Cover photo for Sara Amelia Sanchez's Obituary
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Sara Amelia Sanchez

d. June 25, 2023

Sara Amelia Benavides de Sanchez, 91, passed away on June 25, 2023 in Dallas, Texas.

The beloved daughter of Dr. Luis A. Benavides and Sara Ons de Benavides, Sara Amelia was born on August 1, 1931 in Cidra, Cuba. Always a stellar student, Sara Amelia earned her Doctorate in Education from the University of Havana, Cuba. Sara Amelia taught home economics in Cuba and Spanish on the high school level in the United States.

On a chance meeting in Santiago de Cuba on November 12, 1955, Sara Amelia met her future husband, Dr. Guido Alberto Sanchez. It was love at first sight for Guido and that evening he told Sara Amelia and her friends that they would one day be married.

The couple was married on June 15, 1958 in Havana, Cuba.  Their first child Sara was born in 1959 followed by Alberto in 1960.

On October 19, 1961, the couple fled Cuba with their two small children as it descended into Communism. The young couple wanted to ensure that their children had the opportunity to be reared in a country free of Communist rule where they could pursue their education, careers, and live in freedom.

Sara Amelia and Guido lived with her brother Luis in Miami for several months after fleeing Cuba, then moved to Blythe, California in February 1962 where Guido was hired as a veterinarian for a feedlot.  The hours were brutal, the pay was meager, but slowly, through Sara Amelia’s budgeting, the family became self-supporting.  In a few months, Sara Amelia’s mother, Sara Ons, was able to join the family and resided with them until her passing.

In the summer of 1965, they moved to Pasco, Washington where Guido was hired by the state of Washington as the veterinarian inspector at a meat-packing plant.  Having learned more English from their school age children, Sara and Guido enrolled in classes to apply for U.S. citizenship and make the U.S.A. their country. In 1968, the couple welcomed their third child, Amelia.

Obtaining their U.S. citizenship on November 6, 1969, Guido was able to validate his veterinary degree by passing a board in English which led to his position as a veterinarian with the United States Department of Agriculture.  Finding the winters in Washington intolerable, they transferred to Birmingham, Alabama where they were finally able to put down roots. Throughout the many moves and changes they faced, Sara Amelia took the role of matriarch to heart by supporting her husband at every turn, handling the family’s finances, and being a stay-at-home mother so her children would always have stability.

Sara Amelia was known and loved by neighbors, friends and her children’s friends. Her bubbly spirit and infectious laugh made her a joy to be around.  Sara Amelia threw memorable parties, especially New Year’s, dinner parties, and backyard barbecues where everyone was welcome.

In 1990, the couple retired to a condominium in Gulf Shores, Alabama where they were able to enjoy the Gulf Coast. Then in 1994, the couple moved to Foley, Alabama and were able to enjoy 20 years of retirement at their happy place near the beach. All three grandchildren have fond memories of visiting their grandparents while they lived in Gulf Shores and Foley. Sara Amelia would take her grandchildren to catch frogs in the driveway, or catch the 4th of July fireworks at the beach, or enjoy the innumerable ways that grandparents can spoil grandchildren.

In June 2010 Sara Amelia and Guido moved to McCalla, Alabama due to Guido’s declining health. There, they funded and their son Tico built a small home on their son’s land so that they could be near him and his wife.  They enjoyed cookouts, vacations and outings together for several years.  Sara Amelia and Guido were married for 52 years until Guido’s passing in December 2011.

In October 2018, Sara Amelia’s daughter Sara and husband Chris moved her to Dallas so they could care for her after a significant health setback.  She moved into the home of her daughter Sara where she received their constant attention for several years.  During this time they enjoyed meals together, walks in the neighborhood and watching old movies on TCM.  She enjoyed learning Tai Chi and playing Sudoku with Chris and helping Chris in his many endeavors to restore and maintain their 100-year-old home.  Unfortunately, Sara Amelia continued to experience a steady cognitive decline, and her children sought additional resources to smooth her inevitable transition before she became unable to assist in her own care.  Sara Amelia became a beloved resident at her care facility, and she always had a smile for the staff.

Sara Amelia is preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Guido Alberto Sanchez; her parents, Dr. Luis Benavides and Sara Ons de Benavides; and her brother, Luis M. Benavides. She is survived by her three children, Sara Sanchez Hewitt (Chris), Palestine, Texas; Alberto “Tico” Sanchez (Pamela), McCalla, Alabama; and Amelia Sanchez Perez (Gus), Dallas, Texas; three grandchildren, Chester Harding Hewitt III (Caitlin), Maryland; Christopher Matthew Hewitt, Jr., New York; and Carmen Isabella Perez, Massachusetts; and great grandson, Thomas Matthew Hewitt, Maryland.

A private visitation for specified family members only will be held at 9:00 AM, Wednesday, July 12, 2023 in the parlor at the Wolfe-Bayview Funeral Home in Foley Alabama.  The family will then receive visitors at 9:40 AM in the parlor.  A memorial observance will be held at 10:00 AM at the Wolfe-Bayview Foley Chapel.

Interment will follow in the Elberta Public Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to your favorite charity that assists children since Sara Amelia always enjoyed the little ones.

To plant Memorial Trees in memory of Sara Amelia Sanchez, please click here to visit our Sympathy Store.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Sara Amelia Sanchez, please visit our flower store.


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