Sarah Kennedy — the jewelry designer whose creations, discerning eye, store and helpful personality were beloved by Westporters — died peacefully on Monday in Lakeland, Florida, after a long illness. She was 75.
She was a graduate of Staples High School (Class of 1959), and of Rhode Island School of Design. Her jewelry career spanned over 50 years in Westport, where she owned and operated Cellar Workshop.
Sarah was a creative and spirited artist who loved traveling, gardening and animals. Predeceased by husband Jack W. Kennedy, she is survived by her companion Mark Wilson; her brother Ian Goldy of Riverdale, New York; her daughters Michele Mottola of Marblehead, Massachusetts and Sherry Schultz of Minneapolis, and 3 grandchildren.
No services are currently scheduled. Sarah will ultimately be laid to rest at Willowbrook Cemetery in Westport.
In 2015 — as she was closing her Cellar Workshop — I posted this story on Sarah Kennedy:
In 2009, Sarah Kennedy moved her Cellar Workshop from downtown to Saugatuck.
The old spot — across from Christ & Holy Trinity Church — was easy to miss. Her new location — on Railroad Place, across from the train station — was warm and welcoming. It was the perfect location for the gem-maker to show off her unique, eclectic collection of rings, bracelets, pendants and pins.
It was a great move. She kept all her former customers, and added many more. They learned that Sarah is herself is a gem.
Sarah Kennedy wears one of her own handblown pieces.
Now Sarah is moving again. This time, it’s a bit farther.
She’s been in business here for 44 years — and in Westport far longer. Sarah is a 1960 Staples grad. Her father was the longtime owner of Compo Acres Pharmacy.
She knows Tucson almost as well as she knows Westport. Every year she attends the Gem and Mineral Show there, and stays with friends. Recently, she bought a house in the arts-minded city. “I think I know what I’m getting into,” she said.
For 5 years, Sarah enjoyed being on Railroad Place.
In 2009, “06880” visited Sarah. A customer raved that Sarah’s work was “exquisite, beautiful, a museum of fine jewels.”
The woman also described Sarah’s generosity — like polishing jewelry and rings without charging. As if on cue, in the middle of our conversation, the local FedEx guy walked in. His necklace had broken. Sarah said she’d solder it, while he made other deliveries.
Yesterday, the store was packed with Sarah’s fans. They too could not stop talking about her.
Steve Halstead said, “It’s such a pleasure to have a true professional and craftsman as part of this community, for so long.”
Sarah Kennedy (2nd from left) with assistant Eduardo Ewerton and admiring customers Rosemary and Steve Halstead, and Jim Stoner.
“I’m excited and sad” to be moving, Sarah said.
“We’re all sad,” Steve noted.
Sarah asked just one thing: That “06880” make sure readers know how much she’s loved being here.
“Please tell everyone thanks, and goodbye,” she said.
All good things must end. Fortunately, the lucky owners of Sarah’s creations will have them forever.