Sarah Lou Francis Oriano was born February 19, 1941, in Bloomfield, IA, to Marietta L. Horn and Austin M. Francis. The family moved to Burlington, IA, and in 1946 they headed to Lomax, IL, where at age five she started first grade because there was no kindergarten. She attended Lomax Elementary and then graduated from Dallas City High School as co-valedictorian in 1958. Sarah participated in music, drama and most scholastic events. In 1958-59 she attended Burlington Junior College.
Sarah married Hugh A. Oriano at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in 1960. She worked at Yetter Oil Company in Burlington until 1969 when she finished her Associate’s degree at Southeastern Community College. She then graduated in 1972 from Western Illinois University in Macomb, IL, earning a Bachelor’s of Arts in English with minors in journalism and linguistics. Mrs. Oriano’s teaching career began at Horace Mann Middle School, and after five years she transferred to Burlington Community High School where she served an additional twenty-four years until her retirement in 2001.
Mrs. Oriano loved ballet; musical productions; shopping; collecting Majolica pottery and china; going to lunch with her friends; making “goodies” for her five grandsons; and traveling. With her husband, she traveled internationally throughout Canada, Mexico, and countless domestic destinations as part of his work. The Orianos were “Winter Texans” for thirteen years before Hugh’s death in 2014. After his passing, Sarah sold the family home of 42 years in Burlington when she moved to Riverside, Iowa, to be near her son and his family. For the last several years, she also enjoyed living between her home in Iowa and with her daughter and her family in Texas where she cultivated numerous friends and became known as the “Biggest Little San Antonio’s Spurs Fan.” Sarah was a member of ISEA, NEA, and E. C. Blackmar Chapter 306 order of the Eastern Star.
Sarah is preceded in death by her parents, and three of her four sisters: Christi M. Doran, Leslie A. Roberts, and Diana M. Shaw. She is survived by her son, Anthony C. Oriano (Julie Richardson), of Riverside, IA and by her daughter, Dr. Angela Oriano (Robert Bradshaw) of League City, TX. She is also survived by her five grandsons: Nash, Noah, and Nicolas Oriano and Christian and Gabriel Darnall, along with her sister, Mrs. Carolyn Sutton (Howard) of Lomax, IL, brother-in-law Mr. Howard T. Shaw, Dallas City, IL; her children-in-law Larry Darnall, Austin, TX and Denise Headrick Miller, Iowa City, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be from 12:00 PM until 1:00 PM with the family to receive friends Saturday, August 10, 2019 at Prugh~Thielen Funeral Home.
The funeral service for Sarah will be 1:00 PM Saturday, August 10, 2019, at Prugh~Thielen Funeral Home with Dean Graber officiating. Burial will be in Carman Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Burlington Education Foundation. Checks can be mailed to: 1429 West Avenue, Burlington, IA 52601. Please reference Sarah Oriano in the check’s memo portion. Proceeds will support teachers and students in English, language arts and journalism.
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