Sara Kelly Palmer, age 79, of Central, SC, passed away peacefully at her family home on Wednesday, November 30, 2022. A native of Central, she was the daughter of the late Theron Parrott and Sara Payne Kelly.
She was a 1961 graduate of Daniel High School where she was a cheerleader, played basketball, sang with the Debutones and was crowned Homecoming Queen. She furthered her education at Bauder College in Atlanta as well as The University of South Carolina.
Sara loved life and lived it to the fullest! She especially loved travel, cooking, dancing, beach music, black jack and a good game of bridge. She was famous for her family recipes and her amazing caramel cake! A wonderful caregiver, a mother of two, “mama” to many, always the best of friend and endlessly doing for others. Sara was such an inspiration to her family and all that knew her.
A very active member of the Anderson community back in the day, Sara was involved in several clubs & organizations through the years such as the Junior Assembly of Anderson, various Bridge Clubs, Red Stocking Revue, Chamber of Commerce and The Anderson Debutante Club. Sara was a member of Grace Episcopal Church where she sang in the choir for many years and also served as a Youth Group Leader. One of Sara’s favorite groups that was comprised of a handful of her dear friends was The Crystal Coral Belles. They enjoyed many years of love, support, travel & good times.
Sara spent most of her life in the travel industry working in both Anderson & Charleston. Traveling was her passion and there aren’t many places that she hadn’t adventured and explored. She was a free spirit, loved to live in the moment and take anyone who would ride along. She taught modeling/fashion in Georgia & Florida, worked in real estate and travel in Charleston and Anderson. After several years of managing Bankers Trust Travel Agency, Sara went on to open her own travel agency. She owned & operated Omega International Travel for many years where she planned vacations, honeymoons, once in a lifetime adventures, as well as hosting many large tour group trips in the states & abroad. There were also many classes of TL Hanna Graduates that enjoyed school trips to New York and Washington as well as their Senior Cruises with Mrs. Sara!
Sara never met a stranger and loved everyone. She spent her life loving, gifting and supporting everyone she knew. Her big extended family was so important to her … the Kelly Clan, the Kirkley Crew, the Pattersons, her beloved Anderson Friends and many more. Her 2 daughters and her grandchildren were her pride & joy. She loved watching them grow and wanted to know every detail of their travels & adventures.
Sara is survived by her daughters, Katherine Palmer (Dickie) DeMasi of Irmo, SC, and Sara “Sissy” Palmer Baker of Mt. Pleasant, SC; grandchildren, Aras Love Baker, Richard “Anthony” DeMasi IV, Nicolas Payne DeMasi, Mimi Louise DeMasi, and Evan Palmer DeMasi; step-grandchildren, Lane, Bretlanne and Harrison Baker; nephews, Kelly Payne Bodell & former wife Audrey Rodgers Bodell, Theron Parrott “Parry” (Tish) McAlister, Malcolm “Anthony” (Bonnie) McAlister, and Matthew Alexander McAlister; cousins, Julie (Walter) Hawkins and Richard “Richie” (Ann) Senn, Jr; and close life-long family friend Robert “Bobby” Kirkley. Also surviving are many extended family & close friends, too many to list but she loved each and every one.
She was predeceased by her sisters, Theresa Kelly Bodell and Marcia Kelly McAlister; nephew, Marc Anthony McAlister; niece, Maresa McAlister Darby; son-in-law, Frank Lane Baker, Sr.; cousin, Cleve Ann “Teebie” Senn; and life-long family friends, Sue Kirkley, Davie & Ed Kirkley.
The family will receive friends Monday, December 19, 2022, from 6:00-8:00 pm at The McDougald Funeral Home. The memorial service will be held Tuesday, December 20, 2022, at 2:00 pm in the Chapel of The McDougald Funeral Home.
Flowers will be accepted and memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association, 156 Milestone Way, Suite A, Greenville, SC 29615.