Site Navigation Menu Navigation
X Close

Sara Stewart Johnson

March 22, 1936 - May 8, 2020

Sara Stewart JohnsonSara Stewart JohnsonSara Margaret Stewart was born March 22, 1936 in Klamath Falls, OR the youngest of Ivor Neal Stewart and Lois Virginia Bynon’s two children. The Stewart family spent many wonderful summers at the cabin Neal built at Lake of the Woods.  In 1952 following the death of her father Sara and her mother moved from K-Falls to Honolulu. Sara was enrolled in Punahou School and Lois began work as a reporter with the Honolulu Advertiser. 
Sara was graduated from Punahou in 1954 and from Colby College in Waterville, ME in 1958. She married in Honolulu in 1960.  The couple returned to New York where he attended graduate school and she went to work as an editor for Good Housekeeping Magazine. They later moved to Honolulu. Sara had three children, Anne, Gus and Kate. 
After Sara’s marriage ended, she and her children joined her mother in Waimea on the Big Island where Lois was the Public Relations Director for Parker Ranch. After earning her teaching certificate, Sara moved her family to Bend, OR where she began teaching English and Journalism at Bend High School.  In the 1970s, to be closer to her brother and his family, she took a teaching position at Eureka High School in California. After five years, Sara moved her family back to Bend where she settled into a neighborhood she adored for the over 35 years she lived there. At the same time she joined the inaugural teaching staff of Bend’s new Mountain View High School where she taught for 15 years until retirement in 1994.
Sara was a wonderful and fun mother who provided her children with lots of adventures including many summers spent in Waimea on the Big Island with her mother “Titi” (little Anne couldn’t pronounce Tutu) and one special Christmas spent on the Yucatan Peninsula. The family enjoyed many excursions around Central Oregon, especially the kids learning to drive in the desert, cutting their Christmas trees in the snowy forest, catching crawdads and swimming at Tumalo State Park and picnicking along the Metolius River.
In retirement, Sara spent many years as a volunteer with Trinity Episcopal Church and Central Oregon Art Association where she was very active in helping transform the Rademacher House into an art gallery.  She enjoyed learning Italian, traveling, reading, watercolor painting, cooking, entertaining and spending time with her friends and family. She moved to Salem in 2015 to be closer to Kate and her family. 
Sara is survived by her daughters Anne Bynon and husband Steven Kilberg of Scottsdale, AZ and Kate Speckman and husband Bob and their sons John and Sam all of Salem, OR; son Gus and wife Michelle and their children Avery and Maria; brother Dr. Angus Stewart and wife Joan of Eureka, CA;  nieces: Sara Stessel of Nashville, TN and Thea Stewart of Eureka, CA; nephews Ian Stewart of Ventura, CA, Avery Stewart of Fillmore, CA, Malcolm Stewart of Saratoga, CA; eight grandnieces and grandnephews. Sara treasured her many dear friends from Bend.

Sara died of injuries on May 8, six days after experiencing a fall. The family wishes to express its gratitude to caregivers Sheila Johnstone, Chantal Sipos and Molly Ingram and caregivers and management of WindSong at Eola Hills Memory Care in Salem where Sara spent the last year and a half of her life.  The concern, care and comfort they provided to our mother, grandmother, sister and auntie was exceptional.

Should friends desire, contributions may be sent to Marion/Polk Food Share, 1660 Salem Industrial Drive NE, Salem, OR 97301 or any local Bend charity providing relief in this time of COVID-19. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Assisting is Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service, Salem.


Sign The Guest Book

Add your condolences, memories, photo, or prayers in the area below. Thank you for sharing.

After submitting your guest book entry, it will undergo a brief review by the Virgil T. Golden staff to ensure that it's not spam and it's appropriate for the context of this obituary. Once this review is complete, your obituary will be posted publicly on this page.

Guest Book Entries

I first met Sara when she came through the Hidden in the Hills studio tour with her daughter Anne and Anne’s husband Steven, my dear friends in Scottsdale. Anne introduced me to her mom as an artist. I got to see Sara’s art when I was invited by Anne to Oregon to see the eclipse. It was easy to see the love, admiration and devotion from her daughters - Anne and Katy. I walked through a beautiful garden with these strong, beautiful, adventurous, and creative women. I won’t forget, nor
do I think she’ll be forgotten by anyone she touched along the way. Love, Joanie

We were so sad to hear about the passing of Sara. She was an amazing lady and always a joy to visit with.  Our hearts and prayers are with all of her family...may her spirit always be with you.  Rest In Peace, sweet Sara.
Paula Brazeale and Nick Reding

To Sara's family,
I had the pleasure of living across the street, on NW 3rd in Bend, from Sara for five years in the mid 80's. I was saddened to see that she had passed, but thinking of her brought many wonderful memories back . I always enjoyed chatting with her and loved her enthusiasm for life. I was so glad to have met your Mom!
Bill Hull

I first met Sara when I was a student at Zane Junior High school in Eureka.  her daughter Anne and I were/are good friends.  I used to go over to her house after school.  Sara was always a gracious host and it was obvious that her children adored her.  Later, I had the good fortune to have her as my journalism teacher at Eureka senior High. She was by far my favorite teacher. She was very supportive of my writing and always made me feel special (as she did all her students).  Her passion and humor were contagious.  She will always hold a very special place in my heart. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to have known her. 

Laura Bateson