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A beloved special needs teacher and friend too many, Sarah Lacy Stoelting, 42, died at her home Monday, Nov. 1. She was named after her great grandmother, Mary (Lacy) Cutsinger.
Her death was unexpected although she had been in ill health for the past four years. She was looking forward to starting a new job with Bowen Center, Warsaw.
A special needs teacher known as “Ms. S.” Sarah impacted many students’ and their parents’ lives with her kind and loving heart and her skill at presenting learning in many different ways.
Most of her teaching career was spent at Wawasee Middle School, Syracuse. She had also taught at Whitko Community Schools, South Whitley; North Central Education Co-op, Warsaw; and Leander Independent School District, Leander, Texas.
She was born May 6, 1976, in Goshen to Paul Alan and Martha Elizabeth (Cutsinger) Stoelting. Her childhood was spent in San Antonio, Texas, where she attended Boone and Castle Hills Elementary schools, Jackson Middle School and Robert E. Lee High School.
Upon returning with her family to Syracuse in 1990, she attended and graduated from Wawasee High School in 1994, where she was involved with the band and the swim team.
Graduating from Indiana University-Bloomington with a degree in special education in 1999, she began her career serving the students she loved. While in college, Sarah worked as a floral designer, skills learned working at the family business, Village Florist, Syracuse.
Sarah was known for her kindness, quirky sense of humor, love of the Grateful Dead and all music, and for being a wonderful friend and family member.
She truly enjoyed working with middle school students and kept in touch with many of them. The loves of her life were her pets; currently dogs, Ollie “Poops,” Ethel and Poppy; and cats Tilly and Pia. Her favorite pets, dog Sadie and cat Audrey, j welcomed Sarah to the Rainbow Bridge.
She was proud that she had paid off her student loans and was able to purchase her own home three years ago through her hard work and the sacrifice of living in a tiny apartment. At one time, she and her sister resided at the Ketering Family Farm, making them the seventh generation to live there.
She is survived by her parents, Syracuse; brother John Paul Stoelting, Warsaw; and sister and brother-in law, Rebecca Stoelting and Max Sayenko, Chicago. Also surviving is her grandmother Joan (Ketering) Stoelting and uncle Jack K. Stoelting, Syracuse.
She was preceded in death by her grandparents John F. “Jack” Stoelting, Syracuse; John M. and Martha Lee (Smith) Cutsinger, Franklin.
Calling will be at Owen Family Funeral Home, 1001 S. Huntington St. (SR 13), Syracuse, from 3-7 p.m., Monday, Nov. 5 with a memorial service at 7 p.m. conducted by Pastor Mike Beezley, Clunette United Methodist Church.
Due to Sarah’s profound love of animals, memorials can be made to New Hope Pet Rescue, 72555 CR 29, Syracuse, IN 46567 or Kosciusko Animal Welfare League, 3489 E. 100S, Pierceton, IN 46562.