Widely-traveled, politically-active Storm Laker is Mother of the Year

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sarah Ledbetter, resident of Methodist Manor and mother of Dr. Nadine Brewer, has been named Mother of the Year by the Storm Lake Area Arts Council.

Sarah Alice Perkins was born July 31, 1909 to Richard and Fanny Perkins in Cranmer, Hart County Kentucky. The eldest of ten, she is the sole survivor of three boys and seven girls born to the couple. After growing up in Keith Holler, Louisville and New Hope, Sarah, known to her family as Alice, married Emmett Brewer of Larue County. She and Emmett endured the Great Depression in Louisville and Jamestown, New York, where Sarah found employment in a woolen mill.

After ten years of marriage, they had one daughter, Alice Nadine. Emmett died in 1943, and Sarah remarried to Leonard DeWitt, a family friend. The three moved to Denver, Colorado in 1947, then to Phoenix, Arizona and back to Denver in 1949, where Sarah lived until moving to Storm Lake in 2000. Leonard died in 1974 and, in 1977, Sarah married Joseph Ledbetter who died in 1998 at age 94. (Yes, three husbands and four names!)

Sarah has traveled widely-to Europe, Alaska, the Bahamas, Canada and all of the US. Her favorite city in the world is Budapest, with Amsterdam and Ljubljana close seconds. She celebrated her 80th birthday in Budapest, where she enjoyed a trip up to the Danube Bend and a string trio played the entire Blue Danube Waltz for her. Sarah says, "That since coming to Storm Lake she had more womderful friends and has been treated better than any other place she has lived. Storm Lakers are wonderful."

Sarah has voted in every general election since she was old enough to vote. She has worked for the Democrat party as a pole watcher and has hosted political functions.

Sarah's favorite activity is spending time with her three grandsons-Skip, Philip and Jared and her step-grandson Dean-and her great-grandchildren-Erin, Karla and Elijah. She also loves to play cards and tell jokes (keeps the staff at the Manor laughing) and share stories from her past. She truly enjoys the visits from Middle School and St. Mary's students.

At the moment, Sarah is writing a book (via daughter Nadine) about her childhood in Keith "Holler," Kentucky. She is a member of Lakeside Presbyterian Church and a lifetime member of Eastern Star as a Worthy Matron. Sarah will turn 99 in July, and Storm Lake will be flooded with family and friends from California, Colorado, Kentucky, Minnesota, Virginia and Washington.

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