00pm
Its not the first time you've left me without air
there are plenty of times you've made me laugh that hard
you're tangled in my truth
you took the part of me that always belonged to you I never thought you'd take
the wound burned
only to be replaced by a dull ache
and i'm left trying to pick up the pieces

to be continued.....

John and Maya Gallagher

July 21, 2019

Sarah was such a vibrant and intelligent young woman; we are fortunate to have known her. It was a blessing that we were able to get everyone together again in Montana last summer. We have been thinking about all of you often these past few days.

-John, Maya, Ethan, Carina, and Cara

John and Maya Gallagher

July 21, 2019

Carina, Sarah, Clay, and Ethan at Christmas Party (Red Deer, 2003)

Nayantara Verghese

July 21, 2019

Friends forever.... Rebekah & Sarah

Nayantara Verghese

July 21, 2019

Back when.... Sarah, Rebekah, Clay & Johanna @ Lake Jackson, TX.

Kim Wold

July 21, 2019

Rest in Peace beautiful child of God. You will forever be remembered, your generous and loving legacy will live in the hearts of those that knew you very well and those of us that knew you through the eyes of your loving parents and family. Gods Peace be with all of you in the coming days and weeks ahead.

Nikhil, Nayantara, Rebekah, Johanna Verghese

July 20, 2019

Dear Doug, Becky & Clay,

This is for you...

“You’ll get to where you need to be in your own time. Until then, breathe. Breathe and be patient with yourself and your process. You’re doing the best you can to cope and survive amid your struggles, and that’s all you can ask of yourself. It’s enough. You are enough.” - Daniell Koepke, Daring to Take Up Space

Nikhil, Nayantara, Rebekah & Johanna Verghese

July 20, 2019

Sarah saw souls, I think. The outside didn’t matter so much. And that was the secret to her being able to touch so many lives in the years we had with her. She was that spark that burned with confidence and sass; the strength to be herself in a world that places too much emphasis on a perfect social peer profile; the ability to balance academics, fun, sports and so much more , without losing sight of her goals- an incredible feat in one so young. But then, she was an incredible presence.
Sarah was our older daughter, Rebekah’s, best friend, from the moment they laid eyes on each other in Mrs.Mathews’ KG class. They’ve created worlds together, these two soul mates (with some input from their younger siblings), and held each others’ dreams close. They’ve been separated more, maybe, than the time they ever had together, but it never seemed to matter. They 4 (Rebekah, Sarah, Clay & Johanna) picked up right where they left off, every time!So many plans the girls had together. So many dreams to make true.And then, Sarah was taken- so tragically, too soon. It hurts so. But, even in this, in true Sarah fashion, she has brought all of us - friends, family, neighbors, community- together. As Becky said, “All her worlds are finally meeting and she would have been so ecstatic...”
As Nikhil found out: the etymology of Sarah is Princess, Pure, Happy. A name significant in history as the Matriarch of the 3 Abrahamic religions of the world. In unifying us all, she more than lives up to the name she carried.Our love, support, thoughts and prayers are with you all, Doug, Becky & Clay. Always and forever. You all have been, and will ever remain, entwined in the tapestry we call family. God bless.
“There are so many fragile things after all. People break easily, so do dreams and hearts” Neil Gaiman. “There are things in this world that no human being should be able to endure. We should die of heartbreak, but we do not. Instead, we are forced to survive, to bear witness”Noah Hawley

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Biography

Sarah is survived by: Parents - Doug and Becky (Rhodes) James of Montz, LA; Brother – Clayton James; Grandparents - Mel and Pam James of Bigfork, MT; John and Mary Rhodes of Bremen, IN; Chuck Siderius of Kalispell, MT; Aunt - Beth (Rhodes) Bogunia and cousin Bryant Bogunia of South Bend, IN; Aunt and Uncle - Kim (James) Zipp and Gene Zipp of Woods Bay, MT; Beloved pets, Emma (Emma Moo-Moo) and Amber (Amber-Bamber), two Labrador retriever-mix rescue dogs.
Sarah is preceded in death by: Grandmother – Jenny Lou (Lu-Lu) Siderius of Kalispell, MT; and Uncle – Clifford Melbourne James, III (Trey) of Kalispell, MT, who are holding her tight until we see her again.