Obituary photo of Sarah Whitten, Olathe-KS
In Loving Memory of

Sarah Meredith Whitten

1979 - 2021
Obituary photo of Sarah Whitten, Olathe-KS
In Loving Memory of

Sarah Meredith Whitten

1979 - 2021

Services & Gatherings

Services & Gatherings

Service:
Services Pending
Penwell-Gabel - Funeral Home (913-768-6777) is assisting the family
Sarah Meredith Whitten Life story video
Sarah Whitten
November 14, 1979 - December 30, 2021

In her 42 years, Sarah Meredith Whitten lived a life overflowing with joy, challenge, creativity, adventure and love. Born in Topeka, Ks. in 1979, Sarah was a precocious youngster, once casually solving a Rubik's Cube in just twenty minutes time as her mom and dad stared on in disbelief. She was shy in those early days, so much so that her grandpa Whitten dubbed her "Silent Sam."
By her early teens, the true Sarah emerged, a vivacious petite blond who made friends easily and left plenty of positive lasting impressions. Hers was the brightest smile in any group photograph, the loudest laugh in any arena. She was president of her freshman class at Topeka West, a cheerleader in her sophomore and junior years and a member of the Westsiders dance team as a senior.
After graduation in 1998, she attended Drake University in Des Moines, majoring in Marketing and Management, minoring in Finance and Advertising and graduating in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.
Professionally, Sarah described herself as a People Connector. It dates back to her first job at age 15 in Topeka's West Ridge Mall where, dressed as a gumdrop, she encouraged shoppers to visit Mr. Bulky candy store. After college, she worked for a year at an ad agency in Atlanta, then in 2003 moved to Kansas City and spent three years at Meers Advertising. In mid-2006, she became Director of Marketing for Five Star Speakers and Trainers in Overland Park. In 2012, she joined two close friends to form a motivational speaker management partnership called Standard Ovation and in 2018 formed her own speaker management firm, Creative Talent Agency. She loved her work, she once said, because it expanded her intellect. She dealt with some of the world's most brilliant minds and listened to over 500 of their motivational talks. It was a crushing blow when the pandemic of 2020 literally shut down the motivational speaker industry.
Travel was among Sarah's lifelong passions, especially trips to exotic venues. She walked the beaches of Jamaica and Belize; trekked through the Andes in Chile and the Cordillera Real Mountains in Bolivia, both on foot and in a rickety bus; shopped the markets of Morocco; viewed the ancient ruins of Rome and discovered the scenic charms of Croatia.
At home, she bought a condo overlooking the Country Club Plaza in 2005 and, not surprisingly, served as president of the Plaza 47 Homeowner's Association for the next 11 years. She never missed a Plaza Art Fair and her condo eventually took on the definite trappings of an art gallery.
For several years, Sarah was an active and enthusiastic long-distance runner, participating in many 5Ks, 10Ks, half-marathons and both the Kansas City and Chicago full Marathons. When her running days concluded, she turned to marathon telephone conversations, and in that, too, others found it hard to keep pace.
Sarah was incredibly industrious, spending many a weekend afternoon creating from scratch everything from hand-made Christmas ornaments to personalized note cards to individualized t-shirts and hand towels, each item done with the accomplished polish of a professional. She described those activities as "crafternooning," and marketed some of her Crafternoon products on her Facebook page.
In early 2016, Sarah gave birth to her daughter, Harper Victoria Whitten, an amazing little girl who loves to sing and dance. The two lived, along with Sarah's chocolate brown Cocker Spaniel, Murphy, in a warm, cozy house in Prairie Village, Ks., a home that reflected Sarah's parentage; she had her mother's green thumb and her father's tendency to hoard. But unlike her father, she kept her collections organized, exceptionally so.
Harper now lives with her father, Mathew Dalhberg, in Kansas City, Missouri and will turn six years old in late February. Among the many others who mourn Sarah's passing and cherish their memories of her are her older sister, Jennifer Whitten, of Dallas and Jen's son (Sarah's oldest nephew) Quentin Peltzer, Plano, Texas; Sarah's younger sister, Elizabeth Govea, her husband Nate Govea and their four boys, Andrew, Austin, Dylan and Drake Govea, all of whom live in Olathe, Ks.; Sarah's stepsister Katie Harbour and her husband Mitchell Harbour, who reside in Fort Worth; Sarah's stepsister Julie Boggs and her husband Bob Graves, of Knoxville, Tenn.; her mother and stepfather, Carol Bragdon and Harold Bragdon, of Topeka; her father and stepmother, Ron and Lynn Whitten, of Lenexa, Ks.; and Sarah's maternal grandmother, Ruth Stone, age 95, of Topeka.
Sarah routinely enclosed a lottery ticket in each handcrafted birthday card she sent out. It was delightful and thoughtful, representing the potential good fortune she desired for everyone. But it was unnecessary. The true fortune we received from Sarah was her boundless love and attention. She was a burst of infectious energy into every life she touched.
A private committal service limited to immediate family will take place at the Johnson County Memorial Gardens Mausoleum in Overland Park, Kansas. Later in 2022, her family hopes to gather with her friends for a Celebration of Life at an outdoor locale. Please check back at this website or Sarah's Facebook page for details.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, to the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City or to Harper Whitten's Learning Quest Educational Fund. (Contact Carol Bragdon for specific details regarding the latter.)




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