WOOSTER – Sarah (Sally) Elizabeth Bean, nee Graham, died on April 8, 2015 at West View Manor in Wooster. She was 93.
Sally was born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, on February 19, 1922 to Monroe Orson Graham and Martha Elmina (Yaudes) Graham and was the younger of two children.
Sally and her brother Howard were raised by their mother and maternal aunt, Sarah Elizabeth Yaudes, after the death of their father in 1935. As a child Sally enjoyed swimming, canoeing, athletics (a family photo documents Sally doing a headstand in a canoe!) and dance.
Sally graduated high school at age 16 and from Dickinson Junior College (now Lycoming College, Williamsport Pennsylvania) in 1941. She followed her mother and aunt s footsteps into the field of nursing, graduating in 1944 from New York City s Columbia University Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing. Upon graduation Sally worked as a surgical nurse at Presbyterian Hospital under the supervision of Dr. Virginia Apgar. It was during her student years in New York City that Sally met the young seminarian student from Ohio, James (Jim) Bean, who was to become her husband of 70 years. Their courtship was full of dates to the Horn & Hardart Automat, bowling, Coney Island, and walks in Riverside Park. Sally and Jim were married on September 19, 1944 at Pine Street Methodist Church in Williamsport, PA. They had four children: Jim (Gisela), Mark (Veronique), Kathy, and John (Courtney).
In 1946 Jim and Sally began a lifelong relationship with the country of France when they were appointed fraternal workers with CIMADE, a French Protestant organization working with post war reconstruction and providing relief to people displaced from their homes and communities by World War II. Based in Boulogne-sur-Mer, Sally and Jim worked with teens and young adults. They established a recreation center where young people could meet and begin healing from their devastating experiences. Sally s nursing skills were put to extensive use during these difficult years, helping local residents in need of medical care.
In 1949-50, Sally and Jim returned to the United States and Jim worked with The Board of National Missions co-pastoring the Kaufman-Van Zandt Presbyterian Parish in East Texas.
Sally and Jim were reappointed fraternal workers to France and served from 1950 to 1964. They served a dual assignment to Le College Cevenol (a school dedicated to the principles of pacifism and mutual understanding of all people) and the local French Reformed parish in the south-central mountain town of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, which had led the movement to successfully hide Jews from Nazis and the collaborationist Vichy government. Le Chambon-sur-Lignon was honored as Righteous AmongThe Nations by Israel for this endeavor.
In 1964, a new phase of life began for Sally and Jim when they returned with their children to the United States and settled in Wooster in one of the Missionary Houses behind the football stadium on the College of Wooster campus. Jim joined the faculty at The College of Wooster as a member of the French Department and the departments of Religious Studies and Physical Education. Sally took on the duties of faculty wife and for the next 24 years welcomed innumerable College of Wooster students into Jim s and her home, filling them with her famous apple paradise (crisp) and providing a listening ear and caring counsel to many. Sally s interest in furthering her own knowledge never ceased. During their earlier years in Wooster, she pursued her interest in foreign languages, auditing both Italian and Spanish classes at the College of Wooster, and later in life, she made sure to learn how to use a computer so that she could communicate with friends and family, both at home and abroad.
Sally s love for swimming, and especially for dancing, continued throughout her life. Whether dancing to Benny Goodman on the roof of the Hotel Astor, or to Glenn Miller in the Manhattan Room at the Hotel Pennsylvania, Sally really knew how to cut a rug. In later years she and Jim would turn the Bean living room into an impromptu Jitterbug dance floor, much to the delight of their children.
Sally and Jim were members of First Presbyterian Church of Wooster. Over the years she served as Deacon and youth leader, was a member of bell choir and Women s Auxiliary, and sang in the choir.
Sally s life-long interest in caring for people led her to serve as a guardian ad litum for children in Wayne County, and as a volunteer with People to People Ministries, with the early hospice movement in Wayne County, and at Apple Creek State Institute.
In their retirement years, Sally and Jim lived in Le Locle, Switzerland serving for two years working with the Protestant Reformed Church. Together Sally and Jim led service work camps from First Presbyterian Church to Switzerland.
Sally s gentle and caring nature nurtured deep friendships with people on practically every continent! Her prolific letter-writing helped sustain these friendships throughout her entire life. Treasure Island on Lake Vermilion in northern Minnesota held a special tender place in her heart. Sally loved swimming in the lake, gathering wild blueberries and baking wild blueberry pie. Sally was a great reader and usually read late into the night. She enjoyed bird watching, and playing cards and various board games. She was an accomplished knitter, cook, and gardener.
In addition to her four children, Sally is survived by grandchildren Yann, Leo, Noah, Sophie and Natalie, nieces Donna, Ann, Barbra, Margo and Barbara Jean, and nephews Michael and Paul.
She was preceded in death by husband Jim (January 18, 2015), her parents, and brother Howard M. Graham.
A service and reception in her honor will take place on Saturday, May 16, 2015, 2:00PM at The First Presbyterian Church, 621 College Avenue, in Wooster, Ohio.
McIntire, Bradham & Sleek Funeral Home, 216 E. Larwill St., Wooster assisted the family.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Sally s honor to People to People Ministries, 454 E. Bowman St., Wooster, OH 44691.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.mcintirebradhamsleek.com.
People to People Ministries, 454 E. Bowman St., Wooster, OH 44691
A Memorial Service and reception in her honor will be held on Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. at The First Presbyterian Church, 621 College Ave., Wooster
Saturday May 16, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. at The First Presbyterian Church, 621 College Ave., Wooster