Sarah Bryant died at the age of ninety-four, on Friday, July 24, 2020, in Orange, California, at her home at the Oakmont Senior Living community. Her daughter, Aleta, was by her side; and her son, David, was en route from his home in Ohio. She was surrounded by a caring hospice nurse, and the Memory Care staff at Oakmont, who have loved, nurtured and provided for her for more than two years.
Sarah Bryant was born Sara Ryfka Kapic in 1926, in the shtetl of Slonim, Poland. Sarah came to America in 1930, at the age of four. She left Slonim and sailed from France into the Port of New York with her mother Lena, her two older sisters Basza (Betty) and Leja (Lily), and her older brother Chaim (Hymie). They came to join their father, Xercz (Hershel/Harry), a tanner who had left for America four years earlier, just six months after Sarah was born. A few years later they were joined by Sarah’s oldest brother, Szymon (Seymour). In America, the Kapic family became the “Kaplans.”
Sarah graduated from the Brooklyn High School for Homemaking; became a licensed Cosmetologist; and went on to have a more than six decade-long career as a hairdresser, at one point owning her own salon in New York.
Sarah married, and later divorced, Ira Cublinsky, with whom she had a daughter, Barbara Allison. In a ceremony in Delaware in 1959, and a second, religious ceremony in Brooklyn in 1960, Sarah married Charles Darwin Bryant, an electrical engineer and World War II Navy veteran, who became the adoptive father of Barbara. Sarah and Charles then had two more children; a daughter, Aleta and a son, David. They moved from New York, and made their home in New Jersey for many years, before moving to California in 1974.
In addition to hairdressing, Sarah loved caring for children. She took numerous courses from community colleges and other programs in child care and development, and found years of gratifying work volunteering her time working with developmentally disabled children, as well as working in her neighborhood elementary schools as a lunchtime and playground supervisor, and offering babysitting services to various mothers’ groups. Her love of babies continued in her to the very end of her life; as she lay in her bed as she died holding two baby dolls she had been “mothering” for several months prior to her passing.
Throughout her life, Sarah was always physically fit and active, and loved to travel. Together, Sarah and Charles travelled all of the 50 United States, and to many destinations in Europe, Canada and around the world. After Charles’ death, Sarah kept traveling on her own; and continued to add to her collection of souvenir glasses, which crowded the shelves in her house wherever she lived, and which remained for her to the end of her life a treasured record and a happy reminder of all of the wonderful adventures she had had.
Surviving Sarah are her daughter, Aleta; her son, David and daughter-in-law, Elicia; and her grandson, Nathan and his wife, Anna.
Sarah was preceded in death by all of her siblings, in-laws and their spouses; by her husband Charles in 1990; and by her nineteen year-old daughter Barbara in 1973. At her request, Sarah will be interred near her beloved Barbara at the Beth Israel Cemetery in Woodbridge, New Jersey.