Sarah Ellen Pursglove Boyer

November 11, 1949October 6, 2021

On Wednesday, October 6, 2021, Sarah P. Boyer passed away peacefully at her home in San Diego, California.

Sarah was born on November 11, 1949, in Lakewood, Ohio, the fourth child of the late Hattie F. and Samuel R. Pursglove. After her family settled in Suffern, New York, she grew up there with her siblings, the late Hattie Jo Mullins, Samuel Richard Pursglove, Susan P. Bartlett, and Joseph Pursglove II. After graduating from Suffern High School, she attended West Virginia University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish. Subsequently, in 1971, she attended New York Medical College, Graduate School of Nursing, where she met John, her husband of 48 years. After finishing their master’s degrees, they began their life together as a U.S. Navy family. During John’s Navy career, they lived in Chicago, IL; Ceiba, Puerto Rico; Monterey, CA; and the Washington, DC area. In each location, Sarah worked as nurse in several different, and often challenging, roles. Not only was her clinical knowledge exceptionally strong, she was also sought after in medical situations because of her foreign language skills. She completed her professional career as a nursing professor, teaching for more than two decades at Montgomery College in Maryland.

While Sarah could easily be commended for her contributions in nursing, she always said her greatest accomplishment in life was giving birth to three magnificent children, John Benjamin, Anne Pursglove, and Thomas Edward. Her love for them was unquestionable and unending, and they brought her joy throughout her life. She was also passionate about her grandchildren—Ella Paz Trejo Boyer (daughter of Ben and his late wife Xenia), and twins Hattie Gloria and John Arthur Golub Boyer (children of Annie and her wife Cortney)—who she treasured endlessly. Accordingly, in 2015, Sarah and John moved to San Diego to be close to them.

In addition to her immediate family, Sarah’s devotion to others—nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, godsons, goddaughters, and children of all of them—was also particularly noteworthy. She was exceptionally generous to everyone, and she was also always committed to helping those in need whether she knew them or not. Whenever she saw inequities and abuse in any form, she wanted to help. Despite numerous medical challenges during her lifetime, including breast cancer and Parkinson’s Disease for more than 18 years, she always found time and ways to make a positive difference in the lives of countless individuals and families.

If anyone would like to make a contribution to a worthy charity in her honor, some of her favorites include:

The Parkinson’s Association of San Diego

640 W Solana Circle #25 Solana Beach, CA 92075


South Bay Community Services & Mi Escuelita Preschool

430 F Street Chula Vista, CA 91910


The Scripps Health Foundation

P.O.Box 2669 La Jolla, CA 92038


International Rett Syndrome Foundation:

4600 Devitt Drive Cincinnati, OH 45246


Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Boyer family.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Sarah Ellen Pursglove Boyer

have a memory or condolence to add?

Teddy Kim

October 18, 2021

I remember crying intensely when I found out Aunt Sarah was moving from Maryland to California when I was young, mourning the apparent loss of my Aunt which I had so frequently visited. When I was told Aunt Sarah passed, this was the first memory that I conjured, what was then a tragedy now only a small sample of the loss yet to be felt.
How do we know that we were all loved by Aunt Sarah? It's the small acts of kindness that demonstrate the intensity of her caring, tiny actions to improve her loved ones' lives. Memories of Aunt Sarah’s kindness still glow warm like the coals from a bonfire. Memories such as being called after a devastating hurricane to make sure everything was okay (I remember one after Sandy and Ida), or regular birthday commemorations (whether it be a card or subscription to monthly cookie deliveries). Aunt Sarah was even providing virtual health care before it was popular, including medical advice during a one-in-a-lifetime asthma attack and an intense bought of bronchitis. I now am re-earthing and replaying these memories while grieving Aunt Sarah. These small acts, often taken for granted, are the first memories to fade into the obscurity of time. We can all look back and remember those small kindnesses (in addition to her many large displays of kindness) and, whether they were appreciated at the time or brushed off in the hurry of life, embrace them as the demonstrations of caring that characterized Aunt Sarah so well.
In addition to tales about how giving Aunt Sarah was, we also remember the caring that Aunt Sarah elicited from others, for she was the target of as much love as she gave. The last time I saw Aunt Sarah was her 70th birthday. Looking back, I never questioned such a grand event in her honor because she deserved it; she proved that no good deed goes uncelebrated (that’s how that saying goes, right?). Aunt Sarah both loved and enjoyed the love of all she met, and I can’t think of a greater indication of life fulfilled than that.

Remy Mason

October 17, 2021

I was shocked and saddened to hear the news of Mrs. Boyer’s death. I have so many fond memories of her growing up. We used get together with her family a lot when I was a kid and even spent some holidays with them. She was a strong woman with a heart of gold. I know she was an amazing nurse, a true advocate for her patients as well as the community. The kind of nurse I aspire to be. She struggled with her health problems for a long time yet always had such a great sense of humor. I remember one time her showing me an old picture of herself and she said, “Look at me! I was a looker! I didn’t always look like this!” But she was beautiful, inside and out. I was flattered when I was pregnant with my first child and she and Mrs. Estabrooks threw me a baby shower. That’s the kind of person she was, always thinking of other people. Mr. Boyer, Ben, Annie and Tommy I am so sorry for your loss. Your family is in my prayers. Hugs to all of you.

Kathleen and Rich Fite

October 17, 2021

We were fortunate to visit cousin Sarah a couple of summers ago when our son Ben began his masters in nursing for the Navy in San Diego. She and John welcomed us into their home and stayed in close touch with Ben while he was stationed there. Our son, Bret, was also subsequently stationed in San Diego and she included both boys in her 70th birthday celebration. We’re grateful for the kindness and care she extended to the boys and our family.

Janet Soinski

October 16, 2021

I knew Sarah was my kind of woman when we commiserated about not getting into Woodstock. We were bridesmaids in each other’s weddings. She was the emotional support pillar at our home just after we told our young children we were separating. When I invited myself to a couple of Pursglove family events she welcomed me with open arms. She cared for Mother in her Bethesda home during Mother’s last years. Sarah‘s presence is with me because of her energy, humor, generosity, sincerity, and kindness. It was endearing that she was so straightforward. Always I smile when I think of her. Sarah will always be in my heart.

Linda Rascovar

October 16, 2021

Sarah and Susan had a parallel relationship to me and my sister. Although younger. Sarah was a very deliberate person—the “can do” sort of person that damned the torpedoes and went full speed ahead. That combined with a great sense of humor. When Tommy was little and came home from school mentioning, “ you know what I like at school, Mommy—I like art!” To which Sarah responded—“No you don’t—you love math and science”. (We both had children in the arts at the early stages of their careers that have resolved well—but it was funny then)
Her heart was her family and she was a champion. She was one of the bravest people I’ve ever known

Linda Wiggins

October 16, 2021

She was more of a sister to me than a sister-in-law. She was kind, giving, and opened her home to me many, many times. She allowed me to be godmother to her beautiful daughter Annie. She was brave in the face of so many physical struggles & I will always admire her for her perseverance. My heart is shattered with her loss. I am praying for comfort & peace for my brother & all of his family.

Alvery Bartlett

October 16, 2021

Our “Sarah could do no wrong.” She was abrupt, tough, engaging, adventurous, stoic, beautiful, warm, loving, devoted and generous to a fault. Her force of personality was nothing short of awesome and for those many she touched, “Sarah could do no wrong”. I dutifully and unquestionably did what she said because for me, my “Sarah could do no wrong”. Her spirit, lives in the lives of her wonderful husband, children, grandchildren, extended family and friends because for them, their “Sarah could do no wrong”. With the help of her husband John and an innate sense of purpose, she refused to accept the imprisonment of Parkinson’s, fully engaged life with all its pains and joys, paid her dues and made a ‘ B-line ‘ for heaven. I plan on praying for her and to her because heaven also knows, “Sarah can do no wrong”.

Nancy Prendergast

October 16, 2021

Dear John, Ben, Annie, Tommy and all those who loved Sarah, The world is a poorer place without your generous and loving wife and mother. You will miss her so much, your loss is unimaginable, but so will we, her devoted friends.
I depended on Sarah to help me whenever I needed it and she always came through for me. She was my pediatrician when my four children were young (what good is it being married to a cardiologist when babies are screaming in the night?). She was my travel agent as recently as this summer when I was planning our retirement trip to Hawaii. She's been everywhere and done everything. I trusted her advice implicitly.
Sarah's dinner parties were legendary, I will never forget her beef wellington! She loved to party, to dance, to laugh and be joyful. We will never ever forget Sarah, we and our children will carry her memory to our own graves. Sarah lives on in our love for her.

Meredith Fortner (Estabrooks)

October 15, 2021

Sarah was simply the best: classy, generous, funny, a fighter for social justice, a good listener, and an all-around good human.

She could organize a movement, give advice, or lend a hand- at the drop of a hat.

Sending much love and comfort to the Boyer family & all who loved Sarah.

Meredith (Estabrooks) Fortner

Dolores and Guy Dowling

October 15, 2021

So sorry and sad to find out about Sarah’s passing. She’ll always be in our thoughts and prayers. So many happy memories of our times together as cousins visiting and family get togethers. I’ll never forget all those times with this beautiful lady, she will be so missed. Prayers and love to family and friends. ❤️🙏🏼💐