Sarah Harding Rains
February 9, 1924 – April 18, 2021
Sarah passed away peacefully and well cared for at Harbor Health on April 18, 2021 in Port Charlotte FL. Sarah was born Feb. 09, 1924 in St. Louis, MO. Daughter of Dr. Alba E. and Anice M. (nee Spangle) Harding. Her childhood was in Morrison, IL, graduating from the local high school. She attended Iowa State University in Ames, IA, graduated from Katherine Gibbs Secretarial School, Chicago, IL where she was a private secretary for Michiana Steel Products until her Stiehl marriage and moved to Wisconsin where she raised her children. She then continued her college education in Elementary Teaching, Kindergarten certified, at Wisconsin Teacher College in Algoma, WI, Stout State College in Menomonie, WI and graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh with a Major in Education and a Minor in Speech and Hearing Therapy.
While teaching in Appleton, WI, in 1966 her mother was killed by a drunken driver in Port Charlotte, FL. She arrived in FL immediately to care for her father and upon his recovery was employed in Largo, FL Elementary School for two years and then Charlotte County Schools at Baker Academy, Neil Armstrong and East Elementary until her retirement in 1985. She became active in the Charlotte County Retired Educators Association, serving on the board, editor of the newsletter and year book, also a life member of the Florida Retired Educators Assoc. Other organizational activities included UU Fellowship of Charlotte County, Charlotte Players, Charlotte County Jazz Society, YMCA, American Association of University Women, Friends of Music, Charlotte Symphony, usher at Memorial Auditorium, classes at Elderwise Institution, Adult learning in Retirement at Edison and Charlotte County Cultural Center. During many summers she served as Associate member of Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Door County, WI. While living at South Port Square she participated in Aquarobics, Wellness Center, Wing Leader, served on the Council. She is on the National Registration of Daughters of the American Revolution.
Sarah is survived by her 3 children, Patty Lynn (Stiehl) Wiedeman (Tom) of Placentia CA., Carl Stiehl of Punta Gorda, FL, Sarah Ann Stiehl (Bob Klein) of New Orleans LA. Grandchildren, Michelle Burdett (Jeff), Jennifer Byrd (Shane), Joseph Stiehl (Sally). Great Grandchildren, Taylor Darby (Colt), Ryan Byrd, Cambria Byrd Pitts (Austin), Trent Stiehl, Sydney Stiehl, Carson Stiehl. Great Great Grandchildren, Alanice Darby, Danica Darby, Rilyn Pitts, Carter Pitts, Lorali Pitts and Maverick Pitts. Also beloved friend Nancy Jean Deane and numerous special friends.
Cremation arrangements are made with Kays-Ponger & Uselton Funeral Home. Memorial suggestions would be to scholarship foundations of the local Charlotte County Retired Educators CCREA, 1662 Viscaya Dr., Port Charlotte FL 33952 or students of your favorite charity.
Sarah would like to share her “philosophy” to help you smile through life: Keep flirting (be kind) Keep dancing (exercise!) Keep happy (positive) If you don’t believe this, you are deader than I am!
Sarah’s family would like to add a special thank you to the professional, caring, compassionate staff at Fawcett Memorial Hospital, Dr. Bartek, Dr. Petrofsky, South Port Square, Harbor Health, Tidewell Hospice, Millennium Physicians all of whom extended her quality of life and the transition to achieve dignity at the end of her long, prosperous and happy life.