Sarah Dees Hovis passed away on Sunday, February 17, 2019. Sarah was born on November 26, 1927 in Latta, SC, to the late Sarah Fore Dees and Martin Howard Dees. She graduated from Winthrop College and received a Master’s Degree in Education from Appalachian State University. Being a part of the education of children was Sarah’s passion. After college, Sarah’s first teaching job was at Charlotte Day Nursery, a Red Feather Agency for children five years and younger. She then became Director of the Sunshine Day Nursery which was sponsored by the Charity League of Charlotte. Sarah taught in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system for over 38 years and was Teacher of the Year at Huntingtowne Farms Elementary School in 1985.
Sarah was a longtime member of Selwyn United Methodist Church (formerly Mouzon United Methodist Church). She was a member of the Charlotte Woman’s Club, Alpha Delta Kappa sorority, American Association of University Women, and the Charity League of Charlotte where she had the honor of receiving the LaRose Grant Award in 2001 for her continued active support of this organization. She was also a member of the Friendship Force of Charlotte and traveled extensively throughout the United States and the world with this organization. Sarah’s love of gardening even extended to her trips with the Friendship Force. While traveling by bus through New Zealand, the bus stopped at a service station. Sarah got out of the bus and started weeding a garden by the service station. A friend on the bus was heard to say, “That has to be Sarah Hovis from Charlotte. No one else would get out and weed at a bus stop!”
In 2001, Sarah moved to Plantation Estates Retirement Community in Matthews, NC, where she continued her love of gardening, playing bridge, and establishing new friendships. The family will be forever grateful for the care and kindness shown by everyone at Plantation Estates, especially the Willowbrook Court staff.
Sarah is survived by her sons, Randall D. Hovis of Fort Mill, SC, and Martin F. Hovis of Stuart, FL, and several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband, David A. Hovis, two sisters, Annie D. Anderson and Lucille D. Fore, and two brothers, Martin Heyward Dees and William Thomas Dees, Sr.
A memorial service to celebrate Sarah’s life will be held Monday, March 4, 2019 at 2:30 pm in the Performing Arts Center-Clubhouse of Plantation Estates (606 Birch View Drive, Matthews, NC) with Dr. Larry Watts, Chaplain Sara Stubbs and Pastor Linwood Brooks presiding. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Selwyn United Methodist Church, 3100 Selwyn Ave., Charlotte, NC, 28209 or to the Inspirational Fund at Plantation Estates, 733 Plantation Estates Dr., Matthews, NC, 28105. A reception will follow the service.