Sara H. McGee passed away peacefully in her sleep at the age of 78, while visiting her son Michael White McGee in Denver, Colorado, over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, 2015.
During the course of her life, Sara lived in many places and played many roles: Artist, Psychotherapist, Traveler, and avid Genealogist.
Art: Sara’s passion for art developed early. She painted, managed art galleries, collected art, and eventually became an art therapist. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of New Mexico (UNM) in 1955, and earned her MFA in 1973 from Stephen F. Austin State University. After receiving a grant from the state of Texas to provide therapy for abused kids, she created a parent/child therapy program which incorporated art.
Psychotherapy: Sara decided to become an art therapist and earned another degree from UC Santa Cruz, where she studied with George Leonard and Margaret Keyes. Sara received her Masters in Social Work degree from UNM in 1980. She worked with Sandoval County’s mental health program from 1980 to 1991, and then worked with UNM until retiring in 2014. She continued her private art therapy practice and had planned to fully retire in 2017.
Travel: Sara was born under a wandering star in Pecos, TX, in October of 1937. She was the only child of the marriage of Alexander Dewey Haynes and Corinne Cade Haynes. Her father owned the International Harvester and Chrysler dealership in town, and her mother was a history major and teacher.
Her parents had a tumultuous relationship, which resulted in Sara growing up in many different locations – Wichita, KS, a farm in central Texas, Ruidoso, Alamogordo, Hagerman, Santa Fe and El Paso. In El Paso, she attended the Radford School for Girls, where she said she “loved every moment.”
Sara met her husband David White McGee while they both attended the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.
After they divorced, she returned to Albuquerque from Roswell. In 1980, Sara studied art and art therapy in Mill Valley and Santa Cruz, CA, and operated an art gallery in Corrales and in Santa Fe. Then, she bought a pop-up camper and took her two dogs to Guatemala to tour South America, by herself. After two years, she returned to the U.S. and worked as a therapist in Lubbock, TX.
Genealogy: Sara started conducting genealogical research into her family roots when her sons Jeffrey and Michael were born in the 1960s. She had started to write a book about her family history, using stories and genealogical charts. The working title was Unbroken Circle: Genealogical Remembrances. Her family roots in the United States stretch back to a minister at Jamestown, Virginia who arrived in 1609, and her father’s family who also landed in Virginia in 1710.
Sara is preceded in death by her son Jeffrey, who passed away of leukemia in 1996. His ashes were scattered in the Jemez Mountains, at the spot where he and his long time girlfriend Natalia Weigler were married.
Through Sara’s genealogy research, she had found and rekindled relationships with her two half sisters, Sharon Scott and Sandra Vibbert. During the past 12 years, Sara took numerous genealogical tours with her cherished niece Tamara Johnson.
Sara is survived by her son Michael White McGee and leaves behind a Papillion puppy, Benjamin Franklin McGee (a.k.a. Benji), and two black cats, Sister Chickie Moola and Bobby Jack. Sara was such an animal lover.
Cremation took place in Denver. Sara wanted her ashes to be scattered in the Jemez mountains, where her late son Jeffrey’s ashes are scattered.
In lieu of flowers or donations, please make memorial contributions to the American Cancer Society in honor of her son, Jeffrey Hamilton McGee.
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