Sarah Clement Tisdale obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Sarah Clement Tisdale

June 28, 1927 - March 21, 2015

Obituary


Sarah Wyatt Clement Tisdale



In Memoriam



Sarah Wyatt Clement Tisdale, 87, was born June 28, 1927 and entered into eternal life on Saturday March 21, 2015. Sarah died peacefully at home due to complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pulmonary hypertension.



Sarah resided in Fairfax, Virginia from 1965-2013. In 2014 she moved to Loving Arms Assisted Living Facility in Front Royal, Virginia. In her short time there, Sarah enjoyed daily prayer with residents and the staff spiritual director, and weekly celebration of the sacraments. She was instrumental in re-vitalizing the...

Sarah Wyatt Clement Tisdale



In Memoriam



Sarah Wyatt Clement Tisdale, 87, was born June 28, 1927 and entered into eternal life on Saturday March 21, 2015. Sarah died peacefully at home due to complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pulmonary hypertension.



Sarah resided in Fairfax, Virginia from 1965-2013. In 2014 she moved to Loving Arms Assisted Living Facility in Front Royal, Virginia. In her short time there, Sarah enjoyed daily prayer with residents and the staff spiritual director, and weekly celebration of the sacraments. She was instrumental in re-vitalizing the Mercy Chapel with Stations of the Cross plaques and statues of the Holy Family.



Sarah was raised in Asheville, NC; the oldest of two children born to Ellen Marie Zimmerman Clement and Sydney Burnette Clement. Her paternal grandfather George Washington Clement was a builder on the Biltmore Hotel and her maternal grandfather, Charles St. Vrain Zimmerman was a doctor. Her aunt, Lillian Exum Clement Stafford, was the first woman elected to the North Carolina General Assembly.



Sarah was educated in Asheville at St. Genevieve of the Pines and Lee Edwards High School. She distinguished herself as a bright and diligent student, winning awards in both science and religion. The Reverend Mother who provided Sarah religious instruction referred to her as “my little theologian.” After high school, she earned an associate’s degree in science. Referred to by college friends as “a science-loving lass,” Sarah worked as a chemist’s assistant in a laboratory.



In 1948 she married then Capt. James William “Bill” Tisdale, Jr., USAF, who had recently returned from decorated service in WW II. Sarah had caught the eye of the young pilot at Christmas Eve Midnight Mass at the Basilica of St. Lawrence in Asheville; the site of the couple’s future wedding mass. The Basilica was home church since birth for Sarah and Bill as well as the home church of both their families for two generations.



Sarah and Bill began their family in 1949 and their marriage was blessed with 10 children over the years. Career military service for Bill, who attained the rank of Colonel before retirement, meant frequent moves for their growing family. The couple, their children, and Sarah’s mother settled in Virginia in 1965.



Sarah was devoted to raising her children, after which she managed the Vine and Fig Tree Christian bookstore in Herndon, Virginia. She was a member of St. Leo The Great Catholic Church in Fairfax for almost 50 years. Sarah was instrumental in starting the Bread of Life prayer group, served as a Eucharistic Minister, and as a member of the Bereavement Committee. She carried out corporal works of mercy through nursing home and women’s prison ministry, and spiritual works of mercy through prayer and counsel. In addition to devotion to God and her family, Sarah made time for community service, participating for many years in fundraising for UNICEF, the American Heart Association, and the American Cancer Society.



Sarah is predeceased by her husband Bill, her sons Richard Thomas and James William III, her son-in-law Tim, her great granddaughter Gianna, her brother Jack and his wife Joyce, and her cousin Nancie Stafford, who referred to Sarah as “my one rose.” She is survived by her children: Mary Ellen Tisdale, Frances Marion Tisdale Watson, Lucy Marsteller Tisdale Setliff (Edgar), Margaret Anne Tisdale Macedonia (Dave), Jeannette Merrick Tisdale, Theresa Clement Tisdale (Roger), John Harrison Tisdale (Julie), and Veronica Zimmerman Tisdale Wrubel (Chris); by her grandchildren: Sarah, Jonathan, David, Nick, Maggie, Anna, L.J., Nina, Joseph, Madeline, and Lillian; by her great grandchildren: Keaton, Merrick, Jaron, Caleb, Eliana, Maria Bernadette, and Mason; and by her cousin’s husband, Wingate. From Bill’s side of the family, Sarah is predeceased by her nephew Robert Bowie, her brother-in-law George and his wife Pat, and her brother-in-law Thomas Harrison. She is survived by her brother-in-law Dillard Webb and his wife Becky; her sister-in-law Beverly; and her nieces and nephews: Ryland, Ellen, Rick, Liz, Matt, Cathy, Diane and their families.



Sarah’s family will receive friends from 6:00-8:00 p.m. on Thursday April 9 at Demaine Funeral Home, 10565 Main Street, Fairfax, VA. The Divine Mercy Chaplet for the Sick and Dying will be prayed from 7:30-8:00. A Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Friday April 10 at St. Leo the Great Catholic Church, 3700 Old Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA with a reception immediately following at the Knights of Columbus Providence Hall, which is on the church property. Interment at Arlington National Cemetery will take place on a future date. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in loving memory of Sarah Clement Tisdale to the Poor Clare Monastery, 2505 Stone Hedge Drive, Alexandria, VA 22306, ATTN: Rev. Mother Therese, to support repairs to the choir and chapel.



Sarah was dearly loved by her family and friends. She led an exemplary life of devotion to God, the Church, her family, and her community. Sarah will be deeply missed and always remembered for her unswerving faith and trust in the mercy of God, which she leaves as a lasting legacy to the family and friends she loved so much, and to all those whose life she touched over the years.