Memorial Created By
Leyla Sanker

Sara McDonnell (Voyle)

November 21, 1981 - April 17, 2020

We created a GatheringUs memorial to celebrate the life of Sara McDonnell (Voyle). Collecting your stories and memories here will offer us great comfort. As we are unable to gather to celebrate her life due to social distancing restrictions, we will use this site to remember Sara and support her family during...  see more

  The world lost a shining light when Sara Marie McDonnell (Voyle) of Byron, MI, passed away on Friday, April 17th, 2020.  In her short 38 years with us, Sara impacted so many lives and achieved much to be proud of. Her successes were earned through deep love and caring commitment to people and the planet, dedication to community, and a strong work ethic. Sara was a beloved daughter, wife, mother, and friend. She is survived by her...  see more
16,239 Visits

Posts & Photos

  • Mary Hall
    Clearing out various e-mail accounts this morning, I sadly found the e-mail on Sara's death. I met Sara at UM-Flint while I was a grantwriter --working for various departments across campus. I only worked with her on a couple of grant applications. One...  more
  • Sobe*Rose
    Andy, Hayden and Bree;
    I am so sorry for your loss. I don’t believe I need to reiterate how amazing Sara was. You know, we all knew too. I sincerely hope that your days are getting easier and you have begun to find peace. Hugs to everyone, Mom, Dad, Joanna
    • Sobe*Rose
      Sobe*Rose My deepest sympathies; Cory
      • April 8, 2021
  • L J
    L J:
    My condolences for the loss of your loved one. The hurt and pain of losing a loved one is difficult. Please know that God is near to those that are broken at heart and who are crushed in spirit.(Psalm 34:18) God will wipe away all tears from their eyes...  more
  • William Collins
    I want to offer my condolences and sympathy to the family, friends, and colleagues of Sara. It is sad to see the loss of such an enthusiastic co-worker on behalf of our environment. We have very nearly crossed paths and I wish I'd had the opportunity to...  more
  • Heather Dawson
    Sara was such a wonderful person! She really helped me connect with organizations funding work on the environment. She went above and beyond to help, and was a great person to talk with. Please accept my condolences on the loss of such a kind, amazing person.
  • Susan Gibson Joseph
    I only met Sara once at our McDonnell family reunion. Such a beautiful girl both inside and out. It appears that she continued growing even more beautiful. My deepest condolences to her family. Sara will remain to be with you all forever. 🙏❤️
  • Gabriel Zawadzki
    Gabriel Zawadzki added 1 photo(s) to the memorial Sara McDonnell (Voyle):
  • Ashley Adkins
    I just made a donation that is from our grandmother, Ev Moore. She sends her sweetest condolences to the family of Sara. Bless you all.
  • Kaneesha Wallace
    We met A few years ago at the University of Michigan as we brainstormed ways to integrate data projects on which we were working. She was a wealth of knowledge and a well respected colleague. I’m sending my condolences and prayers to her husband, kids,...  more
  • Ashley McCloud
    Ashley McCloud added 2 photo(s) to the memorial Sara McDonnell (Voyle):
  • Brian Blume
    I'm very sorry to hear of Sara's passing and my condolences/prayers go out to her family. I enjoyed working with Sara through Outreach at UMF, specifically related to the Innovation Incubator. She was always willing to share her insights with those who...  more
  • Pam Zemore
    It’s so hard to comprehend the passing of Sara, and how difficult this is for all who knew and loved her. I have truly enjoyed working with her over the past several years at UM-Flint and she has been a dear friend. Sara has obviously touched so many...  more
  • Sarah Tino
    I met this smiling, fun, happy person 22 years ago in high school. We worked, partied, camped and did so much together. I picked her up for school every day and we would sing Prince at the top of our lungs. Last year we saw Purple Rain at the Redford...  more
    • Sarah Tino
      Diane Gibson Abq I am sorry you have lost your best friend. You’ve written a wonderful memorial.
      • April 29, 2020
  • Eric Middleton
    I am one of Sara’s cousins. Sara and I grew up together. Every summer when we were kids we would spend hours playing cards with our grandparents and driving them crazy riding the big red bed down the stairs. The guy in front got to wear the goggles....  more
    • Eric Middleton
      Sarah Tino She talked frequently about you Eric and loved you a lot.❤️
      • April 21, 2020
  • Mary Middleton
    Sara was my cousin “in-law” but she never treated me as such. She welcomed me into the family with open arms from the very beginning. We frequently kept in contact and she would always make sure to check on me anytime Eric was away for any extended...  more
  • Emily  Feuerherm
    I loved seeing Sara at events and around campus. Her positive energy was infectious and even when she was clearly too busy to stop and chat, she would greet me with a genuine smile and some encouraging, happy remark. I will miss seeing her at the events...  more
  • Ericca Stamper
    Sara was a wonderful person, and I am so fortunate to have had her as a friend. She was cheerful, fun, funny, smart, laid-back, positive, and kind. She was really so amazing, and I wish we had more time with her. My heart goes out to her children...  more
  • Jacob Blumner
    I was fortunate enough to work with Sara in University Outreach at UM-Flint, where we quickly became friends. She always had a smile on her face, even when working long hours and under tight deadlines. Her laugh would light up a room. But beneath the...  more
  • Marina Young
    I had the pleasure of being the receptionist for Sara's floor at UofM. I will never forget how cheery and bubbly she was every morning getting off the elevators. I will never forget how happy her smile made me every time she wished me a good morning or a...  more
  • John Albright
    Sara was a fellow UM-Flint student, and colleague. I worked with her many years planning the Flint Earth Day Celebrations, and recently on the marketing team for Genesee County Earth Week planning group. She was a very motivated and cheery person I...  more
  • Jillene Verdier
    I had the pleasure of working with Sara at the University of Michigan-Flint and will always remember her kindness, her bright smile, and the way she made everyone around her feel happy… I do not think I ever had a conversation with Sara that did not...  more
  • Rebecca Tonietto
    I am so incredibly sorry to learn of Sara's passing... I loved working with Sara, her passion and compassion leading and guiding community partnerships was an absolute inspiration. She was a bright shining light and such a positive person to be around....  more
  • Dan Getty
    Sara works at UofM in the NBC. She also lives in the same neighborhood as my son and his mother. I would run into Sara frequently in the elevator at work, at the gas station in Byron, and at parent teacher conferences. Sara always had a positive...  more
  • Charles Thomas
    I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Sara McDonnell. For the past several years, including this semester, she has represented University Outreach in assisting my sociology course with a Service Learning Project. She consistently did excellent...  more
  • Marie Tino
  • Melissa Stephens-Farrell
    Sara was such a bright light among us all. She was genuine, kind, funny and simply a joy to chat with. We had many kid talks and she just beamed about both of her children Haydn and Breanna. I’m quite in shock and can only imagine how her family is...  more
  • Heidi Phaneuf
    Love you Sara, you are a beautiful, kind, loving soul. Some of my favorite memories of Sara were back in college at UM-Flint in the Earth and Resource Science Department. Sara was so smart and passionate, and she knew all the birds and plants focusing on...  more
  • Renee Brown
    I am so sad to hear of Sara's passing. We worked together at the University of Michigan-Flint for many years. Sara's passion for the environment made a lasting impression on me. I learned so much from her and gained a great appreciation for rivers and...  more
  • Tom Crampton
    So sorry to hear of Sara's passing. We worked on several projects together around entrepreneurship and community building. She had a wonderful passion for this work. I will miss her insights and thoughtfulness. Condolences to family and friends.
  • Kristin Arntz
    I met Sara a little over 10 years ago while working in different departments on the same floor on 1001 NBC. We had our baby girls a year apart and I remember her coming to my office with a huge bag of maternity clothes after she had Breeanna and I was...  more
  • Sayali Pharate
    "Have you been to port Huron?" she asked with glee and excitement in her eyes.
    "yes I have." I answered with a smile.
    "But not with me, come I'll take you there, its just a 15 mins drive, we'll get some coffee, or else we'll freeze ourselves out there....  more
  • Thomas Cook
    I was fortunate to have worked with Sara on several environmental projects involving the Shiawassee River and other important causes. She was a committed, can-do person who saw conservation in the larger context of what it could do for families,...  more
  • Mona Munroe-Younis
    Sending love and strength to Andy, Haydn, Breeanna, Mark and Jill, and everyone else hurting from Sara's transitioning. When I think of our undergrad days, already 20 years ago, I always think of Sara walking into the classroom, bright-eyed and ready to...  more
  • Carie Zanin
    I have the privilege of having Sara's kids; Haydn and Breanna ride on my bus for many years now. They are great kids; kind and considerate..a true testament to the kind of person their Mom is. My deepest sympathies go out to the family and sending huge...  more
  • Jen Hogan
    I have known Sara for 15 years. We were not close co-workers, but every interaction I had with her was always full of laughs and kindness. She was someone that I was always happy to see. I was lucky enough to have two wonderful memories of her

    The...  more
  • Kelli Catrell
    Having had the privilege of working with Sara for over 17 years, I can say UM-Flint and Outreach has lost an incredibly smart and dedicated employee. She was not just a co-worker, she was my friend. I could always count on her to listen, give honest...  more
  • Deanna  Camp
    When I received that phone call from Andy I couldn't believe it. I only knew Sara for a short 6 years, when my son and I moved back to MI Sara was the first to welcome us with open arms . Her son and mine became best of friends from that moment on. Sara...  more
  • Maggie Yerman
    Sara was the consistent force behind of the development of the Shiawassee River as a water trail. Eleven years ago she reached out to river enthusiasts from Holly to Owosso, gathered us together and helped us start a plan. She was always with us, getting...  more
  • Autumn  Mitchell
    Sara has inspired me as a watershed warrior and as a human since we met just a few years ago. I wish we had known each other much longer - she was a kindred spirit. Her beauty radiates from the inside and out and her work is such a pillar in our...  more
  • Eliz Lowe
    I just loved Sara and cannot believe she is gone. It has been nearly 10 years since I worked with her and Leyla at UM-Flint Outreach, but several times over the last few years she has come to mind and made me smile with her down to earth style. She...  more
  • Annette Patterson
    I had the pleasure of working with Sara and she was such a great person with a larger than life personality. Always upbeat and willing to do anything, even walk around in a shark suit with me and get that baby shark song stuck in my head for days! I...  more
  • Sandy Alberto
    I loved working with Sara - but who didn't? She was a joy - always had a wonderful smile and laugh to share as well as a willingness and sharpness to collaborate for great results. Her contributions to UM-Flint will be felt for years to come, as will her...  more
  • Leyla Sanker
    Over the past 20 years Sara and I grew together: as classmates, coworkers, and friends, but also as working parents trying to our best, as adult children supporting our parents and grandparents, as women who held each other up as we navigated life’s...  more
    • Leyla Sanker
      Dan Getty I know you two were really close. My heart aches for your loss.
      • April 20, 2020
    • Leyla Sanker
      Sarah Tino Thank you for writing such a beautiful piece for her and for setting this up❤️ You are amazing! Sara always talked about you to me and I know she would appreciate what you have done for her family. Thanks again-Tino
      • April 20, 2020
  • Leyla Sanker
    Leyla Sanker added 5 photo(s) to the memorial Sara McDonnell (Voyle):
  • Leyla Sanker
    Leyla Sanker added 3 photo(s) to the memorial Sara McDonnell (Voyle):
  • Leyla Sanker
    Leyla Sanker added 5 photo(s) to the memorial Sara McDonnell (Voyle):
    Sara and Bree
    Sara in the sun
    Sara and Andy
    Sara with her mom and kids