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Sara Wallace Abernethy Richard
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Obituary for Sara Wallace Abernethy Richard

Having lived a full and fulfilling life of more than one hundred years, Sara Richard died on January 13, 2018 in Lawton, OK. The eldest of the four children of Creekmore and Corrine Wallace, Sara was born on March 30, 1917 in Pauls Valley, OK. Her family moved to Sapulpa and later to Oklahoma City where she graduated from Central High School. Sara then attended the University of Oklahoma where she majored in Fine Arts, became a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority, and was a member of Timber Cruisers, a riding club.

After college, during World War II, she met a naval flight surgeon, James Harold Abernethy, M.D. at a USO dance in Norman, and they married in 1943. The couple initially lived in Oakland, CA, until Harold received orders for sea duty. Sara returned to Oklahoma City, where their daughter Barbara was born, and then returned to Oakland with her infant daughter for the duration of Harold’s naval service. Following Harold’s discharge from the Navy in 1947, the family moved to Altus, OK where he established a medical practice and their daughter Ann was born. Harold died in 1970, and Sara moved to Tulsa where she helped open a field office for Senator Henry Bellmon. She later moved to Lawton to work in another of the Senator’s field offices. Not long after her arrival in Lawton she met Joseph C. Richard, a Lawton businessman and army veteran. They were married in 1973 and Sara became step mother to Joe’s eight children, two of whom, Camille and Peter, were young and living at home. Sara was up to the challenge and became a devoted and much loved mother to all of Joe’s children. Sara was widowed again in February 2012 when Joe passed away.

For the last thirty years of her life, Sara became known to family and friends alike as “GoMama”, having been so named by her first grandchild, Gregory. The name stuck because it so perfectly captured her energy and vitality. Sara was active in the Presbyterian churches in Altus and Lawton. She had a particular love of public affairs, government and Republican politics. These interests found expression in her volunteer service as a Bellmon Belle in Henry Bellmon’s campaign for governor in 1963. She maintained an inventory of pocket copies of the Constitution, and made certain that all children in the family received a copy at the appropriate age. She strongly believed in the importance of the arts to community life and frequently volunteered in support of arts organizations. She was particularly devoted to the Lawton Philharmonic Orchestra, in which she was a long-time subscriber, board member and president. She maintained a continuing devotion to and interest in the lives of family and friends. She also enjoyed establishing new friendships wherever she went. Those friendships, whether begun in college, Altus, Lawton, or Lake City, CO where and she and Joe spent many summer months, were both enduring and treasured.

Sara is survived by her daughters, Barbara Dahnke (George) of Oklahoma City and Ann Gursey (Mike) of Old Snowmass, CO, and by three grandchildren, Gregory Wallace Pierce, James Morgan Lieberthal, and Wallace (Lacey) Kathryn Lieberthal. She is also survived by her stepchildren, J.P., John, Matt, Mike, Camille and Peter Richard and by numerous step grandchildren and great grandchildren. Other surviving family members are her sister, Pat Favor, and numerous nephews and nieces. Sara was predeceased by her brother, William C. Wallace, her sister, Peggy Dollarhide, and her step daughters, Bobbi Segler and Peggy Chun.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, January 19 at 10:00 a.m. in the chapel of Westminster Presbyterian Church, 4400 N. Shartel, in Oklahoma City. A graveside service will be held in Altus on March 30, 2018.

The family suggests that, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lawton Philharmonic Orchestra or the First Presbyterian Church of Lawton.

Arrangements are under the direction of Lowell-Tims Funeral Home and Crematory, Altus, Oklahoma.

To sign the online guest book and share memories with the family please visit www.Lowell-Tims.com


Upcoming Events

Inurnment

Friday

30

Mar

10:00 AM
Altus Cemetery

300 East Commerce Street
Altus, Jackson County, OK 73521-3916

Previous Events

Memorial

Friday

19

Jan

10:00 AM
Westminster Presbyterian Church

4400 N Shartel Ave
Oklahoma City, OK 73118

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