Sarah Ethel Apple
Sarah Ethel Apple
  • December 18, 1919 - July 3, 2017
  • North Carolina

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Springfield, Va. - Sarah Ethel Thomas Apple, 97, passed away on July 3, 2017, at Capital Care Hospice House in Arlington with her son Bill holding her hand and gently stroking her beautiful white hair.

Sarah, the last surviving family member of her generation, was born on December 18, 1919, in Greenfield, MA, to Raymond Curtis and Ethel Day Thomas. At about age three, her grandmother, aunt, mother and her three siblings moved to Greensboro, NC. They lived at 1310 Marion Street in Glenwood. She graduated from Greensboro High School on June 3, 1937 and married Herman Benjamin Apple, Sr. on August 15, 1939. Together they raised two sons, Herman Benjamin "Ben" Apple, Jr. and William "Bill" Howard Apple, in the Washington and northern Virginia areas.

Her first job was with Joseph Ruzicka Book Binding Company in Greensboro where she operated an oversewing machine. She also was a much loved secretary at the Clara J. Peck School before the family moved to the DC area.

During WWII, Sarah worked for the Maritime Commission. Other employment in the 1960s was with Washington Mill Elementary School and the Government Printing Office. Her last and most prized job before retirement in 1984 was as a secretary with the Food and Drug Administration where she excelled in all her responsibilities.

Those left to cherish her memory are her sons Benjamin "Ben" Apple (Maureen) of Cottonwood, AZ; William "Bill" Apple of Springfield, VA, who was her sole caregiver from 2006 until her death; her niece Dolores Thomas McCall (Harry N.) of Tallahassee, FL; her nephews Harry Charles Thomas (Janice) of Greensboro, NC and Jim Apple (Pam) of Greenville, SC; and her five grandnieces and four grandnephews.

Sarah loved the beach, fishing, golf, finding treasures at yard sales, and her cats: Butterscotch I, II, and III. When recently asked what she was most proud of she replied without hesitation, "That I never wasted a minute of my life . I loved raising my boys, gardening, sewing, and crocheting afghans. Mama would be so proud of the things I learned to make."

Memories of Sarah will be treasured by all who were fortunate to know her generous, "spunky" and fun-loving spirit. She will be laid to rest beside her beloved mother at 2 PM, Tuesday, July 11, 2017 during a graveside service at Guilford Memorial Park. Online condolences made be made at and floral arrangements may be sent to Hanes Lineberry Funeral Home, Guilford Memorial Park, 6000 W. Gate City Blvd, Greensboro, NC 27407, 336-272-5157.