Sarah Hilton was born on March 8, 1922, in Louisville, Kentucky, to William and Dorathea (Riecks) Grainger, the seventh of eight children. When Sarah was three years old, her family moved to Kokomo. The Grainger Family lived across the street from Lincoln Elementary where Sarah would later attend school. However, before she was old enough to join her older siblings, while waiting for them to come home, Sarah would sit on the front step with an encyclopedia trying to teach herself to read. Sarah loved to learn. She graduated from Kokomo High School in December 1939, a semester early due to her intelligence, diligence and academic success.
In addition to her love for academics, Sarah very much enjoyed attending extracurricular events especially school and community dances. Because of her beautiful smile and friendly, outgoing personality, she rarely lacked a date for those occasions. She did, however, grow especially fond of one of those handsome guys, and on February 14, 1941, Sarah Armina Grainger married Carlton Jess Hilton at the St. Patrick Catholic Church rectory. Sarah was baptized Episcopalian but very soon whole-heartedly embraced the Catholic faith.
At the time of their marriage, Sarah was working as a receptionist and dental assistant for Dr. Paul Mayfield. Shortly after their first child was born, Sarah left her office position and began her life-long career as a homemaker. Carlton and Sarah proceeded to make a beautiful life together into which they welcomed eight children whose names each begin with the letter “M” in honor of Mary the Mother of Jesus. We doubt that God ever created a woman more dedicated to loving and serving her husband and children, as well as other family members, friends, and anyone who was blessed to know her; nor has there ever been a more powerful prayer warrior. Sarah and Carlton, along with their children, faithfully attended Mass every Sunday, frequently gathered together for the family rosary, and ended each day on their knees in prayer beside their beds. After Carlton’s retirement in 1984, the two of them regularly attended daily Mass at St. Patrick Church or the Monastery of the Poor Clares. This routine was usually followed by breakfast and then maybe a round of golf at Green Acres Golf Course.
Sarah made her entire life one of service to God by her unconditional love for her family, friends, and neighbors. Among her many frequent acts of kindness, one of the most memorable was her card ministry. Her family always joked that Sarah may have single-handedly kept the Hallmark Company in business because she “cared to send the very best”. So many of God’s precious children who needed consolation, encouragement, or congratulations received His blessing through her cards. And when she closed each card with the words, “Love and prayers”, the recipients could be assured that Sarah was praying for them. Sarah epitomized Proverbs 31:28, “Her children will rise up and call her blessed”. She was truly an angel among us and will be greatly missed by her family and all those who were blessed to know her.
Sarah finally fulfilled her life-long journey of 98 years and received her heavenly crown and mansion on Friday, October 9, 2020. She is survived by her eight children, Michele (Jim) Butcher, Michael (Ginny) Hilton, Mark (Cathy) Hilton, Monica (Patrick) Thomas, Monelle Cook, Molly (Tim) White, Matthew (Barb) Hilton, and Marilyn (Dennis) Sherrill. In addition, she was the proud grandmother of 19 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren, and 13 great-great-grandchildren. She was also a beloved aunt to several nieces and nephews. Sarah was preceded in death by her parents, siblings, husband, 1 grandson and 3 great-grandsons.
There will be no public visitation, but all are welcome to join her family and Frs. John Nyugen, Ted Dudzinski and Brian Dudzinski in celebrating Sarah’s beautiful life at her Mass of Christian burial at 1 p.m. Wednesday, October 14, 2020, at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 1229 N. Washington St., Kokomo.
In addition, all are invited to join the family in the recitation of the Rosary at 12:30p.m. A private burial will follow in Memorial Park Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to St. Patrick Catholic Church, the Monastery of the Poor Clares, or the Brady Noonkester Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Sincere gratitude is extended by Sarah’s family to St. Vincent Hospice with a special thanks to Janelle, Molly, Nicole, Carrie, and Jennifer who lovingly helped care for her in her final days, and to Shirley & Stout for their compassionate care in this difficult time.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Shirley & Stout Funeral Home in Kokomo. Messages of condolence may be left online at www.shirleyandstout.com.
To send flowers to Sarah's family, please visit our floral store.