The Otto Specht School Blog

The latest news and more!

Doris Sacks: A Life Well-Loved

Lord, thank you for this loving place…

Doris Sacks moved to the Fellowship Community in the Spring of 2001, at the age of 86, when her husband was in need of care. He passed in the summer of 2002, but Doris remained in the community, where she could live an active, independent life, surrounded by people of all ages. She passed away this year, on November 26th, at the age of 104.

Doris with one of the coworkers children, at the Fellowship Community

Doris with one of the coworkers children, at the Fellowship Community

Doris, center, with friends at the Fellowship Community

Doris, center, with friends at the Fellowship Community

For the hands that help,

For the hearts that care,

As often as she could, Doris came to the Otto Specht School to attend Friday morning assemblies, particularly in the last several weeks of her life. One day, after the assembly, she requested that her caregiver wheel her chair over to Jeanette. “Otto Specht is such a blessing for us all” Doris told Jeanette. “To see these children surrounded by such love, and to see them smiling and happy is such a miracle to me. I want to thank you so much for bringing all this light into the lives of us older people.” Jeanette, humbled, thanked her. Doris went on to say, “These children bring the future to us, and I so look forward to seeing them every Friday. It is a time to be thankful - every Friday. I hope the school grows and never leaves the Fellowship. It is the way to the future.”

For the good we have,

For the food we share,

In 1914, on the day after Purim, and just months before the start of the First World War, Doris Sacks (then Devorah Lew) was born in Bialystok (Poland), the youngest of three sisters. Her upbringing was not easy. When Doris was 8, she immigrated to the United States with her mother and sisters. At 16, she left school to work and help support her family. Doris quickly learned accounting and ran the offices for many businesses over the years. She enjoyed making the numbers work and whenever there was a problem, Doris looked at it as a puzzle, thereby gaining joy through solving it.

Most important to Doris was to love and be loved, truly and completely, and to have children to love with all her heart. It wasn’t until Doris was already in her mid-thirties, however, that she met her future husband, Arnold Sacks. Doris was told by a Doctor that she probably could not have children, but she and Arnold defied the odds, having two children.

And for the chance to live

And die

With Grace.

Doris loved. She loved her family fully and was much loved by them and her many friends. She loved knitting and reading, and spending time with the children in the community. She loved life and loved her independence. And life loved her, and didn’t want to let her go for a very long time. “During her last days,” her friend Dorothea remembers, “ it was like she was climbing a mountain to leave this world, and then, very gently, she spread her wings, and flew away.”


Thank you for this loving place

For the hands that help

For the hearts that care

For the good we have

For the food we share

And for the chance

To live and die

With Grace.

- Doris Sacks