Cover photo for Sara "Sally" Marie Yarbrough's Obituary
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1934 Sara "Sally" 2021

Sara "Sally" Marie Yarbrough

June 15, 1934 — April 21, 2021

On April 21, 2021 Sara (“Sally”) Marie Yarbrough passed peacefully at home surrounded by her family.

Born June 15, 1934 in Carbondale, Illinois to Mable and Walker Schwartz, Sally graduated from Carbondale Community High in 1952. At the tender age of 16, Sally and her best friend, Sally Lewis, left Illinois to attend Stevens College in Missouri. Subsequently, Sally returned to Illinois to attend Northwestern University where she received her bachelor degree in Speech. Sally later obtained both master and specialist degrees in Speech at Georgia State University.

Always learning, Sally completed courses at institutions ranging from Sorbonne University to University of Cambridge to local adult education centers. She studied decorating, design, Shakespeare, gardening, and French, among other subjects. Her love of learning transformed to a love of teaching and while working as a speech pathologist in Kankakee, Illinois, Sally met and married James T. Yarbrough. The couple moved to the South, and ultimately to Atlanta in 1967 where they raised their three children: Sara Dabney (Kentner), James Walker (Yarbrough), Margaret Bucey (Friedman).

Sally returned to teaching at the age of 45, where she enjoyed an accomplished career within the Fulton County school system, devoting over 20 years of service to countless children who benefited from her skill and compassion. Sally was also active in her community and many organizations while pursuing her interests. She participated in the Chi Omega Alumni Association, the Northwestern Alumni Chapter, the Georgia Republican Women, PALS, the Sandy Springs Garden Society, the Presbyterian Church, numerous book clubs and volunteered for the Georgia Governor as a docent.

Despite a lack of regular attendance at church, Sally attributed every good fortune to being Presbyterian. Fierce, quick witted, full of fun and mischief, Sally brought a determination and zeal to living her life. Her keen sense of humor was one of her most beloved qualities and made her countless friends. Sally shared her love of travel with her family and, over the years, took them on many wonderful trips around the world.

In 2001, Sally’s husband James T. Yarbrough unexpectedly died. Years later she reconnected with a childhood friend, Charles Pritchett, whom she married in 2015. The couple subsequently returned to the Carbondale area, and thereafter resided in Makanda, Illinois until the time of Sally’s death.

Sally was preceded in death by her parents, first husband, and brother, Thomas D. Schwartz. She is survived by her husband, her sister Barbara Jane (Rendleman) Schwartz, sister-in-law Kathy Schwartz Balsano, her children Sara Dabney (Kentner), James Walker Yarbrough, Margaret Bucey (Friedman) daughter-in-law Luann Livingston Yarbrough, son-in-law Alan D. Friedman, grandchildren Sara Alden Yarbrough, James Walker Yarbrough, William Thomas Friedman, many nieces and nephews and Kenneth Hood, whom she loved like a son.

A memorial for Sally will be held on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 2:00 at Meredith Funeral Home, Carbondale, Illinois. Sally will later be interned with her parents in Oakland Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you consider a donation to Hospice of Southern Illinois or the charity of your choice. The family is deeply grateful for the support of their extended family and love and care shown to Sally by caretakers, Tricia Roach, Lili McBride, Dana Garsky, and Hospice of Southern Illinois.

In short, the world will now be a dimmer place for those remaining who were lucky enough to have enjoyed Sally’s acquaintance.

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, April 24, 2021

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

Due to COVID restrictions no more than 50 people are allowed into the funeral home at one time along with the requirement of wearing a mask and social distancing.

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