Beloved wife, mother, grandmother, friend and neighbor. Sara Forstner passed away, peacefully and surrounded by family, June 28 at the age of 82. Sara is survived by her husband, Lorne, daughter Melissa (Steve), son Jay (Julie), son Nathaniel, grandchildren Maisie (Joey), Jack, Bridget, Sam, Ben, and Sophie, brother Tom, and a host of nieces and nephews. Earlier this year, Sara was preceded in death by her sister Penny, extending a bond between the two that lasted their entire lives and will never be broken.

A celebration of Sara’s life is being planned.

Sara grew up in London, Ontario, the daughter of a respected businessman and a North American champion figure skater. After graduating from the University of Western Ontario, she and Lorne married and moved to Vancouver, where their first (and favorite) child, Melissa was born. They had another child (Jay) in there someplace and then moved to Urbana, Illinois, where Lorne earned his PhD and Sara cared for their two young children in a dreadful little house shorter than sunflowers. 

In 1969, the young family moved to Ann Arbor, which must have seemed a world away from their Ontario upbringing. They had their youngest child, and new favorite (Nat), in Ann Arbor and settled in to the lovely Burns Park house with the little sycamore tree in the backyard, where they would live joyfully for more than half a century, that little sycamore growing stout and tall and strong, as if feeding on all the love that flowed through the home. 

When the children were all in school, Sara worked to help support the family. She was very involved with the Ann Arbor Figure Skating Club and attended countless hockey games—several of which she enjoyed—and figure skating shows and competitions, dance performances, baseball games, and tennis matches. She was dearly loved for her wisdom and sense of humor during her time working at Greenhills School, first as a bookkeeper and later, when she worked at the front desk, as the face and voice of the school. 

Sara made lifelong friends in Ann Arbor, and was always ready with a smile and a laugh. She had a gift, in the words of one of her nieces, for making “people light up by asking about their lives. She made everyone around her feel special.”

But as much love as she had for her friends, Sara had an unending reserve of love that she saved for her family. She was devoted to Lorne, to her children and their spouses, to her sister Penny and her brother Tom, to her grandchildren, her nieces and nephews and cousins, and the family dogs: Percy Puppy, Emma (who bit people), and the cairn terriers Mr. Beasley, Stuart, and Tartan. She cherished the memory of her parents, aunts and uncles. Family was everything to her. Her love for them was sustaining, eternal, and pure. 

Sara was the best damn croquet player you ever saw, a proud Canadian, dog nurturer, nature photographer, bird watcher, adorer of owls, and not above cheating at double solitaire if it would keep the game going. To Sara, every day was a gift—unless it was hot, of course. The family cottage in Ontario, on the shore of Lake Huron, was where she was happiest, and it is there that she will be forever. Forever happy, forever laughing, forever cool.