Sara Zangwill of Memphis, Tennessee died of congestive heart failure on Nov. 11 in New York. She was 95.
Born in Mississippi to Eastern European immigrants, Sara demonstrated immense responsibility at a young age. When her parents went on buying trips to purchase goods for their store, Sara, just 13, ran the store and took care of her siblings. She learned to drive at 14.
Sara was valedictorian of her high school class and attended the University of Illinois for 2 years, rare accomplishments for a woman of that time. She returned to Mississippi and visited Memphis often, where she met Morris, a handsome football player who later attended Dental School. They soon married, and after World War II, settled in Memphis where Morris practiced dentistry, and they raised 4 children. Sara assisted Morris in his dental practice and supported him when he was the first white dentist in Memphis to accept African American patients in his practice, despite death threats to their family.
Sara loved cooking, travel, and crossword puzzles, but most of all, she loved her family. She tutored at-risk youths, was a regular volunteer in her children’s schools, and active in many Jewish organizations. During the 60’s and 70’s, she became active in the Democratic Party, hosting lunches for rising young politicians in Tennessee. At one lunch she began talking to a young gentleman who was running for a Senate position. She was very impressed with him, and said, “You, young man are going places.” The gentlemen was Albert Gore, Jr., later Vice President of the United States.
Sara is survived by her children, Terri Z Cohen of Atlanta and children Rob and Melissa; Dr. William Zangwill and daughter Marissa of New York City; Diane Zangwill and Dr. Joseph Katz of Atlanta and son Brian Katz, and Judy Zangwill and Ric Cherwin and children Jace and Marley of New York City. She is also survived by sisters, Zelda Kaplan of Alexandria, La. and Rae Plitman of Memphis as well as several nieces, nephews, and great grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to:
Sunnyside Community Services
43-31 39th Street
Sunnyside, NY 11104
or online at:
To our Mother:
You gave us life, love, and laughter.
You were an extraordinary parent. It is your time to sleep now.