Sarah Cooper (Melchert) Dreher, 67, of Salida, died June 28, 2020 at her daughter’s home in Boulder.
She was born May 10, 1953, in Seymour, Wisconsin to Carl and Jean Melchert, one of three children.
After graduating from Seymour High School in 1975, she continued her education at Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin, graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor of arts in music.
She completed a master of arts in reading in 1987 at the University of Northern Colorado, earning the Graduate Dean’s Citation for Excellence.
Following commencement, she taught college reading and study skills at Metropolitan State University of Denver.
Sarah met Steven Dreher in Wisconsin while teaching music in Merrill Area Public Schools, and they were married August 6, 1977.
In 1989, they moved to Cochenour, Ontario, Canada, as Mr. Dreher joined the Lutheran Association of Missionaries and Pilots – Canada (LAMP).
In 1990, the Drehers welcomed their only daughter, Katie.
The family returned to Colorado in 1999 where Sarah served first as the church secretary and minister of music for First Lutheran Church in Salida, and later as the music teacher for Longfellow Elementary School.
Friends and family said Mrs. Dreher lived a wonderfully varied life to the fullest.
As a dedicated teacher, she spent countless hours developing comprehensive music programs for her elementary students.
She delighted in encouraging their curiosity and exploration of music by integrating singing, instruments, and movement.
Mrs. Dreher was a gifted and accomplished pianist who studied with musicians from the Paris Conservatory and Julliard School of Music.
She was also a member of the Euterpean Society, and appeared in concert at the historic Stanley Hotel in Estes Park.
In addition to her passion for music, She enjoyed athletic pursuits, particularly hiking, camping, running and bicycling.
Friends and family said her sense of humor, willingness to share her talents, and dedication to her family and church community left an indelible imprint on innumerable lives.
They said her kind, gracious spirit will be deeply missed.
Mrs. Dreher was preceded in death by her husband; father; brother, Danny Melchert; brother-in-law John Smith; and mother- and father-in-law, George and Lucille Dreher.
Survivors include her daughter, Katie (Nick) Miller; grandson, Luke Miller, of Boulder; mother of Seymour, Wisconsin; sister, Ann Smith, of Green Bay, Wisconsin; sister-in-law, Chris (Mark) Owings, of Bellingham, Washington; brother-in-law, Fred (Beth) Dreher, of Muskego, Wisconsin; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (www.lls.org) or to the Lutheran Association of Missionaries and Pilots—Canada (www.lampministry.org).
Services will be announced at a later date.
Arrangements are with Crist Mortuary of Boulder.