Sara Stanley Strahle Rowlette went home to be with the Lord on December 31st, 2018. She will be missed by so many of whose hearts she has touched. Sara was truly an angel on Earth. She was a Southern Belle and a classic beauty.
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Sara was born on March 3, 1930 in Chattanooga, Tennessee to John Michael and Sara Stanley Strahle. She was the fourth of five children, and the baby girl of the family. Sara attended Notre Dame Catholic School in Chattanooga from First through Twelfth grade. As a student, she enjoyed attending school functions with her family and friends; especially home and away football games. Throughout her childhood, Sara’s family trips to Florida brought her many special memories of fishing and swimming in the ocean. After graduating from Notre Dame High School, Sara attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where she majored in Art and Interior Design. Sara was an avid Tennessee Volunteer fan and enjoyed watching the football games.
On March 26, 1951, Sara married her college sweetheart Robert Owen Rowlette II. Together, they lived in Chattanooga where the couple started a family by adding two boys. During this time, Sara worked at the courthouse. In 1958, Sara and Bob moved their family to their honeymoon state of Florida. They briefly lived in St. Petersburgh, Florida before moving to Brevard county. Sara made it her permanent residence for 60 years. She always said, “Every child is a blessing,” and boy was she blessed. She added 9 more children to her family which totaled 11 in all.
Being the ULTIMATE mother was Sara’s greatest accomplishment. Besides the hard work of raising 11 children, Sara was able to volunteer and make time to be present in her children’s education and activities. She never missed her children’s games, performances, or matches. While her children attended school at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic School, she volunteered to be room mother, manage the lunchroom, and was always available for field trips. Every weekend, she drove her oldest son Robert to and from St. Augustine School for the Blind so that he could attend high school. Once he graduated from high school, she supported his music career by being the band chaperone because the members weren’t old enough to perform in the local clubs. In the 80’s, Sara drove two of her youngest children to Orlando daily for 6 years to Brown’s Gymnastics, so they could follow their dreams. When she became a grandmother and great grandmother, her love of family continued. She hosted Christmas, Easter egg hunts and brunch, birthday parties and sleepovers, granddaughters’ shopping days, and attended and supported each of them in their education and endeavors.
Sara was also active in her church. She was a founding member of Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Community where she attended daily mass. Every day, she led the rosary group in prayer. They continued their friendships and prayer at Friendly’s restaurant where they enjoyed a warm breakfast together. She created the annual Champagne Brunch fundraiser at the church festival. Sara also was instrumental in managing the Holy Name of Jesus Bingo kitchen which brought funds to the church and school.
In addition, Sara was a pillar of the greater community. She was a founding member of the Brevard Association of the Advancement of the Blind (BAAB) where she served as the president in the early years. She also volunteered to drive the blind community to their appointments. For many years, Sara served as a Pink Lady for Melbourne Hospital (Holmes Regional). She was an active member of IHB Little League program and volunteered in the concession stand. In her later years, Sara became active in the arts and theater and a supporter of the BSO. Up until her final days, Sara’s love for her family and helping others continued as she worked at her son Mike’s business, Mike’s A. O. K. Tires and Auto Repair, filing paperwork and greeting customers with her beautiful smile and great stories.
Her life was a living example of the quote by Mother Teresa.
“What can you do to promote world peace? Go Home and love your family.”
Sara is preceded in death by her sisters, Phyllis Anne Mooreman, and Emma Sue Varallo (Bootie), her brother John Michael Strahle and her nephews John Varallo and Tommy Mooreman. She is survived by her sister Mary Agnes Welbourne (Cottie), her 11 children, Robert Rowlette (Barbara), Michael Rowlette (Susan), Sally Walker (Mark), Susan Walters (Robert), Mary Matta (Joe), Sara Maguire (Patrick), James Rowlette (Apple), Carter Rowlette (Mila), Joe Rowlette (Sara), Sandy Bent (Tim), and Clay Rowlette (L.K.), 30 grandchildren, 33 great grandchildren and her beloved dog Gertrude Woods.
A wake service will be held at Beach Funeral Home, Sunday January 6, 2019 from 4 – 6pm. Please join us in celebrating her life, Monday, January 7, 2019 at 1:30pm at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, 3050 N HWY A1A, Indialantic, Florida. Donations can be made in memory of Sara Strahle Rowlette to Brevard Association for the Advancement of the Blind (BAAB), 674 South Patrick Drive Satellite Beach, Florida 32937.