Sadie Gart Koller


    Although she saw a lot of it in her nearly 104 years, Sadie Koller had no patience for nonsense. So it’s somewhat fitting that she died on May 19, only days before yet another birthday party that she no doubt thought was too much trouble.

    Born May 24, 1909, to Minnie and Samuel Gart, Sadie was a lifelong resident of the Philadelphia area. She navigated the city and its suburbs on her own well into her 80s, despite never learning to drive. (She often took a bus into Center City to pay her bills because her reduced senior fare was cheaper than a postage stamp.)

    She married William Koller in 1935; they were together until he died in 1993. An only child, Sadie was extremely proud of her three children: Harold, who became an eye doctor; Irv, who followed his father into the grocery business; and Charlene, who taught in Philadelphia's public schools for 40 years.

    Sadie worked as a clerk for insurance companies, but she was primarily a homemaker. She loved to bake and cook, and she was an avid knitter, cross-stitcher, and crocheter. As you might expect from someone who lived more than 103 years, she was extraordinarily healthy. Not only was she rarely sick, she never had a cavity.

    Sadie was fluent in Yiddish. She loved to sing Jewish songs as well as songs from WWII; even at her advanced age, she could keep the beat. Everyone at the Abramson Center for Jewish Life, from nurses and caregivers to aides and residents, absolutely loved her.

    Besides her three children, she is survived by a daughter-in-law, Doris “Cookie” Koller; eight grandchildren in Pennsylvania, New York City, and Texas; 10 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-granddaughter.

    The family asks that memorials in Sadie’s name be made to the Abramson Center for Jewish Life, 1425 Horsham Road, North Wales, PA, 19454.