Sara Marie Vinyard Kyriakos passed away on Friday, August 20th 2021. She was 62 years old.
She was born on July 28, 1959 to Betty and Kenneth Vinyard in Lawrence, Kansas. Her parents were both from Harrisburg, Illinois.
Sara attended Lawrence High School, graduating in 1978. Sara attended the University of Kansas in Lawrence getting dual degrees in Liberal Arts and Education. She later received a Master’s degree from Emporia State University in Special Education.
Sara worked for the Lawrence Journal-World for many years before pursuing her Masters and going to work in the Lawrence Public School District. Sara taught Special Education at Billy Mills Middle School (formerly South Junior High/Middle School).
Sara enjoyed playing volleyball in the Lawrence Recreation League. She was also an avid artist and did freelance work throughout her career. Sara was very active with her two daughter’s Girl Scout Troops and was a supporter of the Hidden Valley troops and camps. Sara enjoyed sewing and made numerous blankets for friends and family.
Sara was preceded in death by her husband Michael Kyriakos, father Kenneth Vinyard, her mother Betty (Dixon) Hilt, her brother Dr. Gary Vinyard, her step-mother Emma Vinyard and her mother-in-law Jamie (Bales) Kyriakos.
Sara is survived by her daughters Paula (Kyriakos) Forsythe [Noland] and Ellen Kyriakos, her sister-in-law Dierdre Vinyard, her cousin Renae Patterson, her father-in-law Dr. Michael Kyriakos, and her six nieces and nephews Zach Vinyard, Morgan Vinyard, Alex Kyriakos, Ashley Kyriakos, Noah Kyriakos and Jake Kyriakos.
Her family hopes to celebrate her within the next year, date to be announced, services pending.
Messages & Condolences
I am shocked and saddened to learn of Sara’s passing. She was so friendly and cared for her students.
My heart goes out to her family.
I got the pleasure of working with Sara, when I first started working in the school district in 2018. I then got to work with her 2019. She was very caring, considerate, and always helpful.
She did a lot for staff and students. And if something was wrong, she would be the first one to ask you and she could tell. I was very caught off guard by this news, and I’m still very saddened and grieving. I’ll never forget the good memories I had with Sara. I’m praying for her family, kids, etc. Blessings to her and her family!🙏
Paula and Ellen, l am so saddened to hear of your mother’s death. I did not know her well but l will remember her beautiful smile, her kind words, and her caring manner. Please know l am thinking of you and your family and praying that you can find peace. Your mother must have been very special as she raised two beautiful, kind girls.
I am so deeply sorry to see this! She was so full of life, always the candle that flickered into the room.. She was so lovely, in every single way, beauty comes from the inside out, and oh my, that description firs her so well!! Gpd’s blessings to all who had the joy of knowing her!
Paula, Ellen and extended family,
We have you in our thoughts and our heart goes out to you during this tragic time. Please reach out as needed, we all would love to help. Sara & Mike impacted so many in our community. Their dedication to students and staff was amazing.
Peace and love to Sara’s family and all who miss her. Sara was indeed a talented and dedicated educator. I was blessed to work directly with her in the classroom for many years.
I met Sara many years ago at the Caregiver Support Group at the Douglas County Senior Center. She was caring for her Mother at that time. The picture of Sara is so perfect – that sweet smile and sincerity shine through! It is so true that she was a beautiful person, inside and out! My condolences to her daughters and family!
Sara had one of the kindest faces I’ve ever seen, and in this case, appearances matched reality. She was a beautiful person, inside and out.
So sorry for your loss. Sara was a light for all. Prayers for the family.
Sara was my oldest friend. Our mothers went through labor together at LMH and I was born twenty minutes earlier than she was, something that I brought up numerous times as we attended kindergarden through college together, and when we worked together at Kentucky Fried, or rocked out at ELO. Having careers and families meant that we didn’t see each other often, but when we ran into each other at Checkers we almost always gave each other the run down on our lives. I will miss Sara’s humor, smile and her commitment to making Lawrence a better place. I always have held it to be an honor to be the person Sara called to remove a mouse that she had trapped under a trash can in her college apartment. Normal will have to be an entirely different thing without Sara around.
Ellen and Paula I was so sadden to hear about Sara. We worked together for seven years. She was very dedicated to her students. I have seen her many times work with students in Math trying to get them to understand out to do it. She would work until she found a method that they understood. She was always there for her students. Many times I’ve seen her miss her lunch helping one out. Sara always went the extra mile for them. Sara was quick to take the burden off me too, when a student was acting out. Not only will her students miss her, but colleagues as well. Sara made such an impact on students. I am truly saddened by her passing.
Ellen, Sarah and I are so sorry to hear of your loss. Sara was my rock when you and Sarah were in Girl Scouts. She and your Dad helped us out so many times. You, Paula and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. Sara and Mike were truly lovely people who will be deeply missed.
Dear Paula and Ellen your loss is shared by so many who were touched by your mother’s talents and her gift of teaching. She is a loss not only to you but to the community. Love to you both.
So shocked to hear of Sara’s passing. I worked with her for many years at the paper. Thinking of you during this time of loss.
I worked with Sara for a short time at Billy Mills. What a lovely woman who truly cared about her students. So sadden to hear of her passing.
Oh, Ellen, I am so sad to hear of your mother’s death. I hope you will remember me from the long-ago days of Lawrence softball when Juliana was on your team. I am thinking of you and your sister at this time.
Sara and I grew up on neighboring streets. I have fond memories of playing together, doing Girl Scouts, being classmates at Broken Arrow, South, and LHS. What a sweet,
wonderful lady. God speed, my dear. You will truly be missed. 💕
I am so sad to learn of the untimely death of this talented and dedicated educator who has given so much of herself to her daughters and to her students. Her work will live on through the many people she educated and influenced. Thank you, Sara, for a life lived with zest and purpose.
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