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Sarah Atkins - January 29, 2014

Sarah Atkins, 36, died Jan. 29, 2014, surrounded by those she loved most. Sarah was the daughter of Leon and Beverly Atkins and sister to Garrett Atkins and Lance Atkins.

Sarah’s life involved a steady and mounting struggle with her health: an autoimmune complex, non-convulsive seizures and rheumatoid arthritis. Ultimately, after developing H1N1 influenza, Sarah’s body succumbed to an infection.

However, Sarah’s health was not her life’s primary theme. A 1996 graduate of Haxtun High School, she went on to complete her medical doctorate from Mayo Medical School. Sarah lived in Ethiopia and South Africa, grew flowers, enjoyed an adventure and loved deeply. In the final hurdle of her life—health problems—Sarah tackled it with a rare consistency and grace. Her final gift, after a quick lifetime of boldness, was to encourage and cheer on the people she loved most.

The Atkins family extends an open invite to a celebration of Sarah’s life on Saturday, Feb. 8 at Holyoke’s First Baptist Church with casual dress and an open door from 2-5 p.m. Sarah’s final party will involve cake, an open microphone and memories.