Sara with her family on Confederate Circle....circa 2002
Sara Bolgla Breibart
--b. July 15, 1920, d. February 24, 2019
by Mark Breibart
Sara died on Sunday, Feb 24, 2019 in her room at Bishop Gadsden, with Carol, Mark, Becka, Emma, and long-time family friend, Jane Tezza,by her side.
She had come down with pneumonia and the flu about nine days earlier, and couldn't beat this one. Nursed by excellent, compassionate care from Roper Hospital, Bishop Gadsden, and Transitions Hospice Care, her last days were, gratefully, peaceful and comfortable. One of the last statements she made was "And I never voted Republican!" She was herself up to the end.
On Feb 27, a sunny, spring-like morning, Sara was buried next to Solly in the Kahal Kadosh Coming Street Cemetery. They are buried in a plot that would not have existed except for the felling of a large tree by Hurricane Hugo in 1989.
The cemetery is the oldest Jewish cemetery in the South with graves going back to pre-Revolutionary times. As Sara had requested, the service was simple and short. Only family and a few close friends were invited, and Rabbi Greg Kanter of KKBE gave a moving eulogy that was remarkable in that he had been prepped by family only the day before.
He reminded us of her beautiful blue eyes and smile, her devotion to family, friends, causes, and books, and her aversion to cooking.
Pallbearers, requested by Sara, were family members Stanley and Gerald Sonenshine, Harvey Bolgla, Stanley Pollock, and long-time friends David Rittenberg and Tom Walker.
Later that afternoon, we held a remembrance ceremony and reception at Bishop Gadsden, where she had lived for the past 6 ½ years. The rooms were packed with 75-100 people who included many members of the extended family, long-time friends, Bishop Gadsden staff and residents, co-workers from the Charleston County Library and the Charleston County government, and a couple of dignitaries, former Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley and current Charleston mayor, John Tecklenburg
Sara had touched many, and made numerous friends in her 98 long years of active life, an accomplishment that was underscored by the different generations and spheres of life of those who came to remember her.
The remembrance began with a lot of schmoozing as people gathered, greeted each other and found seats. It then moved on to prepared remarks by son Mark, granddaughters Becka and Emma, nephews Stanley Sonenshine and Harvey Bolga, friend Catherine Boykin, and daughter-in-law Sheryl, who added special spice by reading an original poem and leading the group in the singing of "You Are My Sunshine," a tune she had sung with Sara just a few days before.
The floor was then opened up,and a number of friends, through tears and laughter, remembered Sara with their own special stories. Common themes throughout the day were Sara's strong spirit, her ability to make and keep friends of all ages, her passion for politics, and her accomplishments in the community, including "running the county" (confirmed by Lonnie Hamilton, the then-Chairman of County Council), and bringing the Metropolitan Opera as a freebie at the Charleston County Library.
And then, as Sara would always say to Solly when she was ready to leave a party, it was time to go.