SHE WILL BE MISSED. Sarah Plants, a popular employee at the Great Harvest Bread Company passed away on Feb. 7. She was only 22 years old and grew up in Ballard. Dean Wong

Sarah Plants dies of brain tumor

At 22, Sarah Plants was known for her multi-colored hair and bright smile that greeted customers at the Great Harvest Bread Company on Market Street.

Last Thursday, Sarah died from a malignant brain tumor, the same disease that had claimed the life of her father Jeff and brother Zachary. She would have turned 23 on May 2.

"She loved Ballard. She was a Ballard girl," said her mother, Michelle Plants.

Sarah attended kindergarten at Loyal Heights Elementary and then Whitman Middle School. She was in the first graduating Class (2003) to spend all four years at the new Ballard High School.

As a student leader, Sarah was the vice president of her senior class, editor of the yearbook as a senior and was the emcee at the graduation ceremonies.

That year the ceremony was held at Qwest Stadium, where the video cameras projected her face on the large screen television with her mother snapping pictures of the moment.

For her senior project at Ballard High, Sarah started an ultimate Frisbee team. She went on to become the captain of the ultimate Frisbee team at the University of Washington and found time to coach the Whitman Middle School B Frisbee team.

"She loved the Whitman kid and really looked forward to coaching again in the spring," said Michelle Plants.

Sarah worked at the Great Harvest Bread Company, where the cheerful attitude and free bread slices are a trademark. She was hired at the age of 16 and has been an employee there for seven years. She cut back her hours to attend college.

She was 29 credits short of receiving a degree in public health. When she died, the university gave her an honorary degree.

Michelle Plants recalls her fondness for changing her hair color.

"It was every color of the rainbow. It was an expression of independence and was eclectic," she said.

Last August, Sarah married Doug Sumi. The couple decided to travel to Las Vegas, where they got married at the Graceland Church by "Elvis Presley."

"Elvis sang 'Love Me Tender" and "Viva Las Vegas," said Michelle Plants.

In October she was diagnosed with the disease and on Dec. 22 she suffered from a seizure.

"She was awesome. She cared so much for other people. She was always smiling," said friend Terry Tipton.

She is survived by mother Michelle, 11 year old brother Luca Cartner and 12 year old sister Mara Cartner. The two children have a different father and will not inherit the disease.

Services will be held at Whitman Middle School on Friday, Feb. 15, 4:30 p.m. Memorial donations can be made to the University of Washington Women's Ultimate Frisbee Team, c/o 1314 N.W. 105th St., Seattle, WA 98177.

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