Sarah Brenneman

January 13, 1983 ‒ June 20, 2018

Johnsville, Ohio

“Just peachy.”  That was the answer you always received when asking Sarah how she was.  She did not complain about her illnesses or let them keep her from living her life.  Sarah was a joy and inspiration to others.  Sarah Brenneman, age 35, of Johnsville, passed from this life Wednesday, June 20, 2018, at the Ohio State University Medical Center.  She is fully healed and basking in the presence of her Lord and Savior.

On January 13, 1983, Sarah was born in Mansfield, OH, daughter of Steven and Rita (Whitney) Brenneman.  At a young age, she developed childhood cancer, but she never let it hold her down.  She played soccer, performed in school plays, was active in 4-H, FCCLA and was on the flag team at Northmor.  She graduated from Northmor High School in the Class of 2001.  She dreamed of becoming a pediatric nurse at Children’s Hospital and started classes at Ohio State, but then seizures became a problem and she was not able to further her education.

A vibrant child of God, Sarah had faith that never faltered.  She was a member of Gilead Friends Church where she was involved in youth group and children’s church.  She was also a charter member of Awakening Christian Center, where she was looking forward to running the children’s ministry.  She was very gifted spiritually and loved the Lord with all of her heart.

Sarah was very active in the Morrow County Relay for Life every year.  She was one of the longest living cancer survivors there.  For many years, she also participated in Children’s Hematology Camp.  She started as a camper and later in life became a counselor at the camp.  She loved the children there and the care and companionship she was able to share with them.

Sarah was quite the card shark and loved winning.  Her favorite game was Hand and Foot.  She also enjoyed swimming, roller skating, bowling, reading and doing crossword puzzles.  It was always a race to get the News Journal first to do the daily puzzle.  She may have lived at home with her parents, but she was an independent young woman with very strong opinions.  She was an extremely organized person and always wanted everything planned out.  Sarah was always upbeat with a beautiful smile on her face.

Sarah spent a great deal of time in hospitals over the years.  She always told people that her job was to keep doctors busy.  She recently stated that it was finally time for her to retire from that career.

Sarah will be dearly missed by her parents, Steve and Rita Brenneman of Johnsville; her brother, Adam (Cynthia) Brenneman of Mount Gilead; her sister, Amber (Chad) Metzger of Shelby; nephew, Caleb Brenneman; niece, Meredith Brenneman; paternal grandfather, Ray Brenneman of Johnsville; maternal grandmother, Beverly (Bob) Smith of Johnsville; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends; and last but certainly not least, her service dog, faithful companion and friend, Bow.

She was preceded in death by her paternal grandmother, Arlene Brenneman and maternal grandfather, Bob Whitney.

A Celebration of Sarah’s Life will be held from 1 – 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 14, 2018, at Gilead Friends Church, 3613 Township Road 115, Mount Gilead, OH.  A special time of sharing will take place at 3:00 p.m.  Everyone is encouraged to wear something purple, which would surely put a big smile on Sarah’s face since everything she owned was purple.

The Brenneman family kindly asks that rather than sending flowers, memorial contributions be made to Awakening Christian Center, c/o Sandie Fisher, 2360 Township Road 190, Fredericktown, OH 43019.  This church was truly her passion and she looked forward to seeing it develop and grow.

Snyder Funeral Homes of Mount Gilead are honored to have been chosen to serve Sarah’s family, and your special memories or condolences may be shared with them by visiting

  • Steve, Rita, Adam, Amber & families,
    Words can’t express how deeply sorry I am to hear about Sarah’s passing. She was an amazing, strong girl and she will be deeply missed by many (including me). I will always remember the time we all spent together at church events. Everything in her obituary fit her perfectly. Ultimately, She fought her fight for long and now knowing she is in her place with no pain will be comforting in time.
    Many thoughts and prayers to all of you.

  • Sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers be with you during your time of sorrow. May Sarah rest in peace in heave.

  • Steve, Reita and family; So saddened at your loss of Sarah. She was amazing and will be missed! What a joy to know she is now healed and in the arms of Jesus! She was dear to Janet and I!

  • Dear Steve, Rita, and family,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all with the passing of Sarah. She always had a beautiful smile no matter how she was feeling at that moment in time. Her zeal and love for Jesus were lived out in her commitments to glorify Him in her life no matter what she was going through.
    ” And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
    John and Bonnie Drake

  • Very sorry to hear of the loss of Sarah. May you all find peace and comfort in these days.

  • I will always remember Sarah as the sweet, smiling young girl I came to know in 6th grade. She was always willing to help anyone or take on any task that needed done. She was always a positive influence within any group activity…whether a small group or a large class undertaking. Her smile and sweetness endeared her to so many. We all were blessed to have had the connection with Sarah during our lifetimes. Thank you for sharing her and for sharing yourselves and your family with all of us. We have been truly blessed.

  • May God wrap his arms around all of you and give you peace and the strength you need as you grieve and at the same time celebrate Sarah’s life … she was a true inspiration to everyone around her .. Our prayers are with all of you in this time of loss …🙏🙏🙏

  • I am so sorry to hear of Sarah’s passing. She was a remarkable person. My thoughts and prayers are with all the family.
    Lots of love
    Rita Smith

  • I am so sorry for the lose to your family. I remember when she came and spoke to the 4h group about her relationship with her dog and what the dog did for her on a daily basis. How the dog protected her and helped her with a seizure. I think she is the reason my granddaughter is working with her own dog to become a service dog for herself.
    God Bless you all!

  • Sending our sincere condolences on the loss of your daughter. May the Lord surround you with love, peace and understanding during this difficult time.

    Mary Roush (Moran) & Family

  • Dear Rita, Steve and Family, You are in my thoughts. Sarah was a beautiful young lady. It was always a joy, to see her. Jesus will see you though this.💕 Love and Blessings, Jane (Perkins) Brand

  • You have my deepest condolences on the passing of Sarah. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

  • Dear Steve, Rita and family,
    Sarah was such a special student and friend. You have described her perfectly. Such a spunky feisty girl! She needed that spirit to get through all she faced in this life. She truly reflected courage and determination brought to her by her Lord and Savior, and her strong family bond. I always was blessed by her. We know that she is now rejoicing in Heaven with no more pain and lots of spirit! God be with you. Your girl has been a true inspiration. love and prayers, Faith Jagger

  • Dear Steve, Rita, Adam, Amber and families,
    Losing a child, and a sister, has got to be one of the hardest things on this earth, no matter the circumstances. Yes, Sarah is now with the Lord, but your ache is great. May God wrap His arms around you all and comfort you at this difficult time.
    Love you guys always.
    Linda Perkins-Worley

  • The entire Smith family sends their most heartfelt condolences to you, Rita and Steve, and your entire family. I loved Sarah…her kindness, beauty, and independence will always shine through. Fond memories of her as my flower girl in 1986, and the time I spent with her and your family throughout the years. May she rest in peace with her Savior!

  • Family left behind,
    There are no words to help the pain you must be feeling. I am saddened to hear the news. I have many fond memories over the years with Sarah. School, 4-h, camp, fair, & many more. I always admired her courage & strength! May your family bond closer as you walk through the next days ahead. I imagine my dad, Dave, greeting her in heaven with a “hey kid”. Sending hugs & love.

    Cassie Lester

  • Steve, Rita, and Family,

    So sad to hear about Sarah. She truly was an inspiration to all who knew her. I can still see her sitting in front of my desk and answering the question we all asked, “How are you doing?, and always getting that answer, with her smile, “Just peachy!”

    Her faith in Jesus was always evident and she truly deserves the “crown” she is now wearing. May the comfort and peace of Jesus be with you now and in all the coming days.
    Warmly in Jesus,

    Larry and Ellen Cawley

  • Steve, Rita,
    We are truly sorry for your loss, and pray that you both rest in the healing power of Jesus.
    Larry and Peggy Chase

  • Steve Rita and family,I remember when Sarha was born, and I remember when she was born! I also remember the shocking diagnosis and how saddened we all were! But only God himself knows how many others she helped by her selfless nature and Godly character! I would say, countless! She was an angel on earth and now has her heavenly wings! But don’t t forget, Steve and Rita, it was because of the Godly parents you always have been that taught her about God and His love! Rest ,now, knowing there is no doubt, your little girl is waiting for you in peace!

  • Dear Steve, Rita and family,

    So sorry to hear of your sweet Sarah’s passing. God must have needed another Angel that day and decided she was the best of the best. You are in our thoughts and prayers. God bless you always.

    Judy & Tony DeIuliis
    Highland Local Schools

  • Go rest high on that mountain, sweet Sarah. Holding Steve, Rita and family up in prayer. I am a better person for having Sarah touch my life.

    Kindest regards,
    Jill Steele

  • We didn’t know Sarah personally, but we like a lot of other people of Morrow County, knew of her life-long struggle, her faith and her courage! She touched many lives and we send our sincere condolences and prayers for the family

  • Dear Family, I remember meeting Sarah at the Flying Horse Farm many years ago. She always stepped out to touch others anytime she could. I have spent many times on my knees for dear Sarah… I will be praying for her family.

  • I’m so sorry for your loss. I remember hearing the news of Sarah’s illness when she was a small child and felt sadness for her and your family. That sadness grew to admiration and joy at seeing her out and about at community events. God blessed Sarah in being able to work with others in outreach ministry. Prayers for your family.

  • Dear Sheriff and Rita,

    I am so saddened at the passing of Sarah. Please know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers. God will see you through as only he can.

    Much love to you all.

  • Sarah was always a kind soul. I remember her running up to us during recess at school to give us a big hug every day. She was always sweet and kind.

    I ran into her again at Marion Technical College and we talked for quite a while. I could still see that sweet little girl in her.

    Steve, Rita, Adam, and Amber, you are all in my thoughts and I’m sending you peace and comfort.

  • Steve and Rita and family
    My heart goes out to you. No words to express the loss of a child. Prayers for all you . She is healed like she said she would be. Her obituary describes her perfectly. She will be missed.

  • No sorrow, no tears and no pain in Heaven. Sounds like an amazing place that Sarah is at.
    Steve and Rita, the love and caring you had for Sarah is unmatched by others. May the Lord comfort all of you in this time of need

  • I was very sorry to hear of Sarah’s passing and wanted to offer my condolences to the Brenneman family. She was such a sweet person and I always enjoyed talking with her in the library. May you find peace and comfort in your memories of her.
    Fran Turano

  • I’m so saddened at the passing of Sarah. She was the highlight of the Fair every year. She made that very long week fun. We will miss her very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

    Steven, Penni, Travis and Lexi Fox

  • I am so sorry for the loss of your child. May God be with you and your family during this time.

  • Dear Steve, Rita, and Bow,
    We loved Sarah… just like everyone who met her! We are praying for peace and comfort for all of you.
    With our love,
    Doug, Rae, and Jenny Anderson

  • Brenneman Family;
    She was a miracle to so many. Her life was also a gift she gave to those who cared about her life.

    Janenne Burgett

  • I am so sorry to hear of Sarah’s passing. All of you our in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Steve & Rita, I’m sorry for your loss. Have been praying for your family during this time of grieving & loss.

  • Steve and Rita, so sorry to hear of the passing of Sarah, may God be with you during this difficult time.

  • Steve, Rita and family,
    Sarah was a remarkable young lady. I remember her so much in elementary school. She brought a lot of smiles when she would come into the office. She was blessed with a wonderful family and a lot of friends. May the Lord be your strength in the days ahead. ❤️

  • Steve and Rita and family,
    What a comfort to know Sarah is resting in the arms of Jesus and completely healed. She will be missed.
    We have followed her journey childhood and watched battle courageously.. We send our sympathy and our love.

  • Steve, Rita and family,
    Sorry to hear of the loss of Sarah. I myself only met her once a couple of years ago at a horse show during fair. She was so sweet and explained her service dog to my granddaughter and allowed her to pet her for a moment. You were truly blessed. Our prayers are with your family during this time.
    Keith and Deb Fissell

  • Very sorry to hear about Sarah. I enjoyed seeing her take the Survivor lap at Relay For Life every year. She is an inspiration to us all.

  • So sorry for your loss. Praying God will comfort and heal your heavy hearts. Rejoicing with you that she is whole again, running the streets of Gold, worshiping with the savior and awaiting to meet up with you again in the heavens.

  • May God bless you and keep you during this time of loss and may you feel His comforting arms around you.

  • We are so sorry for your loss. Our family is praying for your comfort and peace during this time.

  • Our prayers are with you at this time for certain. Sarah had a smile that always put a smile on those she came in contact with. Paula and I always enjoyed talking to her and her positive attitude was infectious. It’s hard for me to grasp the loss of a child but I know God has a plan for each and every one of us. God bless and keep you during this very difficult time. Love Ted and Paula

  • Steve, Rita and family ,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this difficult time.
    Go rest high on that mountain, sweet Sarah,

    God bless
    Rob and Heather Ratcliff

  • Our thoughts and prayers are with you. May the Lord comfort you during this difficult time.

  • Steve, Rita and family,
    We are all sorry to hear of Sarah’s passing here on earth, but find joy that she is running through sunflowers into the arms of Jesus. She was an inspiration to families like ours and made our journey easier seeing how she was able to always smile, lend an ear and offer support. She will be missed! Thank you for sharing her with us! We are praying for your peace and comfort in the coming days.

  • To the brenneman family,
    I didn’t personally know Sarah but I was in class with Adam. I’m so sorry to hear of this and hope you can find comfort in good memories and faith in prayer. The loss of a family member is hard and sometimes even more so when its child or younger person but from what I’ve read I have no reason to not believe she is watching and smiling down on you with no more pain or illness free from that burden she carried for so thoughts are with you all

  • Steve Rita and family.

    May God bless and comfort you during this time. Sarah I believe was a blessing and encouragement to all she met. Truly Sarah was a great living testimony of God’s love and an example of faithfulness to all.

  • Dear Rita, Steve and family:
    We were so sadden to hear of Sarah’s passing upward into the fellowship with Jesus and her grand parents. But they are so happy together.

    Sarah was so happy, peachy, kind and such an inspiration to every one she embraced. But that great attitude was a gift that you taught her to live by from the word of God.

    We are praying for your hearts comfort and peace.

  • Sarah was a shining light. She looked right in the face of adversity and still managed to bring joy to those around her. I knew I could tease her and she would give it right back. It always seemed right to see Sarah and Bow in church on Sunday. We will miss her. We pray for peace and rest for Rita snd Steve and all of Sarah’s loved ones.

  • So very sorry for your loss but what a blessing GOD gave you with such a special child who was able to share so much love. Prayers for comfort and strength.

  • Dear Brenneman Family,
    Even though I did not personnally know Sarah, I knew of her long, heroic fight. This in itself was remarkable and admirable. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family in your time of grief. May you have some peace in knowing that she is no longer fighting a battle but is safe and pain-free in God’s loving arms.

  • Dear Adam and Cynthia and family,
    We did not know your sister, but please be assurred of our love and sympathy for you and your extended family and friends who knew and loved her. Her obituary is very inspiring to read. May God console you at this time, as only He is able to do.
    Rich and Karla Kensey
    East Liberty, Ohio

  • Steve and Rita
    I had never met Sarah but your words made as I knew her personally.
    God had blessed you with Sarah and I know you truly believe that.
    You and your family are in our prayers.

    Wm. and Vanessa Mills

  • I am so sorry for your loss! Sarah was a joy to know. I have many memories of her from when I was her youth pastor. Most of them involve her being stubborn or making fun of me for one reason or another! I was always blown away by her attitude despite all that she was going through and had been through. She never seemed to be down and I never heard her complain. What a comfort to know that she is finally whole! We will be praying for your family during these days.

  • You all are in our thoughts and prayers. May God hold you all close and give you comfort. Blessed to know she is resting in Gods arms!

  • Steve and Rita,

    There are no words I can think of that will help the hurt. But we are praying for peace for you and your family.

    Kim and Angie Denty

  • Steve, Rita, Adam & Amber,
    Was saddened to hear of your precious loss. So thankful for the memories that God has blessed us with of our loved ones, for even death cannot take away our special memories! Sarah was a courageous and strong girl and very blessed to have the parents that God placed in her life. Praying for you each one and for God to bring you peace without her.
    In His love,
    The Snow Family.
    Bruce, Robin Candice and Heath

  • Steve and Rita, I am so sorry to hear of Sarah”s passing. I will miss her at our family gatherings. I pray that you and your family have peace and know that you are in our prayers. With lots of love always, Rosemary.

  • Steve and family,
    My heart is heavy with sorrow tonight. I so enjoyed talking with Sarah at the fair, and swapping goofy stories about our service dogs. I always watched for her as it made my day to see her happy face. Heaven has gained a beautiful angel, and I’m sure she was greeted with wonderful songs, and the warm embraces of her grandparents. May all of you feel the warm, loving hugs of Jesus as you go through this difficult time.
    Hugs and prayers,
    Cherie Smith

  • I am so sad to hear of Sarah’s passing. Some of my most fond memories are those at Heme Camp where I met her. Little did I know a few years later I would run into her at the Morrow County Fair. To my surprise I learned that she knew Travis. Small world! We had a lot of laughs reminiscing about times at camp. Your family will be in my thoughts. Be proud that she touched so many lives in so many different ways. She will be missed. ❤

  • Sheriff Brenneman, Rita and family: PTL for His faithfulness. May you have peace and comfort in this time of loss. Sarah was loved and loving to all. Her heart was full of the Spirit and now she is free from her health boundage in Jesus’s arms. PTL for His faithfulness.

  • I am so sorry to hear of Sarah’s passing. She was such an amazing person. Always with a smile and a catchy phrase. I know she kept me on my toes. My thoughts and prayers are with your family at this time of sorrow. I am dure she is smiling down on all of us saying everything is “peachy”.

  • Dear Steve ,Rita and family. We are so sorry for your loss. It was not to long ago I saw Sarah at work we had a nice long talk about her life and her service dog. She was so full of life and you could see the love of the Lord in everything she said and done. Just know she is no more pain in the arm’s of the Lord

  • Sarah always had a gleam in her eye & we will miss her smile. Our prayers are with you Steve & Rita. May you find peace & comfort during this time of loss. Love you.

  • I am so sorry to hear of Sarah’s passing. She was an amazing young lady with a beautiful smile in spite of all that she went through. It truly was a pleasure to have her in 5th grade. May God comfort you at this time.

  • Dear Steve and Rita,
    So sorry to hear of the passing of Sarah. My thoughts and prayers are with you both and your family.

  • Steve, Rita and family,
    I’m so sorry for your loss. It is a comfort to know that there is no more pain and suffering.

  • We are sorry for your loss. Sarah was dedicated to what she wanted to do and she did it without complaints. The whole team sends condolences. Rest in Peace Sarah.

  • Dear Amber and family, so very sorry to hear of the great loss of Sarah. I had the pleasure of meeting her once, such a sweet person. What a beautiful obituary, the story of her life. She has left so many memories and is carried in your hearts! What a young age to leave this world; same age as my son. We miss them so, but with faith and the Lord, we will one day soon be reunited. Praise God for a life so fully lived with courage and faith!

  • Saddened to hear of your loss. May the memories of good times with her give you peace and happiness. May you allow God’s arms to wrap around you and give you comfort and help you through the grieving process. Elwin & Shirley Harrison

  • Please accept our condolences and have the strength from God during this time of sorrow we hope that the promise in 1 thessalonians 4:14 For it we have faith that Jesus died and rose again, so too God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep in death through Jesus. Can bring conform to the family in these distressing times as well. Knowing that our love ones will be resurrected.

  • Steve, Rita and Family

    I am so sorry for your loss. May god continue to keep you and your family in his tender loving care during this difficult time and beyond.

    Thoughts and Prayers Always,

    Chuck Jones- Cardington, Ohio

  • We are so sorry for your loss. May God wrap his loving arms around you all in comfort and strength.

  • Our sweet friends. My family has been uplifting your family in prayer ever since we heard about Sarah. Sarah was truly an inspiration to so many and I know Tim and I have so many cherished memories with her. She will be greatly missed but we are rejoicing that she is dancing on the streets of gold and with our Savior. Not good bye but we will see you soon Sarah!!! With His love and in His glory!!!!

  • Steve our hearts go out to you and yours. Such an amazing woman. We are truly sorry for your loss. But for today it’s Heaven’s gain!!