Sarah Malinda (Johnston) Defren (1976 - 2014)

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Sarah was born May 1, 1976 in Harrisonburg, VA, and departed her earthly home on May 6, 2014.

Sarah is survived by the love of her life, Mark Defren, and her children, who were her world, daughter Brooke and sons Grant and Tristan.

Sarah is the daughter of Terry and Malinda Johnston of Mt. Jackson. Sarah is also survived and loved by a brother, Heath (Alix) Johnston; a sister, Elizabeth (Donny) Warner; nieces, Audrey and Natalie Johnston; nephews, Aidan Johnston and Thomas Warner and her dearest friend, Natalie Fansler Hintenach.

Sarah was preceded in death by her grandparents, Joe and Sue Kincaid, Ralph and Helen Johnston and an Uncle, John Kincaid.

Sarah loved and was loved by her many Aunts, Uncles and Cousins including; Jody (Faye) Kincaid, Susan (Keith) Coffman, Olivia (John) Haney, Deronda (Rick) Straub, Beverly (Danny) Dent, Kevin Johnston, Scott Kincaid, Kristi Kincaid Hagadorn, John Kincaid, Chris Kincaid, Seth Coffman, Joshua Coffman, Hillary Coffman, Joe Haney, Alex Haney, Isaac Haney, Laura Haney, Cody Straub, Evan Straub, David Dent, Gage Dent, Nikki Williams and Mandy Johnston.

Sarah was a member of Woodstock Presbyterian Church.

Sarah graduated valedictorian of her class at Stonewall Jackson High School; graduated Wake Forest University, BA; graduated Northwestern University, DPT. Sarah was Director of Physical Therapy at nursing homes in Michigan, Florida and most recently at Skyline Terrace and Greenfield in Woodstock.

Fitness was Sarah's passion. She ran track at SJHS, qualifying for the state meet all four eligible years. At Wake Forest she was named the first Female Strength All American from her university. Running was what she loved. In 1995, when her friend Matthew Long suffered a paralyzing fall, Sarah declared that she was inspired to run for Matthew and she never stopped. She ran marathons in Richmond, Chicago and the Marine Corp Marathon in Washington, DC. Sarah also ran the 114 mile "Reach the Beach" relay in NH and many half marathons with her final completion on Sunday, May 4 in Frederick, MD.

No matter where Sarah lived, she had a circle of friends whom she never forgot; Winston Salem, Chicago, Michigan, Palm Coast, FL and her home in Shenandoah County. Whether at a family gathering, in a running group, with professional colleagues, a birthday celebration or a block party, Sarah loved the fellowship.

A celebration of Sarah's life will be observed at the Woodstock Presbyterian Church in Woodstock, VA on Saturday, May 10 at 1:00 PM with Rev. Lisa Webb officiating. A reception and fellowship will follow.

Memorial contributions may be made to Woodstock Presbyterian Church, 142 E. Court St., Woodstock, VA 22664.

Online condolences may be left at

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Funeral Home
Jones Funeral Home, Inc.
228 S. Pleasant Valley Road
Winchester, VA 22601
(540) 662-2523
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Published in Northern Virginia Daily on May 9, 2014
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