Sara Lipscomb

Sara Beth Lipscomb

Tuesday, November 12th, 1963 - Friday, April 24th, 2020
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Sara Beth Lipscomb passed away in her home on April 24th, 2020 from natural causes. She requested her age be omitted and for everybody to say she looked like she was in her late 30s.
Sara was a cancer survivor; a staunch advocate of physical and mental health rights; an avid, if intermediate, yoga practitioner; an inspired cook; a wonderful mother; and a relentless reader. She dedicated her life to advocating for those who were squatted on by the system. Her accomplishments and dedication made indelible changes to Montana.
Starting in the early 90s, Sara acted as a guardian ad litem and advocated for children in need of fair and caring representation. Her work would not have been possible without the mentorship of Dr. Sue Forest. During this time, she began lobbying at the state level for organizations and laws to help abused women and children. Her interactions with Capitol Hill were slightly disillusioning as she discovered the state was more interested in supporting the tobacco and prison industries than funding programs that supported victims of domestic assault. However, this only strengthened her resolve as she realized these programs required support outside the elected political sphere to succeed. As she was quoted in a Missoulian article in 2003, "We need to react with compassion...because these are all our children. This is Montana's future."
Her time walking the halls of the state legislature proved invaluable when, in 1997, Sara started working for Montana Counsel for Families which would lead her to work alongside the administrations of Governor Racicot, Martz, and Schweitzer. Her voice was one of the first and loudest to be heard on the local level to resolve the intersecting social, psychological, and economic factors which perpetuate the cycle of abuse. After seeing the tragedies surrounding the Meth epidemic in the early 2000s, Sara wrote, revised, and marched the first bill restricting the sale of Pseudoephedrine in Montana through the state legislature, being signed into law by Governor Martz.
Her advocacy was not limited to social causes, as she gave her time and effort to organizations that promoted wildlife preservation as well. Sara worked briefly for the Elks Foundation and helped peruse their goal of preserving wild game habitats for future generations. She also worked for the Montana Audubon where she helped maintain lands essential for Montana's non-game birds.
The work Sara was most proud of in her later life was the direct outreach she was able to provide through Open Aid Alliance, an organization dedicated to anonymous HIV and Aids testing as well as providing the HIV and Aids positive community in Missoula access to housing and health care resources . She championed their needle exchange program and administered tests at the methadone clinic as well as at both Fantasy for Adult locations. Her interactions with the owners of Fantasy, whom she lovingly referred to as her Aunties, led to creation of the Big Beau Peep Show: a sex positive LGBTQ+ event which promotes sexual expression and safety in a communal and supportive environment.
Sara wishes all of her friends and family well. She asks that anybody who wishes to honor her memory to dedicate their time and resources to a cause important to them and to remind them that it takes action to make change and there is no one more capable to make it than you.
Sara is preceded by her mother Patricia Cutright, her father Fred Lipscomb Jr., and her brother Andy Lipscomb. She is survived by her sister Amy Hamfeldt, her brother-in-law Brian Hamfeldt, her nieces Emily, Katherine, Anne Marie, and Brie Hamfeldt, and her son Jasen DeVoe.
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Coral Beck

Posted at 05:49pm
I am sorry to hear of the loss of Sara. I worked with Sara when I was employed at Child and Family Services. I remember her as a woman of substance, compassion, one who was respected by others and who always tried to do the right thing. Take Great Care! Coral Beck

Sue Forest

Posted at 12:00pm
Sara will be missed in this world. She was a dedicated student, passionate and compasionate professional, esteemed colleague, dear friend, and loving mother to Jason. Sara was a collaborator with me on numerous projects at the Univerisyt of Montana. I valued her out-of-the box thinking and problem-solving. Her heart was so large and her desire to right wrongs, and provide beneficial resources and supports to children and families was her drive and her passion. So many stories come to mind but one in particular stands in the forefront of my mind. Sara and I presented at a National Early Childhood conference in St. Louis, Missouri. The presentation and response was a success. We decided to celebrate by going out to eat at a famous Italian restaurant near out hotel. We made reservations for two for Dr. Forest. When we arrived the host said in an incredulous voice, we didn't know it would be two women. We were placed in the back of the restaurant and he sent over either the dishwasher or bus boy who was still in teens to be our waiter. Sara and I knew that they thought two women, low tippers, little food. Well we decided to go all out we ordered a nice bottle of wine, appetizers, salad, the most expensive main meals and dessert. The young so called waiter served us until it was time for the main course, when the head waiter said he would be finishing waiting on us. Sara, promptly said, "no, we like our waiter and want him and not someone else". At the end of the meal the main waiter came with our bill and said he would take care of it for us. Dear Sara at that point said, "No, we will give our young waiter the money for the bill . When he came and collected the money we give him a 35% tip in cash and told him than-you for being such a delightful, friendly, gracious waiter. My second story was a week before Sara was to graduate and she had her car shoed by campus security and a note saying she could not graduate until she paid all of her campus parking fines, which had mounted up over the years that she had thrown her tickets away and never paid the fines. She asked me what she should do as she did not want to pay the fines, as parking was such a premium on campus and places to park were scarce. I told her pay the fines, the world needs her to employ her many skills and talents. She paid the fines and was allowed to graduate. I have and will continue to remember her as one of my boldest and brightest students who was consumate problem-solver, critical thinker, great debater, and knowledgeable professional. She will be missed in this world, but when I hear rubbles of thunder and flashes of lightening, I will know that her spirit is alive and well and challenging and asking"what if", "why that way and not this". Jason she was so proud of you and know I send you wisdom, strength, and positive thoughts and memories. Sue Forest

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