CONNEAUT — Sarah Bert Riddle Schenck was born on March 12, 1928, where the Deep River meanders through Sanford, N.C. Sarah was the second of nine children born to Anna Hurley Riddle and Luther London Riddle.
Sarah departed the arms of her adoring family after celebrating 85 wondrous years on this earth on July 24, 2013.
A child of multiple talents, Sarah discovered her passion at the tender age of seven: the creation and design of clothing. By the age of 12 she was making clothing for her entire family. This passion would enrich her and everyone she met for the rest of her life.
Sarah was a 1945 graduate of Deep River High School and completed her education at Sanford Business College. August of 1947 would bring a young engineering student, Rand Schenck, to Sanford while on break from the University of Pittsburgh. Their marriage on June 4, 1949 at Jones Chapel United Methodist Church, in Sanford, N.C. would dramatically alter the next 64 years of their life.
Fast forward to July 1969, Sarah and Rand re-located from Toms River, N.J. with their two daughters, Marian and Susan. As both daughters were approaching the departure to universities, Sarah decided that the timing was right to pursue the lifelong passion for fashion and design. In 1971, she opened the Wigg Shoppe, which featured not only wigs, but jewelry and accessories. The passion flourished with the transition to Sarah’s Fashions in the Conneaut Plaza, May 1976. A store filled with the heart’s desire of clothing, jewelry and accessories attracted shoppers from more than a 60 mile radius. The pinnacle of her creativity was reached with the opening of a second store “Sarah Schenck’s” on Main Ave., Ashtabula, Ohio.
Sarah would retire in 1999 after 28 years of giving the communities she served what is now described “retail therapy.” In addition to her seven day work week, she revitalized the Miss Conneaut Pageant in 1970 and ardently supported it until her retirement. She created the “Lights of Love” project in 1982 and was a member of the Chamber of Commerce for Conneaut and Ashtabula. She was named “Best of the Best” by the Star-Beacon in 1994.