Sara Ruth Daw Bembry, 98, passed away June 3, 2014 in Fernandina Beach, Florida after a brief illness.
She was born January 20, 1916 in Dalton, Georgia to Ruth Elizabeth Hawkins Keith and Arthur Robert Keith and grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She graduated from Chattanooga High School in 1933 and attended the Cadek Conservatory of Music and the Edmondson School of Business before going to work as an executive secretary, including to the president of the prominent Miller Brothers department store in Chattanooga. Sara Ruth's life took a different turn when she met Carl Daw, who was exploring a call to ministry in the Southern Baptist church. They married in December 1940, and she supported him as he completed his undergraduate work and obtained his masters in divinity. When Carl volunteered for service as a Navy chaplain in World War II, Sara Ruth and their young son Carl Jr. returned to Tennessee, where the family grew in the following years with the arrivals of daughters Ruth and Sara and son Keith. In the late 1940's, the 1950's and 60's, Rev. Daw served churches in eastern and middle Tennessee and as a Naval Reserve chaplain, always with Sara Ruth working alongside him in ministry, whether at the piano, teaching Sunday School, or serving as his secretary and wherever else needed. In 1970's they relocated to Gadsden County in his native state of Florida where he served his last church and she cared for him through his battle with Parkinson's disease. After Rev. Daw passed away in 1985, Sara Ruth returned to school to learn how to use computers and to work as a church secretary. She also travelled across the United States and Canada, to Europe and the Far East, and worked in summer missions feeding hungry student volunteers. In 1992 Sara Ruth met and married Henry Bembry, a retired farmer from Hamilton County, Florida. She and Henry enjoyed more travel, including to the Holy Land and Egypt, where she was proud to have ridden a camel in her 80s. After Henry passed away in 2003, Sara Ruth relocated once more to Fernandina Beach, where she reveled in her friends in the community and at her church, enjoying group outings and her day-to-day life. She moved into Savannah Grand Assisted Living in 2012, developing more friends there. She was a delightful, unassuming person of much personal dignity who loved her God, her family and each new opportunity of life and was quickly beloved to all she met.
She is survived by son Carl Pickens Daw, Jr. (May) of Watertown, Massachusetts, daughter Ruth Daw Taylor (Eddy) of Lascassas, Tennessee, daughter Sara Daw Day (Kennie) of Fernandina Beach, Florida, and son Andrew Keith Daw (Ashley) of Jacksonville, Florida, eight grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren.
Sara Ruth's family wishes to thank the W.R. Price Sunday School Class (especially Jean Boles), Dr. Edward Tribuzio, the staff of Savannah Grand, Best Friends Companion Care, and all who made the recent years of Sara Ruth's life healthy, full, safe and happy ones.
Her family will receive friends at the Oxley Heard Funeral Home on Friday from 6:00 – 9:00 pm.
A celebration of Sara Ruth's life will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, June 7, 2014 at First Baptist Church, Fernandina Beach, with graveside services following at 4:00 p.m. that day at Hillcrest Cemetery, Quincy, Florida.
The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, gifts in Sara Ruth's memory be made to Nassau County Council on Aging, to the W.R. Price Class of First Baptist, Fernandina Beach, or to the charity of the donor's choice.
Please share her Life Legacy at www.oxleyheard.com