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Sarah "Sally" Munschauer, 96, medal-winning master rower

Aug. 7, 1923 – Oct. 21, 2019

Sarah “Sally” Munschauer, an outstanding athlete who became a master rower in her later years, died Oct. 21 in Canterbury Woods, Amherst, a week before her 69th wedding anniversary. She was 96.

Born Sarah Louise Jeacock in Buffalo, she was a 1943 graduate of Buffalo Seminary, where she lettered in baseball, basketball and field hockey. In her senior year, she was captain of the Hornets, one of the school’s two intramural teams.

She was inducted into the Buffalo Seminary Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007.

Mrs. Munschauer was a nursery school teacher for nine years at the Elmwood Franklin School and was active as a volunteer. She did work with the United Way and was a 50-year member of the Junior League of Buffalo.

At the Buffalo Zoo, she was a docent and a past president of the Women’s Board. In 1988, she received the Cecilia Evans Taylor Award for dedicated service to the zoo.

An athlete all her life, she began skiing as a teenager and continued until she was 86. She skied many slopes in the U.S., Canada and Europe, including Aspen in its second year of operation. She also was a tennis player.

She took up rowing seriously after her husband, a college rower, gave her a scull for her 65th birthday after a little rowboat she had been using wore out.

When she was 68, she became a charter member of the West Side Rowing Club’s Master Woman Rowing Program. The oldest member of the club, she competed in regattas in the U.S., Canada, England and Germany, earning three gold medals.

“Not in my wildest dreams would I ever imagine receiving a gold medal at this point in my life,” she told Buffalo News reporter Paula Voell in 1994 after winning a mixed-doubles race at the U.S. Masters Nationals in Augusta, Ga.

“She has an amazing amount of competitiveness and determination and guts, which is what you need be to be a good rower,” coach Catherine Linder told Buffalo News reporter Tom Buckham in 1996. “She can be in a boat with the youngest and strongest of us, row three miles without complaint and never ask to be taken out of the boat.”

One of the original residents of Canterbury Woods, she continued rowing until she was 90.

In addition to her husband, Dr. Richard W., a retired radiologist at Children’s Hospital; survivors include three sons, Dr. Thomas L., David A. and John J.; and five grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Nov. 30 in Calvary Episcopal Church, 20 Milton St., Williamsville.

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