Sally Hartshorne Is Tributed Beautifully

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I joined a group of friends and relatives and spent 90 minutes this afternoon learning many things about my aunt Sarah Hartshorne, who passed away last month. I was moved, I cried, I laughed, and like everyone in the room, I was deeply affected by the thoughts shared and the loss we all realized after she was gone.

One by one her sons spoke of her caring, her generosity, her love of books, and especially, her love of them. Younger women spoke of the bonds they had formed as couples with Bob and Sally, and the many good times they had shared. Sally brought younger people into her fold and their lives were enriched by socializing with her academic colleagues. She lived a long time, and the friendships they fostered lasted decade after decade. They built up really substantial bonds and at her funeral, we heard from many people who had loved her.

There was a beauty, a poise, and a feeling in that church today that we had all been lucky to have known Sally, and to have been a part of her life. To a person, as we listened to Paul’s tearful recollection of some of her last days, and sang together, Swing Low Sweet Chariot, we came together, we all cried as one.

Sally, at age 80, with advanced dementia, was perhaps one of the people who had already met and dealt with death, and her passing away, after being in a coma, had happened several years before. This tribute brought her best qualities into shining, glorious focus, and we were enriched to learn about her life through her friends.