Obituary: Sarah Hayner

By Joshua Benton
Blade Staff Writer

Page 13

FINDLAY — Sarah Hayner, a concert violinist who played with orchestras across the country, died Friday at the Blanchard valley Regional Health Center, Findlay.

She was 67 and died after a short bout with cancer.

She grew up in a musical household in Chicago, her former husband, John Hayner, said. Her mother was on course to a career as a concert pianist before she was married and gave it up.

Ms. Hayner went to Northwestern University for her musical training, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music performance. Immediately after graduate school, she successfully auditioned for a spot in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

She played violin there for nine seasons before marrying Mr. Hayner, who was training to be a Lutheran minister. After the marriage, she followed her husband across the country as he moved from seminary to a series of positions. But unlike her mother, Ms. Hayner continued playing professionally, performing with symphonies in Akron and, after they moved to Findlay in 1971, the Toledo and Lima symphonies.

She played there until the late 1970s when, as Mr. Hayner said, “her fingers just couldn’t perform as they once had.”

In her spare time, she gave private lessons on the violin and the piano, played along with the singing group the Millstream Singers, and played the organ in local churches – most recently at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Findlay.

She served on the board of the Hancock County Agency on Aging and was active in the Findlay Area Civitan Club.

“She was the most caring, loving, generous person,” Mr. Hayner said. “She threw herself into helping other people.”

Surviving are a daughter, Christie Anna Heater; a sister, Virginia Maines; and two grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 3 to 5 p.m. today at Coldren-Crates Funeral Home, Findlay. A memorial service will be at 7 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church.

Memorial tributes may be made to the Millstream Singers, the Civitan Club, or Cancer Patient Services.