Chippewa County woman honored with memorial scholarship after passing from COVID-19

Eastern UP

CHIPPEWA COUNTY, Mich. (WJMN) – The family of an eastern Upper Peninsula woman is finding ways to keep her memory and legacy alive after her passing due to complications from COVID-19.

Sarah Gardner Weber was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and friend to many. Her sister, Suzette Gardner, said Sarah was a very special person who left an impact on everyone she met.

“Sarah touched a lot of people. She was just a wonderful personality. I mean, she was my sister so I obviously adored her, but, she was that kind of person that never forgets anyone’s name. She was always willing to help people out, she was very good at her job because of that,” said Gardner.

Sarah was transferred to McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital in Petoskey on Thanksgiving Day and then spent several weeks on a ventilator. On December 23, 2020, she passed away at the age of 57 years old.

Sarah Gardner Weber

Before her passing, she was attending Bay Mills Community College in Brimely, studying Social Sciences and Native American Studies.

“She was an older student. She didn’t start back to school until she was in her 50s. It was tough. She worked and she went to school, and she was very happy. She was looking forward to transferring to a four-year college soon,” said Gardner.

In her honor, Sarah’s family developed the Sarah Gardner Weber Memorial Scholarship Fund.

“The scholarship is for Bay Mills students, and we’d like it to be specifically for people who are a little bit older and maybe getting that second chance at a career. We’d like it to be for people age 35 and up.”

Each year in October, Sarah took the day off to participate in the Diane Peppler Resource Center Domestic Violence Awareness Walk. The family is taking a portion of the money collected and donating it to this event in Sarah’s name.

“She was an advocate to help protect women and children against domestic violence. You know, that woman just helped anywhere she could. She even volunteered her time at hospice and I don’t know where she found the time but she did.”

Weber worked in the registration department of War Memorial Hospital for over 25 years. In her free time, she enjoyed sitting on her property reading books, and listening to birds. She also loved spending time with her 12 grandchildren, going to their sports events, and taking them shopping.

Gardner said her sister was finally able to do the things she loved in her later years, all while giving back. She hopes other people are inspired by Sarah.

“So, we haven’t completely lost her as long as we can do these things in her memory because she left a wonderful legacy. She was just a positive person, and we need more people like her.”

If you’re interested in donating to the scholarship fund:

  • Make a check out to Bay Mills Community College (12214 W Lakeshore Dr, Brimley, MI 49715)
  • In the memo line, write Sarah Gardner Weber Memorial Scholarship.

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