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Sara  "Sally" Matthews Buchanan

Obituary for Sara "Sally" Matthews Buchanan

September 18, 1942 - July 30, 2016
San Antonio, Texas | Age 73


Sara "Sally" Matthews Buchanan, 73, of San Antonio, passed away July 30, 2016. She went peacefully and surrounded by family.

She was born in San Antonio, TX, September 18, 1942, to John L. Matthews, MD, and Sara Douglas Matthews. Sally graduated from St. Mary's Hall and Mills College, Oakland, CA, where she received a B.A. in Art History. She was married to Robert T. Buchanan October 24, 1971. She is survived by her husband Robert T. Buchanan; her children Garland Matthews Buchanan (Flannery) and Thomas Larkin Buchanan (Yunhee); her grandchildren Eleanor Buchanan, Mary Larkin Buchanan, Virginia Buchanan, George Buchanan, and Lila Chaewon Buchanan; her siblings Eleanor Matthews Stromberger (J.C.) and J. Larkin Matthews (Sally); and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Sally worked as an office manager for Frost. Bros. Advertising, a longtime travel agent at McNeel Travel Agency, and Executive Director of the AIA San Antonio Chapter. She was Vice President of Kangaroo Court Restaurants of Texas, and was very involved in the look of the Original Mexican Restaurant.

She was President (1995-1997) and a longtime board member of the San Antonio Conservation Society. Because of her interest in and knowledge about water issues, she was elected as Director of the San Antonio River Authority (November 1999-Present), and served as Secretary and most recently as President; under her leadership, the Museum Reach and the Mission Reach became realities. She served on the vestry as well as Arts & Memorials Commission of the Episcopal Church of Reconciliation. She was on the Board of Trustees of the Witte Museum as well as a member of the Collections Committee. She was a long-time season ticket holder and contributor to the San Antonio Symphony and the Cactus Pear Music Festival. In the 1980s, she was President of the Classical Broadcasting Society, and initiated the merger of the Classical Broadcasting Society with San Antonio Public Radio, creating Texas Public Radio. She was Chairman of the River Road Neighborhood Association; during her tenure, Sally changed from being "a docile housewife to a fierce defender of the River Road neighborhood." San Antonio's city council, then under the leadership of Henry Cisneros, had threatened to lift the ordinance that prevented conveying the property where Alamo Stadium was built to South Texas Sports for a 50-year lease; because of Sally's efforts to keep the ordinance in place and protect the River Road neighborhood, Clinton Manges sued her for $60 million for intimidating city council and bullying the mayor. The case was dropped before trial, and the lease on Alamo Stadium was declared null and void. She was a former board member of the Downtown Alliance. She was an organizational fixer for The Assembly, The Merry Wives, and The Old Trail Drivers Association. Sally was a member of the Torch Club, San Antonio 100, National Society of Colonial Dames, and the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, and was a life-long member of the San Antonio Country Club. In 2016, St. Mary's Hall awarded Sally its Distinguished Alumni award.

Sally was always kind and generous. She was a philanthropist, world traveler, art collector, and loved reading and collecting Texas tales that reflected her family heritage in South and far West Texas.

The family extends special thanks to MD Anderson Cancer Center, the START Center for Cancer Care, and AA Care Services.

On Saturday, August 6th at 2:00 PM, a Memorial Service will be held at Church of the Reconciliation Episcopal Church, 8900 Starcrest, San Antonio, TX 78217.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the San Antonio River Foundation (for the Confluence Park Maintenance Fund,, or the charity of your choice.

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Porter Loring Mortuary

1101 McCullough Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78212
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