Sara “Sally” Jane Hoehn, 85, who lived in Pacific Palisades from 1973 to 1998, passed away in her home in Charlottesville, Virginia, on March 25 due to declining health related to dementia.
Sara, a Daughter of the American Revolution, was born in Rockford, Illinois, on March 12, 1936, to Mary and Ernest McCraw. She grew up in many Illinois towns, including Rockford, Decatur, Morris, Wilmington and Joliet, and graduated from Joliet Township High School in 1954. She later attended Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts, where she majored in retailing.
She was married on March 27, 1957, in Angola, Indiana, to William E. Hoehn, Jr., after which they lived in a number of cities, including Bethany, WV; Glastonbury, CT; Evanston, IL; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Santa Monica, CA; and Arlington, VA, before settling in Pacific Palisades in February 1973 with their two young children.
Following her divorce in 1982, Sara attended UCLA Extension to obtain her certificate in paralegal studies and subsequently worked for numerous law firms in Los Angeles, including Sidley Austin, Stutman Treister & Glatt, and Murphy Sheneman Julian & Rogers. Sara retired in 2001 to Charlottesville to be closer to her children.
Sara’s priorities in life were always her family and friends, community service, and her faith. She prided herself on being engaged with her children, participating in community and school activities, and volunteering. Sara devoted much of her free time to the Night Lights Auxiliary of the Assistance League of Santa Monica for nearly a decade.
She also attended St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church for 25 years, during which she spent many years serving on its altar guild as well as volunteering every month at the St. Matthew’s Thrift Shop. Upon relocating to Charlottesville, she joined the Buck Mountain Episcopal Church and served on its altar guild for several years as well.
Sara was well-traveled and especially enjoyed trips to the United Kingdom. She was a voracious reader, particularly of British history and mysteries. Her greatest passion was cooking and entertaining; she frequently hosted dinner parties, served as the “resident baker” at her law firm and rarely left a bookstore without a new cookbook in hand.
Sara nurtured her creativity and artistic talents through oil painting, needlepoint, knitting, and writing short stories and memoirs, and often presented her creations to loved ones as gifts. She enjoyed gardening, had a deep affection for the many animals she cared for in her life, and became a talented equestrienne while living in California.
Sara was a good friend to all who knew her, and loved spending time with others over a good meal and glass of wine. She was resilient and courageous in the face of adversity, lived a life guided by kindness, generosity and compassion, and maintained her independent spirit all the way until her passing.
Sara is survived by her domestic partner of 35 years, Leo J. Ryan; her two children, William E. Hoehn, III (Tiffany Swanson) of Annandale, VA, and Mary Hoehn (Matthew Getman) of Saratoga Springs, NY; and her three grandchildren, Margaret, Andrew and Clementine. Sara was deeply loved by her friends and family, and she will be greatly missed.
Private memorial services for Sara will be held in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Maquon, Illinois. Donations in Sara’s memory can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
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