Thursday, September 24, 2009

In Memoriam: Sara Medina-Pape

I learned late Sunday night that one of my professors passed away after a long battle with cancer. Sara was a dear friend and mentor, and she will be dearly missed. She was an inspiration in that she always managed to have a smile on her face despite the tough times she endured and she never had a mean thing to say about anyone, even when they treated her terribly. Her obituary is below and I don't really have anymore to add. I am glad to know she is no longer in pain and that she is free to ride in peace Sara!

Sara Medina-Pape passed away on Friday, September 18th. She is preceded in death by her beloved father, Dr. Miguel A. Medina; and grandparents, Vera Word, Luz Medina and Margaret and Orrin Bounds. She is survived by her devoted family: husband, Brian Pape; children, Ian and Natalie; mother, Johnnie Medina; sister, Amy Repp; and brother, Paul Bounds; as well as numerous extended family members. Born in Milan, Italy in 1953, she spent her childhood in Texas and graduated from the University of Texas-Austin with a MFA degree in Theatre Arts. A world traveler, she worked in a Kenyan safari camp and lived in London and Lima, Peru. She began her career at St. Edward's University in 1990 in the theatre costume shop and later, as an assistant professor of costume design, her award-winning creations for the Mary Moody Northen Theatre garnered much praise. Her movie credits include costumes for the first Coen Bros. film, "Blood Simple." Diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2000, she met the challenge with unflappable determination and continued to live life to its fullest. Under the auspices of St. Ed's, she spent three summers in Uganda helping the Sisters of the Holy Cross teach women to sew, read and write. At various times the journey was shared by her son, husband and mother, as well as her students. Stateside, she organized the sale of Ugandan crafts, which provided the rural villagers with much-needed income. Many happy times were spent at the family's Hill Country ranch and with the horses at Rio Vista Farm in Austin. She loved her horses, Chester, Nathan and Normandy, a passion shared by her daughter. Sara's family expresses particular appreciation for the care she received from Dr. William Strodel of the Geisinger Medical Center, Dr. Lon Smith of South Texas Oncology, Dr. Laurence Tokaz of Texas Oncology, Drs. Sant Chawla and Amor Srikureja of the Sarcoma Oncology Center and Dr. Azim Shekarchi of Austin Regional Clinic. Services will be held on the St. Edward's campus on Saturday, September 26 at 10:00 a.m. in the Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel, with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lazarex Cancer Foundation ( and/or the SEUganda Project (

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