EMMEL, Sarah Noyes
Sarah Noyes Emmel of Bloomfield, wife of the late Robert C. Emmel, MD, died February 19, 2012, at the age of 84. Sally was born in Brooklyn, NY to Rev. Dr. Morgan P. Noyes, a Presbyterian minister and author, and painter Marjorie C. Noyes. Raised in Montclair, New Jersey, Sarah graduated from the Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, NY and from Mount Holyoke College. In 1954, she moved to West Hartford with her first husband Peyton Mead, MD, and she remained in the area for the rest of her life. She received a Masters in Counseling from St. Joseph's College, and she completed training in Marital and Family Therapy at Bristol Hospital and Hartford Family Institute. She worked as a Marriage and Family Therapist at the West Hartford Street Ministry and later in private practice. During the 1970s, Sarah was a staff member at Urban Ethics in Hartford. Later she worked as Development Director for Hartford Interval House, a shelter for victims of domestic violence. For several years she served as Program Coordinator for the Northfield Conference in Northfield, MA. She was an active member of First Church of Christ in West Hartford, where she served as a Deacon. She served on the Board of Directors at The Bridge (a shelter for runaway teenagers), the Street Ministry, The League of Women Voters, and the Northfield Conference. An early civil rights and anti-war activist, she advocated for the rights of women, gays and lesbians, and the underprivileged. Sarah and a circle of close friends shared annual gatherings at Tanglewood and regular evenings at the Hartford Stage Company, TheaterWorks, the Hartford Symphony, and U. Conn Women's Basketball games. Sarah was also actively involved in several discussion groups on topics political, literary, and artistic. In recent years, she embraced a rewarding new community of like-minded people at Seabury Retirement Community in Bloomfield, CT. Places dear to her heart included Dorset, Vermont, Holderness, NH and Monterey, MA. She enjoyed hiking and swimming, kayaking and canoeing, reading, and listening to music. She brought a passionate curiosity to political debate and theological pondering. She loved dinners lively with conversation, travels at home and abroad, welcoming guests, and lifelong learning. She leaves four children and their families, Morgan Mead of Cambridge, MA, George Mead of Blue Bell, PA, Merrill Mead-Fox and her husband David of Newton, MA and their sons Alexander and Nicholas, Caroline Gunnels and her husband Marc Gunnels of New Windsor, NY, and their children, Laura Akins and her husband Adam, Jennifer Gunnels, and Brandon Gunnels. She also leaves four stepchildren, Barbara Wolinsky and her husband Cary of Norwell, MA and their son Yari, David Emmel of Avon, CT and his son Matthew, Fred Emmel and his wife Shelley of Dayton, Ohio and their daughter Jenai, and Richard Emmel and his wife Martha of Stoneham, MA, and their son Dylan. Sarah was predeceased by her brother, William Noyes of Mystic, CT.
A memorial service will be held on February 25 at 11 a.m. at First Church in West Hartford. In lieu of flowers, the family would welcome a donation in memory of Sarah Noyes Emmel to Planned Parenthood at www.plannedparenthood.org, or (1-800-798-7092).