Sarah Helen Arnn was born in Buffalo Center, Iowa on April 30, 1962. Edgar and Helen (Pitts) Arnn already had Sammye, Janell, and Bruce—Sarah was the baby by seven years. The Arnn family was delighted by Sarah’s arrival to their Thompson, Iowa home. With her bright smile, soft blond curls, and laughing personality, and Sarah remained the light of her family every day of her 54 years. Sarah passed away on August 19, 2016.
When Sarah was only 4 years old, the Arnns moved to Orleans, Indiana where Sarah spent much of her childhood. When she was 11, Edgar, Helen, Bruce and Sarah began an adventure– living in the Philippines while Edgar worked for USAID. While living in Manila, Sarah and Helen became very involved with Girl Scouts and collected many friends and stories. When she was 16, Sarah, Helen, and Edgar returned to the U.S. and settled in Geneseo, Illinois where Sarah a attended high school and college.
When Sarah struggled to choose a college major, she took her mom’s advice and chose nursing. Sarah attended Norther Illinois University and Black Hawk College. When Sarah finished her studies, nurses were in high demand, so Sarah took advantage of the opportunity to explore several places, gathering a deep knowledge of her profession along the way. Specializing early in surgical ICU care, Sarah had a long career being the calm, caring, and authoritative presence who made sure others’ loved ones made it through their worst days. She began as a traveling nurse at Cleveland Heart Center, and later worked in hospitals in Galveston and Salt Lake City, among others. Her parents, sisters, and their growing families all settled in Indianapolis, Indiana and in the early 1980s Sarah joined them there. She worked with area nursing agencies and hospitals. In 1991 she accepted a position at Roudebush VA Hospital and continued to work there for the rest of her life, taking pride and finding purpose in her very fulfilling role at the bedsides of American Armed Service Veterans. Sarah enjoyed building relationships with her patients, their families, and her colleagues. A coworker friend said that Sarah was always interested in others.
Sarah’s curiosity and love of nursing led her to continue her education and to participate in several medical research studies. She earned her Bachelor of Nursing at IUPUI, then went on to attain her MSN at Indiana Wesleyan University, marveling at the developments in medicine and doing practicals across the field, but remaining focused on her deep commitment to caring for patients. She transitioned to a new role as Utilization Management Coordinator at Roudebush VA Hospital. She really enjoyed diving into the numbers to think about how she and her colleagues could find more success for their patients.
While her profession was important, Sarah was always a devoted daughter, sister, aunt, wife, and mother. Sarah married Greg Pickle in 1994 and became the delighted and devoted mother of Matthew Edgar Pickle in 1995. Sarah’s family relied on her steady and positive guidance through thirty years of personal and medical crises. Family members often said lovingly that Sarah “walked on water” because the comfort and guidance she gave them in those times seemed miraculous.
Sarah’s many friends gave her great joy. She loved getting together with her book club, sharing daily exchanges with her co-workers and patients. Getting to know the people she worked with while volunteering in medical research studies. She took pleasure in the happiness and laughter of those around her. She loved to find or craft gifts for family and friends.
Sarah’s family are all very proud of the work Sarah did and the ways she touched the lives of others. She made a meaningful difference to all the lives she brightened, and she left us with many, many happy memoires.