January 18, 1930 - September 23, 2017
Sarah Ann Durand passed away Saturday, September 23, 2017 due to complications from pneumonia at Asante Ashland Community Hospital in Ashland, Oregon. She passed away peacefully that evening in the presence of her family.
Sarah was born January 18, 1930 in St. Louis, Missouri to Rhea Wright Mott and Edwin Lee Mott. She attended Community School with her sister Betty. In 1941, with her mother, sister, and grandmother, Jeannie Margurite Brashear Wright, Sarah moved to Coronado, California. She graduated from Coronado High School in 1948. Sarah then attended the University of Southern California where she was affiliated with the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. While at USC, she met her first husband, Thomas Alva Baird. They were married in 1950. Following their marriage, they moved to Missoula, Montana, where Sarah worked to help support Thomas through law school. They later moved back to the Los Angeles area where they raised three children.
Following their divorce, Sarah trained to become a computer programmer at the Control Data Institute, where she met her future second husband, Mel Durand. She lived for a time in Carlsbad, Calif., before relocating to Ashland, Ore., where she designed and built a log home with the help of her children. This home was to remain a family residence for many years. She worked in the art department at Harry & David. Sarah was a lifelong student of art in various media, and was a prolific artist. She moved to join Mel in Nottingham, England, where they were married. She enjoyed work in the local library there. They returned to Oregon, where they lived for the remainder of their lives. Eventually, Sarah and Mel moved to the Mountain Meadows Retirement Community in Ashland, Ore. There she became well known and loved as a neighbor, friend, and an active member of her community. She taught drawing classes and curated the monthly art exhibits at the Mountain Meadows Clubhouse.
Sarah was an avid traveler, and particularly loved road trips with family members, including cross-country Sister Safaris with Betty.
During her lifetime, Sarah generously donated her time and resources in a variety of charitable ways, including volunteer work at the Pasadena Day Nursery, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Animal Forensics Laboratory.
Sarah is survived by her daughter, Susan Elizabeth Baird (David Hogan); sons, Thomas Matthew Baird and Robert Edwin Baird (Susan Yerger); sister, Betty Reynolds; grandson, Adam Michael Hogan; and nieces and nephews.
She was a kind, gentle, talented, and unconditionally supportive spirit and she will be missed by all of us dearly.
In lieu of donations or a formal memorial service we ask that you commemorate Sarah’s life in a way that personifies Sarah’s attitude toward others, by incorporating an act of kindness into your daily life.