Sarah S. Helt
June 6, 1944 - March 31, 2021
April 15, 2021
In Pittsburgh, Pa., on March 31, 2021, Sarah S. Helt, age 76, formerly of Palo Alto, Calif., and Phoenix, Ariz. She came to rest peacefully surrounded by her family. Beloved wife for 50 years of Jack L. Helt; mother of Gretchen Helt of Gibsonia, Pa., Emily S. (Luke) Strom of Tacoma, Wash., and Brooke (Eric) Meyhofer of Pa .; sister of Ruth Condon of Md., and Ann Jensen of Salt Lake City, Utah; grandmother of John (18), Anna (16), Sonja (13), and Sara (11) Strom and Emma (17) and Ryan (16) Meyhofer; also survived by her beloved schnauzer, Buddy.
Sarah was born June 6, 1944, in Rupert, ID, the original D-Day baby, and was the third daughter of Thayer and Margaret Stevenson. Sarah spent her early years in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she graduated from East High School and then went on to obtain her bachelor's degree at the University Redlands in Redlands, Calif., where she graduated in 1966. During her time at the university she was affiliated with Alpha Theta Phi. Sarah started her career in Palo Alto, Calif., as an assistant librarian at the Palo Alto Public Library. A brief period as a flight attendant with World Airways soon followed before joining the educational book publisher, Addison Wesley, in Menlo Park. In 1968, Sarah met her future husband, Jack L. Helt, through mutual friends while both living in Palo Alto. They were married on July 17, 1970, in Salt Lake City and celebrated their 50th anniversary in July 2020.
While living and working in the Bay Area, their daughters, Gretchen and Emily were born. In 1976 the family relocated to Phoenix, Ariz., where they opened a men's clothing store. It was here the family was completed with the birth of their third daughter, Brooke. Once her children had grown, Sarah spent the next 13 years managing a successful surgery center in the Bay Area before relocating to western Pennsylvania. Once settled and embracing her role as doting grandmother, Sarah accepted a position as the assistant registrar at Shady Side Academy in Pittsburgh, Pa., before retiring after 10 years. Sarah and Jack enjoyed retirement by spending time traveling and visiting relatives.
She loved being with her daughters and grandchildren and seeing her husband happy above all else. Sarah's loving and generous heart went beyond her immediate family. She spent many years as a member of the national women's philanthropic organization, PEO. Sarah's time with her daughters often included going to the movies (with a popcorn and a coke) and getting beat at a game of scrabble (she won the last 2 games by the largest margin ever!). She always loved a good barbecued steak, could play the piano by ear, and could be found stealing a quiet moment trying to figure out how to play her favorite song from a movie.
Sarah's greatest love was that of beloved wife and mother. Her family is how she wanted to be remembered.
"I was always aware of her love for her family. She effortlessly drew people to her with her easy smile and warm presence. People just wanted to be around her. I am the luckiest man to have been blessed with such a beautiful and intelligent wife." - Jack
"Mom was incredibly adaptable to life. She went with the flow with change. She was always sun-kissed, warm and gentle, reminding us that sometimes doing your very best is enough. She gave us all comfort in knowing we were enough" - Emily
"Mom showed me there is Magic in the world. That no matter what life threw at you, there are miracles found in moments, there is joy in the simplest of things, and there is beauty all around. Forever grateful to be her daughter....T'was truly Heaven while you were here" - Gretchen
"I will forever remember you with the blooms of spring. Like a breath of fresh air after a long winter....rest easy now and fly free" - Brooke.
Funeral arrangements are private by Simons Funeral Home, Inc., Pittsburgh, Pa. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital http://www.stjude.org.