Community, family grieve the loss of Sarah Wass

“She always had a smile for people, whoever and wherever she ran into them.”

Sarah Wass
Sarah Wass
Submitted photo
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WORTHINGTON — Sarah Marie (Huls) Wass, a happy, hard-working woman with endless smiles, a giving spirit and a strong love for her family, cats and coffee, died April 15 from injuries sustained in a rollover in March.

She was 26.

Sarah was a familiar face in Worthington, where she worked for 10 years at the coffee shop in HyVee, both at Caribou Coffee and later at Starbucks, and many people remember her smile.

“She was always happy, always had a smile on her face,” said her mother, Wendy Huls.

“She always had a smile for people, whoever and wherever she ran into them,” said her husband, Eli Wass, who works at Bedford Industries. “She was always fun to be around.”


Sarah’s unexpected death hit her family hard, particularly given that her uncle, Danny Huls, died only a few hours before she did. Wendy said the community has rallied around her and Sarah’s father, Richard, as well as the rest of the family.

“So many people have just reached out and said what a wonderful person she was, what a great personality she had,” Wendy said. “I really appreciate all the people that have reached out to us, that have sent cards, brought meals, that are there for us when we need them, because there’s been a lot of outpouring of love in the community.”

A life cut short

Sarah graduated from Worthington High School in 2014, and while she initially planned to become a nurse, she decided after a year that college wasn’t the right fit for her and returned to Worthington to work.

“She wanted to be a wife and mother,” Wendy said. “She had a good work ethic, so after college she just worked full-time.”

She and Eli started dating in 2016 and were married in 2017 at Pioneer Village. They lived in Worthington, moved to rural Okabena and then bought a house in Okabena. Sarah worked hard to turn the house into a true home, remodeling and redecorating it extensively.

“We were gearing up to start having children, and she was excited for that. A big reason for the house we bought was (that) there was room to put a lot of kids in it,” Eli said, recalling how excited Sarah was at the prospect of having her own family.

She also loved being an aunt, and took great joy in being an aunt and in buying thoughtful presents for her nieces and nephews, Wendy said.

“Sarah was always giving, and doing what she could to make people happy,” she added.


Sarah loved animals, too, said Wendy, who recalled how Sarah once hid a stray cat in the shed because the family had dogs — and cats couldn’t be brought into the house. There were the dogs, plus frogs in the swimming pool, and at one point the family had salamanders.

Her two cats, Earl and Honey, will miss her too, said her aunt, Cindy Teerink.

“We would get snaps from her every single day of her cats,” said Teerink, who still has descendants from one of Sarah’s cats in her yard.

“She loved sipping on her coffee, playing with her cats and hanging out with me,” Eli said. “I’d drag her out along on all the crazy adventures I would go on.”

In September 2021, Sarah started working at Bedford Industries, creating a work schedule that better matched Eli’s and allowing the pair to spend more time together.

“She was always a giving person and wanted to help others,” Wendy said, noting that Sarah had donated blood and had gone on many mission trips through the American Reformed Church.

A celebration of Sarah’s life will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday in the barn at Pioneer Village in Worthington. It will be open to the public, and refreshments will be served following the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials are encouraged for Pioneer Village.

“She really was just the sweetest person,” Teerink said. “She would never say anything bad about anybody, ever.”


Sarah's full obituary is located here .

A 1999 graduate of Jackson County Central and a 2003 graduate of Augsburg College, Kari Lucin started writing for newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota in 2006. During her time as a reporter, she covered beats including education, watershed, county and agriculture, and frequently wrote about health and science. She has also served as an online content coordinator and an engagement specialist at various Forum Communications properties. She was a marketing assistant at Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville for two years, where she did design work in addition to writing and social media management.

Lucin is currently a community editor with the Globe of Worthington.

Phone: (507) 376-7319
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