Gardening 07

Sarah Vail (Cowling)

October 7, 1960 ~ July 29, 2019 (age 58)


Sarah Vail (Cowling) of Oberlin, OH passed away on July 29th surrounded by her loving family and friends. She was born in Greensboro, NC on October 7, 1960.

Sarah Graduated from Page High School in Greensboro in 1979. Her senior year The Page Ensemble, which she accompanied, performed at the White House and at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. for an International Choral Festival. Sarah graduated from the Oberlin College and Conservatory in 1984 with a double major in Music History/ Theory and Comparative Religions. Sarah studied piano, violin and organ. She played in the Oberlin Orchestra, which toured for the Oberlin Sesquicentennial performing at Jordan Hall in Boston, Kennedy Center in D.C. and Carnegie Hall in NYC.

For the past 37 years, Sarah has been a musician in the Northeast OH area. Starting in 1981, Sarah served as a music director for several churches in the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland: St Mary???s - Elyria, St. Leo The Great - Old Brooklyn, St. Mary???s - Lorain, St. Basil The Great - Brecksville, and St. Peter???s - North Ridgeville. She was the music director at Calvary Presbyterian 1984-86 and organist for the First Church in Oberlin 1992-93 and in 2009. For the past nine years Sarah has served as music director for Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Oberlin. Over the span of her career, Sarah played over 1500 weddings and 2000 funerals in the greater Cleveland area.

In addition to church music, Sarah has played in several bands in the area including the Swing City Big Band and True North Big Band. Over the years she accompanied many musicians and choirs. As a jazz musician Sarah has played several clubs including the Bop Stop in Cleveland.

In 2009 Sarah started a small business as a gardener/ landscaper, fulfilling a passion for plants and people who love plants. She developed a clientele in Oberlin and at Kendall of Oberlin. An example of Sarah???s gardening can be found in the Zen Garden at the Oberlin Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, which welcomes all to enjoy and use for meditation.

Survivors include Tim Cowling of Oberlin, her partner of 29 years, and her precious children, Lindsey A. Cowling, Thomas G. Cowling and Daniel W. Cowling of Oberlin; her sister Alison G. L. Fairchild of Asheboro, NC, nieces and nephews, and many loving friends. She is preceded in death by her parents Hal B. Lewis, Virginia G Lewis, and her brother Hal W Lewis.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Sarah Vail (Cowling), please visit our floral store.


August 4, 2019

2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Oberlin

Celebration of Life

Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Oberlin

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