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FRAMINGHAM – Sara Nutter Rabkin, age 78, of Framingham and formerly of Lexington, Massachusetts, passed away peacefully on June 8, 2021, from Alzheimer’s Disease.

She was born in Rushville, Indiana, in 1942 to Wyndham Nutter, a physician, and Mildred Nutter (Moody), a schoolteacher and homemaker.

She married William Rabkin of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, in 1967. Her sister, Mildred Gail, predeceased her in 2016.

After she earned her Masters of Library Science degree with a specialization as a Medical Librarian, Sara became a sought-after research librarian at the Countway Library at Harvard Medical School. Later, she was appointed by the National Library of Medicine as the first Regional Reference Librarian. In that position, Sara assisted hospital librarians throughout New England with reference searches and library procedures.

Later, as a bookseller, Sara was the longtime manager and curator of the Children’s section at Sundial Bookstore in Lexington.

Sharing her love of books with others was a special passion. Many young readers and their parents came to Sundial to get recommendations from the kind-hearted “book lady” who knew each book from cover to cover.  For her own reading, there was usually a stack of novels by her bedside; she could hardly resist a good murder mystery, especially if set in the English countryside.  She passed her insatiable reading habits and love of a good story to her children and grandchildren.

As a mother and wife, Sara filled her family’s home with warmth, comfort, and love. From the flowers she grew in her garden, to the birdfeeders she kept full around the yard, to the delicious midwestern-farmgirl-meets-Jewish-mother meals she made each day, her nurturing soul was always apparent. Her
casseroles, baked beans, and matzah ball soup will be especially missed. 

Sara’s gentle humor hid a hilarious sharp streak that she only shared with those closest to her, but it never came at the expense of others. Her creativity found many expressions: drawing and painting, quilting and needlepoint, and handmade greeting cards whose beautiful collage work was matched by the beauty of the notes she would write within. Above all, her family and friends knew her as an oasis of loving kindness and generosity, no matter how chaotic the world around her.

She is survived by her husband, Bill (William); daughter, Betsy (Elizabeth) and husband Daniel Fishman; son Andrew Rabkin and fiancée Jennifer Joyner; granddaughters Maya and CeeCee (Sydney) Fishman; and extended family and dear friends.

Please join us in celebrating Sara’s life and spirit Monday, June 14, 2021, 11 AM, at Temple Beth Am, 300 Pleasant Street, Framingham. Masks are required. As space at the Temple is limited, if you live in Framingham you are encouraged to watch the service via Zoom and join us immediately following the service at the cemetery, or later at shiva. If you are attending the service at the Temple in person, please pre-register here: [

The service will be livestreamed on Zoom here:
Interment will be at Beit Olam EAST Cemetery, 42 Concord Road (Route 126), Wayland, Massachusetts.

Shiva will be at the home of Betsy and Dan Fishman, 6 McCarthy Circle, Framingham, immediately following the interment until 5:00 PM on Monday, and from 1:30 to 3:30 and 5:00 to 7:30 on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Masks will be required.  Parking is available on McCarthy Circle and other side streets.  It is not safe to park on Salem End Road.

In lieu of flowers, Sara’s family would be deeply grateful for donations made in her memory to the Alzheimer’s Association, 

Services are under the direction of Stanetsky Memorial Chapels, 1668 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA.

Memories of Sara can be shared on Stanetsky’s Website:

By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.