Sarah Smith
Sarah Smith
Sarah Smith
Sarah Smith
Sarah Smith
Sarah Smith

Obituary of Sarah Gregory Smith

Sarah Smith died on February 2, 2020, from a massive seizure. It was the last of many challenges she faced in her life. She became diabetic at the age of eight, lost her vision at the age of 30, survived the sinking of a boat, had a stroke at the age of 68 and finally, at the age of 71 she met the challenge that ended her life. But these are not the events that defined her life. In fact, as a friend recently wrote, “…Sarah’s life story was a series of triumphs”. Sarah grew up in Wayland, Massachusetts where she was born on April 24, 1948 to John B. and Barbara (Hulst) Gregory. She also enjoyed many fulfilling years in Salem before moving to Maine with her husband Bill. Sarah played clarinet as a young person, enjoying several years of attending a music camp at Kinhaven Music School in Vermont. She loved it. Later, Sarah started playing traditional music, most for New England contra dancing. She became a caller, continuing on long after she became totally blind. Sarah could “read a room” like no other. Sarah met her husband, Bill, through music and, together, they sang and played throughout southern New England. Sarah was also a sailor. She loved sailing her 33’ ketch with assistance from an audio compass. Sarah was a teacher at heart. She taught 5th grade until she lost her sight and then continued teaching music and dance. She never lost her gift for teaching and learning, absorbing all she could from the world around her. After losing her sight, Sarah relied on guide dogs to help her find her way in the world. In fact, in 1994, to help publicize the school that trained and supplied her guide dogs (Guiding Eyes for the Blind), Sarah walked from Boston to New York! It was a 300-mile journey and took her thirty days. She grew up learning to identify birds by their songs and continued to love birding as a totally blind person. In an article she wrote about her dogs, Sarah noted that she and Bill had no “human children”. That’s how she felt and that is the straight-forward and somewhat ironic way that she liked to express herself. As another friend said, “…she lit up every room she entered.” Sarah is survived by her husband, Bill, her brothers, Nick and Brooke, and sister, Hannah, as well as many nieces and nephews, her guide-dog Hamilton, and countless friends. Gatherings celebrating Sarah’s life are being planned for both Maine and the Boston area. In Maine, the gathering will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Belfast, 35 Miller Street. It will be from 3pm to 5pm on Saturday, February 22. People are invited to bring instruments, songs to sing, songs to lead or stories to tell. It will fulfill Sarah’s desire of how she would like to be remembered. A Boston area gathering is being planned for the 24th or 25th of April. A fund has been established in Sarah’s honor at the Kinhaven Music Camp. Its’ purpose is to help provide young persons with the same kind of joyous musical experience that opened the world of music to her as a young person. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to help build this fund. Donations should be sent to: Kinhaven Music School 354 Lawrence Hill Road Weston, VT 05161
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