Sara Rucosky

Sara Ann Rucosky (Altstetter)

Saturday, June 13th, 1942 - Monday, May 11th, 2020
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RUCOSKY – Sara Ann (Altstetter) of Jenner Township, devoted teacher, mother, and wife passed away at the age of 77 on Monday May 11, 2020 at UMPC Mercy Hospital, Pittsburgh. Sara was born in Oil City on June 13, 1942 to the late George and Mildred (Stemple) Altstetter. Sara’s childhood was steeped in the magic of the mountains and forests of western Pennsylvania and Maryland as a Girl Scout hunting ladyslippers and waterfalls. Sara earned her BA from Allegheny College and received her Master’s Degree in Education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She taught French, German, and English at Garfield in Johnstown, and at Conemaugh Township High School in Davidsville. Sara married the love of her life, Walter Vincent Rucosky (now a retired psychologist) in 1968. They had two children, Tanya and Ilsa. She was eventually delighted with three grandchildren, Vivian Noakes, Anya Shulman and Aidan Shulman, and a much loved son-in-law, Scott Shulman. She was a joyful and loving grandmother. She is survived not only by her family, but also by her dear dog Radar and Murphy her cat. An adventurer with a gift for languages, Sara traveled throughout Europe, the Middle East, Thailand, Australia, visited Machu Picchu and the Amazonian jungle. She was known to climb up the sides of semi-trucks to jump onto elephants, ride camels across the outback, camp on barrier islands and in the Alps during windstorms, and dodge icebergs in Newfoundland. Sara was an active member of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ligonier Valley, singing in the chorus, decorating the space seasonally, catering after service snacks, and serving on the Beulah Rosen Memorial Committee. She was a member of the YMCA water walkers, a leader of her book club, a staunch Democratic Party campaigner, and deeply loyal friend. A gifted storyteller, gardener, cook, and naturalist, Sara was the center of her family’s history and traditions. Sara’s sharp sense of humor, commitment to perfect English usage, kindness to small animals, delight in the wonders of a robin’s egg, and near constant wiliness to “cook a little something” will be deeply missed. A remembrance gathering will be held to honor Sara after the pandemic has passed. In lieu of flowers, the family asks contributions be made to the Beulah Rosen Memorial Fund by contacting the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ligonier Valley, PO Box 692, Ligonier, Pa 15658 or Humane Society of Somerset County, PO Box 182, Somerset, PA 15501. To express condolences, visit
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Private Condolence

Susan Pearce

Posted at 09:03pm
Dear Walt and young ladies, How sorry the Pearce family is on your loss of Mama Sara. Our fondest memories are the girls' music lessons and talking until they could be picked up after the parents' workday. And Sara always seemed to have some insight on the way things were in the world. We'll miss her. Fondest memories,
Susan, Larry, Annie, & Matt Pearce

John and Linda Breen

Posted at 09:53pm
Walt, Tanya and Ilsa. We would like to send our sympathy for your loss of Sara. She was a fine lady. We’re also sending prayers for your peace during this time of grief, and hope you find comfort in your many happy memories with Sara.
John and Linda Breen

Mary Hays Carney

Posted at 06:38pm
Sara was a delightful person. I have many fond memories of Sara (and Walt) when we belonged to a Food Co-op many years ago. You have my deepest sympathy in the loss of Sara..
Fondly, Mary Hays Carney

pete mishko jr

Posted at 08:34am
I was saddened to learn of Sara's passing. Sara taught French across the hall from me at Conemaugh Township HS in 1982-83. I was a full time substitute teaching Spanish and she was so kind and helpful to me. The photo in the newspaper captures her spirit and personality perfectly, and I will always fondly remember her friendship. Please accept my sympathy.

Rosalyn and Denis Robitaille

Posted at 09:50pm
"Sara Rucosky" brought so many gifts to our life. We will never forget her!
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