Sara Barkett died peacefully in her home in Homestead on May 8. Alert to the end, her body was tired after 94 years of life. Her story is the immigrant story that so many Americans can tell. She was born in Mexico of Syrian parents. Her mother died when she was a teenager. An aunt raised her before she married Dad in 1944. She and Dad and the rest of Dad’s family arrived in Miami in 1947, immigrants from Mexico. With one child in tow, three more arrived within five years. Mom raised the children while Dad worked as a janitor and then a pressman for the old Miami News, until they took over Barkett’s Market at the corner of N.W. 12th Avenue and 5th Street from our grandparents. That store was the hub of the neighborhood. Mom ran the register. Dad was the butcher. And all of the children pitched in at nights and on weekends. Mom told us we were going to college before we even knew what college was. And sure enough, after putting their four children through college and then respectively, medical, graduate, law, and business school, Mom and Dad sold the grocery business and moved to Homestead to live on their avocado grove. From that perch, Mom watched her four children marry and go on to successful careers, giving them ten grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren along the way. She saw her sister-in-law, Rosemary, become the first woman on the Florida Supreme Court, and her grandson, Andy, win a World Series ring as a hitting coach for the Boston Red Sox. She buried one son who died of cancer at 53 and with whom she is now reunited. And just two weeks ago, she quietly celebrated her 75th Wedding Anniversary with Dad—a Romeo and Juliet story with a happy ending. Her devoted husband, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, three sisters-in law, three daughters-in-law, and son-in-law will celebrate her goodness and gentleness (and amazing Arabic cooking skills!) with a viewing at Stanfill Funeral Home located at 10545 S. Dixie Highway, from 5 to 8 pm on May 13, followed by a funeral Mass at Epiphany Church, 8235 SW 57th Avenue, at 11 am on May 14. In lieu of flowers or other remembrances, you can continue Mom’s legacy by making a contribution to the Sara Barkett Scholarship Fund, 1100 Grace Hall, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556.
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