Obituary of Sarah Gage
Niskayuna-Sarah Elizabeth Witbeck Gage, 101, passed away peacefully at home in Niskayuna, N.Y., on January 13, 2018, with her family by her side. Known as Sally, she was the daughter of William Charles and Annette (Hartmann) Witbeck and was born August 4, 1916, in Schenectady, N.Y.
As a young girl in Schenectady, Sally attended Elmer Avenue Elementary School and Nott Terrace High School. She was an avid horse rider and was active in school theater and academic organizations. Sally was a 1939 graduate of Russell Sage College in Troy, N.Y.
Sally was always passionate about fashion. After college she resided at the Barbizon in New York City while working for Vogue magazine and contributing to the WWII USO war effort. She received a master’s degree in elementary education from the University of the State of New York and pursued additional studies at Columbia University.
Embarking on her career in education, Sally developed an innovative program to teach gifted children in the Schalmont School District. During this time, Sally met the love of her life, attorney James (Jim) L. Gage. The two were married in 1960 and enjoyed 31 years together until Jim’s death.
Sally loved the arts, including music, theater, ballet, cinema, poetry and prose, and was an extremely talented gardener who maintained beautiful grounds at her home with Jim in Esperance, N.Y. She was a master designer, student, and teacher of the Sogetsu School tradition of Japanese flower-arranging. Sally taught flower design for several years and was asked to participate in the Sogetsu tradition of honoring its finest students at a ceremony in Japan. She enjoyed traveling and was able to see much of the world with her beloved husband Jim, and later with her dear friend Mary Pedone. Sally was active in social organizations, such as Schenectady’s Mohawk Golf Club and Queen’s Fort. She also supported several organizations in Schenectady that she cared for dearly, including Ellis Hospital and Union College, alma mater of her brother and husband.
Sally was pre-deceased by her parents, her brother William Henry Witbeck, nephew Andrew Page Witbeck and step-son James Gage, Jr. She is survived by her step-daughter Marion Gage Crandall,
her nieces Sarah Louise Witbeck (Jacqueline Robotti) and Anneke Witbeck McEvoy (Christopher), her nephew William Charles Witbeck (Emily), as well as several great-nieces and nephews.A memorial service will be held at St. George’s Church in Schenectady, N.Y. on Friday May 18, 2018 at 11AM. Burial will be at the convenience of the family.The family wishes to express deepest thanks to the wonderful caregivers who were such an integral part of Sally’s life during her final years. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to the Foundation for Ellis Medicine at 1101 Nott Street, Schenectady, N.Y., 12308.