Passed away peacefully on May 17, 2019 in Upland, San Bernardino County, California at age 81. Sara has gone home to the Lord to be with her beloved mother, Henrietta Garner Thomas, and father, William (Billy) Louis Thomas. Sara greatly loved her late grandfather, Marshall Garner, and was proud to have a great-grandfather descendant, Sgt. Warren Garner, who fought in the American Civil War in the famous United States Colored Troops 4th regiment from Maryland. Sara was named after Sarah Thomas, her grandmother, and Sarah Catherine Brooks Garner, wife of Sgt. Warren Garner, who was her great-grandmother. Sara idolized her late aunts and uncles: Johnny Reed, Hazel (Arvil) Patterson, Thomas (Eloise) Garner, and Grace (Otis, Sr.) Lee. She enjoyed growing up in Pittsburgh with her 1st cousins: Margaret Grace, Otis Lee, Jr., Victoria Ann Lee, and Diana Marie Lee-Glover of Pittsburgh, Rudolph Clifford (Earsie) Lee and the late Thomas Marshall (Bertha) Lee of Maryland, Dr. Hazel Ann Lee and Dr. Cynthia Cozette Lee of Philadelphia, Pete Weston of Arizona, and late Barbara Reed Miles of Pittsburgh. Sara was also very proud of her 2nd cousins: the late Darren Lee of California, the late Lance Washington of Pittsburgh, the late Shannon Rudolph Dearolf of Pittsburgh, Cherie Grace (Jeff) Rivo of California, Verona Jenkins of Cincinnati, Angelina Glover and Gregg Glover of Pittsburgh, Karama Marini Lee and James Miles of Maryland, John Miles of Newport, RI, Keith (Adrienne) Miles, Tina Coles and Chica (William) Grayson of Pittsburgh, PA, Taufiki (Michele) Lee of North Carolina and Adia Lee of Georgia, numerous 3rd and 4th cousins: Tionna Highsmith and Takara Tinsley of Pittsburgh, Demetria Naujelis, McKees Rocks, Haley O'Leary, Millvale, Hidaya Neema Lee of Maryland, Aurelia Rivo and Luke Rivo of California and Jay-Narra Arlotta of Pittsburgh, Tayvon Jenkins, Doriono Jenkins of Pittsburgh, Loren Brimage Jr. of Cincinnati, Justice Jenkins, Tayvon Jenkins Jr., Graycee Jenkins, Liam Jenkins, Dahlia Jenkins, Dhani Jenkins of Pittsburgh, Gregg Lee Glover Jr. and Tyrone Younger Jr. of Pittsburgh and many close friends.
Sara achieved many great accomplishments in her career, education and community work. Sara lived a full vibrant life growing up in Pittsburgh and was proud to attend the Pittsburgh Public Schools. Sara was a graduate of Schenley High School and choir member and deacon of Grace Memorial Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh. Sara was a devout churchgoer and had a firm belief in prayer and God. She attended prestigious Ohio State University, Howard University and California State University, Los Angeles where she received her Bachelor's Degree and Master's Degree. Sara received a distinguished Ph.D. degree from the University of California and later taught as an assistant professor at UCLA.
Sara was very dedicated to the field of social work and was employed for 41 years in Los Angeles County and San Francisco Bay. As a social worker, Sara helped youth in the homeless community working in the county and state government and for the Job Corps. After retiring Sara counseled the mentally and emotionally challenged in Anger Management. In California, Sara became a highly active member of the Democratic Party. Through Sara's dedication and commitment she became a Delegate for the Democratic National Convention. She also was a founding member of several social and philanthropic organizations. Sara traveled extensively to the Caribbean, Mexico, Europe and the Middle East. Sara was deeply loved by her family and friends. Her beautiful, bright smile and dynamic spirit we surely will miss. Rest in peace, beautiful Sara.
Sara will be prepared for her final rest in Los Angeles by Smart Cremation and interred in the Restland Memorial Park in Monroeville, Pennsylvania where her beloved mother, Henrietta Martha Garner Thomas, father, William Louis Thomas, and grandmother, Annie Gibson-Garner, are buried. Please send condolences to: Dr. Hazel Lee, P. O. Box 2074, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19103. In place of flowers, please send charitable donations to notable charities Sara supported in order to continue Sara's philanthropic spirit: NAACP, United Negro College Fund or Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."