Sara Ann Foutz Newman, aged 59, passed away peacefully on February 18, 2016, in her beloved home in Payson, Utah. She had received a terminal diagnosis of stage IV brain cancer on December 14, 2015, and was able to be surrounded by family and friends nearly constantly for the final two months of her extraordinary life. Even in those difficult weeks she remained an example of love and charity to all who have been blessed to know her.
Sara was born to the late Hal Bert Foutz and Liane Bunnell Foutz on November 29, 1956 in Las Vegas, Nevada. She was the fourth of six children, Les, her brother, and her sisters Holly, Ellen, Susan, and Lisa, all of whom survive her. Her father owned an airplane taxi service and would frequently transport people from Las Vegas to Los Angeles or other large close cities, and Sara had many fond memories of her father taking her flying with him in the evenings. Flying was such an important part of her young life that she earned her pilot's license at the age of 15, and could legally fly airplanes before she could drive a car.
She graduated from Clark High School after participating in cheerleading and getting such excellent grades that the school principal would excuse her and her two best friends to go skiing on school days, weather permitting. Sara then left the warmth and heat of the Nevada desert to attend Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho for one year before transferring to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.
Her sense of adventure stayed with her, and while on tour in Europe with the BYU folk dancers she fell in love with Michael David Newman, who was also on tour with the dancers as a musician. They were married in the Provo, Utah LDS Temple on December 14, 1977. Mike and Sara remain sweethearts, best friends, and true loves, and have been a great example of teamwork and marriage for everyone who knows them. She is preceded in death and welcomed into Heaven by her daughter, Karissa Newman, and survived by her husband, Michael David Newman, and her remaining three children, Anna Ciera Newman Birch (Bryant Birch), Angela Dawn Newman Day (William Day), and Stephen Michael Newman (Judy Newman). She is also survived by her five grandchildren, Ashelynn Ciera Birch, Bryson Paul Birch, Caringtyn Anna Birch, Brandon Stephen Day, and Connor William Day, for all of whom Grandma Sara was the favorite.
Sara was an example of charity and service. She was a substitute teacher at Wilson Elementary, where the kids would greet her with smiles and cheers of "Mrs. Newman!!" She was an integral part of the director's board for the Springville International Folkfest for over two decades where groups of professional folk dancers from all over the world would gather to celebrate and share their unique cultural heritage. In that responsibility she built bridges of friendship and understanding that quite literally spanned the world. She served in Stake Young Women's presidencies and Relief Society presidencies, Women's Conference committees and Temple Shift and Veil coordinators, and as a missionary in the Young Women's room of the LDS church office building in Salt Lake City, where she made wonderful lifelong friendships with other women serving in various church capacities, both highly visible and less so. She was easy to love, because she gave love so easily and served so gracefully.
Sara's greatest ambition in life was to bring people closer to the Savior and help them feel His love. At various points in her life when people attempted to give her recognition she would always deflect it upward, giving the praise and thanks to our Heavenly Father. She taught her children never to be afraid of hard work and to always rely on prayer, to consistently look upward for guidance, and to never be afraid of people no matter where they were from or what beliefs they held to, but to love them first as brothers and sisters and worry about the rest later. She has now graduated from this life, and is celebrating a reunion in Heaven with those who love her who have waited for her there. She continues to be an example to the rest of us, so we can be reunited in the morning of the first resurrection.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at 11:00am at the Payson Utah West Stake Center, 500 South 800 West in Payson, Utah. Family and friends may come to a Viewing on Monday, February 22, 2016 from 6pm-8pm at the Walker Funeral Home, 587 South 100 West in Payson, Utah 84651. Interment will be at the Payson City Cemetary with a gravesite dedication. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.walkerobits.com, or at the family blog following Sara's cancer at www.wewillbetogetherinthemorning.blogspot.com.