Services for Valley native on Monday |

Services for Valley native on Monday

by Kurt Hildebrand

Services for Carson Valley native Lois Rabe Sarman are 10 a.m. Monday at St. Gall Catholic Church in Gardnerville. She died Nov. 13, 2007.

She was born Oct. 22, 1921, in the home her grandparents built on a ranch they settled in 1870. It was the same house where her father, Chris Rabe, was born and where her son, Mike Sarman, now lives.

On Thursday, six of her children gathered in Minden to remember her.

“She always said you take care of the cows and the ranch and they’ll take care of you,” Mike Sarman said.

Sarman wasn’t always a wife and mother.

A member of Douglas County High School’s class of 1938, she played basketball. She graduated from the University of Nevada in 1942 with a degree in education. But she didn’t follow in her mother’s footsteps to become a teacher.

Her only job was in support of World War II, when she worked at the Army Supply Depot in Oakland. Near the end of the war she married fellow Douglas graduate Edwin Sarman, who served in the Army Air Corps as a radio operator. The couple took their vows at St. Gall Catholic Church in 1945.

The couple raised seven children. Elizabeth Woodbury, Mary Stephans, Stan, Bill, Paul and Mike Sarman discussed their mother Thursday. Son Edwin Sarman Jr. was in Elko on Thursday to attend the birth of his grandchild.

“She gave up a lot of things to be a mother,” Bill Sarman said. “She was very musical and she danced at the USO.”

The family had summer pasture at Lake Tahoe where they would swim in the Lake.

“The only time I saw her cry was when she saw all the changes that took place at the Lake,” Bill Sarman said.

Sarman rode her horse Starlight in the Carson Valley Day Parade, but none of her children could remember seeing her on horseback or using the old pair of skis she kept.

She was a charter member of the Carson Valley Literary Club, which began as the junior literary club by her and her friends as their mothers held their literature meetings.

“They formed the club to keep current,” Stephans said. “There was a man who wanted to join and they were worried about discriminating against him. He thought the club was really about literature.”

Mike Sarman pointed out the man probably wouldn’t have wanted to join if he knew it wasn’t really about books.

She was also a member of the St. Gall Altar Society, Cowbelles and the Farm Bureau.

“She was dedicated to the lives of her kids and our kids,” said son Bill Sarman. “I always wondered what she would do when they were gone. She was a real mother to us and our kids. She always trusted us and our kids.”

Woodbury agreed.

“She always thought of others before she thought of herself,” Woodbury said.

“She would never buy anything,” Stephans said. “She would say, ‘no that’s your kids’ money.”

Paul Sarman remembered the words of comfort his mother would have for them.

“She would say ‘if that’s the worst that happens to you, then you will be all right,'” he said.

The Sarman progeny recalled the old days when Valley residents knew one another and watched out for each other.

“People in the Valley looked out for everyone back then,” Stephans said.

Her children said seeing snow on the Sierra was always a comfort to her.

“She always loved looking at the mountains with snow on them,” Woodbury said. “Just before she went to the hospital she asked if there was snow on them.”