Sarah S. Cooper, 78, died on April 24, 2024, in Lexington, S.C. Born in in Statesville, N.C., she was the daughter of the late Roscoe and Christine Stilwell and the sister of her beloved Debbie.

She graduated from Statesville High School and matriculated to the University of South Carolina in the College of Nursing, graduating as the top student in her class in 1967. She earned her master’s degree in nursing in 1983 and became a certified nurse practitioner.

She spent more than 30 years in public health, tirelessly serving the citizens of South Carolina.

She ended her career as the Director of Women and Children Services at DHEC, providing clinical and supportive services to all South Carolina health departments and establishing partnerships among the public and private sectors. She received the Michael Jarrett Customer Service Award for Family Support Services, the Helen Wofford Creativity in Nursing Award from USC’s College of Nursing, the Marion B. Sims Award for Meritorious Achievements in Public Health, and the Palmetto Gold Award from the South Carolina Nurses Association.

She promoted public health in her publications in the American Journal of Nursing, the Journal of Community Health, and in many national speaking engagements with the American Academy of Pediatrics, its Academic Society, and the American Public Health Association.

Sarah was an enthusiastic piano player. She sang and was a lifelong choir member. She cherished her time at the ARP church (Statesville), Trinity Lutheran (Greenville, S.C.), St. John’s Lutheran (Spartanburg), Saint Alban’s Episcopal (Lexington), and Saint Stephen’s Lutheran (Lexington). She was active in directing Children’s and Christmas choirs and was a lay reader and a Eucharistic minister.

Her family was her greatest joy. She is survived by her devoted husband, Carl Butler; her two sons, Dr. Franklin Sease Jr. (Dr. Kerry Sease) and David Sease (Anastasia Sease); and her three grandchildren (the joy of her life), Ryan Sease, Abigail Sease, and Henry Sease.

Sarah was a scholar, musician, prayer warrior, dedicated nurse, and an enthusiastic friend to all throughout her life. Her voice was a melody and her presence filled every room like a song.

Her memorial service will be at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church at 119 N Church Street, Lexington, S.C. 29072. A reception will follow.

In lieu of flowers, please feel free to support the South Carolina Public Health Association (SCPHA) at in Sarah’s honor.

Barr-Price Funeral Home, Lexington Chapel, is assisting the family.