Sara V. Dunnington

Macken Funeral Home Memorial Photo
Date of Birth:
Tuesday, February 2, 1965
Date of Death:
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
55 years old

Memorial Gathering

Date: Saturday August 08, 2020
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Location: River Park Chapel at Macken Funeral Home [ view map ]

Live Stream

Click the link to access Sara's Memorial Gathering via live stream at Macken Funeral Home Facebook Page


Macken Funeral Home Memorial Photo
Date of Birth:
Tuesday, February 2, 1965
Date of Death:
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
55 years old
Macken Funeral Home Memorial Photo
Date of Birth:
Tuesday, February 2, 1965
Date of Death:
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
55 years old

Sara V. Dunnington

Sara Vana Dunnington, 55, of Rochester, MN passed away peacefully at her residence on July 15, 2020.

Sara was born on February 2, 1965 in Rochester. She graduated from John Marshall High School in 1983. She then graduated from Mankato State University with a degree in Computer Science. Sara returned to Rochester and began working for an affiliate of IBM, as a Software Engineer. When the affiliate dissolved, she began working for IBM, also as a Software Engineer. She worked in this capacity until her death.

Sara was a kind and generous soul who always put others before her. She loved to be with her family and friends, planning many game-nights. She loved the North Shore of MN, and visited yearly with her brother. She was a smart woman who enjoyed puzzles, making homemade greeting cards, and her fur-babies: Callie and Sophie. She will be deeply missed.

Sara is survived by her parents, Ted and Sally Dunnington of Rochester; her sister, Ann Pittenger of Rochester; her brother, Joel Dunnington of Rochester; her niece, Kelsey Pittenger of Minneapolis; and nephew, Andrew Pittenger of Rochester.

She was preceded in death by her maternal and paternal grandparents.

The memorial gathering for Sara will be held from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, August, 8, 2020 in the River Park Chapel at Macken Funeral Home. A private family service will be held prior to the gathering. Sara wished for her remains to be buried alongside her grandparents in Montour, IA.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Sara are preferred to Rochester Paws and Claws or Camp Companion.

Online condolences are welcome at


The family of Sara V. Dunnington has received the following condolences.

I met Sara at working at IBM.  She was a co-worker and became a really good friend that I could count on.  When I needed help she was there no questions asked.  She loved entertaining and having people over.  There were 5 of us in our "crew" and we got together once a month for a Girls night out -- Dinner (quite often homemade by Sara) and some movies.  We had wonderful discussions and really enjoyed getting together once a month.  I will deeply miss her warmth and friendship.

My heartfelt prayers go out to her family during this time.  

Marian Robinett

My detest friend,


    Sara my heart is broken for us and your family. Sara was a bridesmaid in our wedding and I wouldn’t have my beautiful children if not for you. I met their dad at one of the epic pool parties of my youth. We spent many hours soaking and talking beside the pool. I was just talking to her about a visit. Now I don’t even know who to call when I visit from Arizona. She was the go to social butterfly. My brother Roger and I really welcomed her like family. My children know her as auntie Sara she always enjoyed playing with them. 

    To the family my heart aches for you parents should never outlive a child. I’m so sorry for your grief. You did a beautiful job raising a lovely, sweet and giving adult. Please if I can ever help let me know.


Rest in paradise my lovely friend. If not for covid I would be there but it breaks my heart I can’t travel right now.   

Dear Family of Sara,  my heart felt sympathies for your loss.  I worked with Sara for many years at IBM and she was a wonderful, light hearted and kind person.  She

was a delight to work with and so smart and good at everything.  Have courage during these very sad times... a tremendous loss to all.


Regards,  Anne Rader (Moore)


I am sorry for your loss..

I have a good memory to work with you at IBM Rochester.

I am praying your happiness from Japan.



Rest in peace friend, until we meet again...

Ted & Joel --- I am so sorry for your loss.   May Sara Rest In Peace.  I hope your family is doing as well as humanly possible during this very difficult time.  God Bless you all. -- Brian

Sara was the sweetest person , dear friend to all and always had a smile on her face!

She always was taking trips and enjoying time with her family and friends. I was lucky to have a her as a friend. We attended many card classes and potlucks together!

You have my deepest sympathies!

Deborah Logan


My husband has known Sara for quite some time now and I remember hearing all the stories of their endeavors growing up.  The pool parties, the get togethers with friends.  Sara had a good heart and was very sweet and would welcome anyone into her life.  Dave and I would out of the blue would say; “I can’t believe she is gone.”  This is way too soon.  I felt that she was the rock when friends got together.  We feel for the Dunnington family in this saddened time and we wish that you all continue to remember all the good that Sara has brought you. Our deepest sympathy.  

Dave and Brenda Bilderback 

My deepest sympathy to the family. I was just in kings park area and told my husband I use to babysit there for the Dunningtons, and that there dog was kind of mean. My memories of the girls are great ones. My regards to all of you it’s never easy to loose a loved one!

Thinking of you. 🥀

I am so sorry you have lost your sweet daughter.  I am glad for the time that our lives over lapped when she was a kiddo at home.  Andrea

On behalf of IBM India team, our deepest condolences to her family. I worked with her for IBM India customers.

She was highly professional and such a great person to work with! She had earned great respect from colleagues and customers with her excellent IBM i skills.

She will be greatly missed. May God give all the strength to her family during this time.

This is sad news indeed. I've been away from the support center for over 15 years now but I still remember working with Sara. She was extremely helpful and intelligent.

I kept a customer letter that was sent to us after an all night problem Sara and I worked. The customer took the time to thank us for our help. For those not in support, a customer taking the time to thank someone in writing is high praise indeed. That is the kind of person Sara was.

She will be deeply missed.


I am so sorry for your loss. Sara was always friendly and such a big help she will be dearly missed dearly 

Sara and I spent many many long hours together debugging and training on PowerHA - Her and her team define for me and my compadres the essence of customer service. She always made you feel like you were part of her family, the the problem you were having was her problem, and that we would get through it no matter what. I will miss her, and conversations with and about Sophie. She will always be one of the beautiful people in my book of memories, and I will remember our calls with fondness. And to her family, I can only say you raised an angel, good job! 

I was shocked and deeply saddened to hear this news.  I had the privilege of working with or near Sara for much of my time here at IBM.  I'll never forget when I first began working with customers and started to take my turn in on-call rotations.   One of the very first lessons was to check and see if Sara was scheduled.  At the time I had not yet met her but everyone just knew how well protected you were when she was scheduled to work.  She could handle almost anything having more skill certifications on IBM i than anyone around and was always willing to help in any way she could.  Whenever there was a coverage need she was usually the first to volunteer.  Beyond the talent and hard work she was as fun and friendly as anyone.  Listening to her ease into customer calls she could help the most frustrated (often angry) client's solve their most difficult technical problems and by the end it often sounded like long lost friends having a casual and friendly conversation.  She was really great at her job and it's hard to imagine work there without her.  When conversations with Sara went beyond work topics it was ALL about her family and I know how much she cared for you all.  Please accept my deepest sympathies for your loss.     

My deepest sympathy to all of Sara's family.

I have had the great pleasure of working with Sara as part of her IBM Family. She was a friend to all who met her and had the privilege to work with her. She was a powerhouse at IBM. Her vast knowledge and willingness to offer support and share her knowledge with all of us and her customers will be truly missed.

My prayer to all she left behind.


My profound condolences to Sara's family and friends.

While working with and getting to know Sara over the past several years, it has always been amazing. Her intelligence, willingness to help everyone, vast skills, care, sense of humor, and overall direction set the example. Her ability to connect with people, understand their questions, and provide assistance regardless of the day or time was always first-class.

Sara will be greatly missed by so many as such a tremendous person, friend, and colleague.

With utmost sympathy,

Aaron J. McClellan

I will truly miss Sara.  She was one of the nicest people I know.  I met her through Terry Pearson several years ago.  I always looked forward to seeing her at Terry’s gatherings.  There will be a big hole in that group.

My sincere condolences and sympathy for the family of Sara.

I worked with Sara at IBM for many years.

There was nobody more helpful and considerate than Sara.

She would dive in with both feet no matter what the problem was to resolve.

All our  IBM customers and coworkers loved Sara.

The support she provided to everyone was 2nd to none.

She often worked the night shift where you really need to be knowledgeable across all areas of the operating system since there was a limited staff during the middle of the night.

Sara had passed nearly every certification test we have for the support center across all areas of the iSeries operating system.

Sara will he dearly missed by all.



Dear Sara,

I'd always appreciate what you've done when I joined the team. Without you, I wouldn't have learned so many things. There were also times when I was clueless at work, and you came to my rescue. I'll never have the chance to repay that favor.

I did not expected last year to be the last time seeing you in person, but your ever positive spirit will live on forever.

My thoughts and prayers to all who miss you.


Dear Sara, 

what a shock, what a grief. 

We worked together quite some time during your career at IBM and you were always very nice and friendly to work with, with you we loose a valuable team member.

We will miss you! We hope you find light and peace on the other side and we are sure you'll keep an eye on us and your family to make sure we do not drift off the path of goodness.

Thank you for being you! 

For the family, my condolence and prayers, namasté

So very sad for your loss, I worked with Sara a few years back at nights in IBM GLOBAL SUPPORT. Sara was so helpful and a person to go to for help on everything. She was very good at her job and I remember how customers loved her.


My deepest condolence to Sara's family.  My prayers are with you during this time of sadness. 

Sara taught and help me a lot at work.  She was my very first guide when I joined the Global support team. She loves to render help with her colleagues in any ways.  She is irreplaceable and will always be in my heart and thoughts...

May she rest in peace...

 I was lucky enough to work with Sara and got a chance to see what a great woman she was. I will miss her dearly and wanted to extend my sympathies to you and the family.

My condolences to the Dunnington family.  I am part of Sara's IBM family.  She is an immeasurable loss and will be greatly missed. 

What sad news to hear of Sara's passing...I worked with Sara for about 10 years before retiring from IBM last summer. Sara was smart, funny, helpful, dedicated and cared about her family. I could always count on Sara to work our hardest problems and deal with our toughest customers, and many customer knew Sara by name and were always happy to work with her. Also, Sara cared about her family, stopping by my office for chats and mentioning time spent with her father and her trips up north with her brother. I can still hear her laugh and see her smile. She made our world a little brighter, and we will miss her. 

I am so sorry to hear that Sara passed away.  I knew her when she was employed at a software company in the 90's.  She was one of a kind.  Such a sweet and generous soul. She's one of those people I will never forget.  


My deepest sympathies to Sara's family and friends,




My deepest sympathy to you all. I will always have great memories of Sara and your family. I remember walks across the frozen lake to visit. I’m sorry that I will be unable to attend.

Heidi Cullen 

Our deepest sympathies  go out to the Dunnington family.  Sara was such a great friend, and she will be greatly missed.

Sara spoke highly of her family. You could tell she loved you all dearly.

Life is going to be different without her.


Steph and Terry.

I have nothing but fond memories of you. You were always a pleasure to be around and your caring for others is unmatched. You will be missed.

Many condolences to Sara's family and friends. Sara and I had many classes together in school. She was witty and smart. Sending you prayers of comfort through your loving memories.

Sending you lots of love and comfort, Sarah was a great, fantastic person. I know how very much you will all miss her! I am so sorry for your loss.  She will be missed dearly.


My thoughts and prayers go out to Sara's family.  She was a terrific person to work with.  Very talented and dedicated to her job.  She will be greatly missed.

Sara was such a warm and kind person.  I recall after not having seen her in many years, at our last class reunion, she was just as friendly and sweet as the last time I had seen her.  She was a beautiful soul.  Will be greatly missed!

My deepest condolences to Sara's family at this difficult time.  I worked with Sara in my early career days at IBM Rochester.  Not only she was an esteemed colleague, she was also a close friend.  She will be deeply missed by everybody.  Thoughts and prayers be with you all.

I use to work with Sara at IBM. She was the kindest and smartest person.  I loved reading her FB updates on her fur babies and her trips.  She will be missed.  My husband Kevin currently worked with her.  We are heartbroken for your family.  

You are all in our prayers.  

Peggy Chidester


My deepest sympathy to you.  As you know Sara's friend group heart bleeds along with you. We will miss her so so much. We are so fortunate to have her caring, loving, giving friendship and the joy of her companionship, we have so many great memories. She will live on in our memories and our hearts forever.   Her giggle was so infectious and she will be missed so greatly. Her helping hands in her work and with her friends exemplifies the person she was.  Hugs and prayers to you at this difficult time.  

Virginia, Mark, Courtney and Adam Hassler

My deepest sympathies to Sara's family.  My family's hearts are with you during this time of sadness.  Sara has been in my life since the very beginning of my career at IBM.  She was such a valuable resource, a go to person in the very beginning.  Then we became close team mates for the last 12 years.  Sara cared for our customers so much and did such a fantastic job with everything she handled.  She will be deeply missed by all of us.  Thoughts and prayers be with you all :-(

My deepest sympathy to Sara's family.  The world lost such a loving person, she was so sweet and kind and she will be greatly missed.  She touched so many people and was always smiling. My thoughts and prayers to you all.

On behalf of Sara's IBM team, our most sincere condolences to her entire family.  Sara was such a fantastic person, and so enjoyable to be around!  She was more than an employee or teammate - she was a friend - and she will be greatly missed by all of us at IBM, as well as the clients she engaged with each day.  Prayers for comfort, peace, and strength to everyone missing Sara, especially her family.

My thoughts and prayers do not seem to be enough right now. It is what I can send you full from my heart. Sara was always such a kind soul and will be missed dearly.