Sadie Mast, lifelong peace worker, died peacefully at home in Spencer, Oklahoma on August 23, 2020 at age 90.
Sadie was born on May 27, 1930 in the Amish community of Kalona, Iowa to Enos Swartzentruber & Magdalena Bender. She was preceded in death by her parents and her siblings (Elden, Paul, Katie, Barbara, Lovina and Chris).
She was survived by her husband of 60 years, Moses Mast, her sons Marcus and James, and her grand-sons Brett and Brent. She was also survived by countless nieces, nephews, cousins and many, many friends throughout her community.
From an early age, Sadie yearned to find her calling and do good in the world, so she did not marry at the age expected in her community, but instead chose a life of service and simple living. In her mid-20’s, Sadie moved to Red Lake, Ontario to work at an Indian school where she met Moses Mast, a young Amish man doing alternative service in lieu of the military draft.
They married on July 28, 1960 in Iowa but later returned to Canada to serve with Mennonite Volunteer Service unit in Alberta.
photo of Moses and Sadie Mast, 1961, from Ontario Mennonite Bible school collection of the Mennonite Archives of Ontario
While in Canada, the Masts adopted two sons: Marcus and James. A few years later, the Masts moved to Spencer, Oklahoma where the family became active members of the community and where Moses later served as pastor of Spencer Mennonite Church.
From 1987-1989, Sadie and Moses traveled to San Marcos, Honduras to serve in a camp of Salvadoran refugees. Sadie often spoke of her time in the camp as being life-changing, further deepening her commitment to being in solidarity with the oppressed, as Jesus did.
From 1991-2007, Sadie served with her husband on the pastoral leadership team at in Oklahoma City, but even after retiring from paid pastoral ministry, Sadie continued to be deeply active in the church, but also in the community, in many groups including (but not limited to) Mother to Mother, Jubilee, the Oklahoma Council of Churches, Northeast OKC Concerned Christians, PVS (Prisoner Visitation and Support), Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, the Oklahoma Mennonite Relief Sale and the Center for Conscience in Action. Sadie is also remembered for her role in creating and/or continuing several significant events for peace and justice in Oklahoma City, including Pinwheels for Peace and the Peace Factory.
Throughout Sadie’s life, she was a friend and mentor to many: young mothers, undocumented immigrants, young adults getting started in activism, prisoners, conscientious objectors and sometimes just lonely people in her community.
Sadie will be remembered for her generosity, her kindness and her ability to use gentle means to persuade others to do what they should do. Sadie was also extremely frugal, believing that one should “live simply so that others could simply live,” seeing simplicity and solidarity with the poor as a core part of following the way of Jesus.
Sadie never let age or other limitations stop her from finding some way to work for good (even at age 86, she participated in a Black Lives Matter march in Oklahoma City) and she always encouraged us all to “do what you can” for peace and justice and to find ways in our everyday lives to live out the values we believe in.
In lieu of flowers, the family encourages you to donate to an organization that does good in the world. In recent years, some of her favorite charities included: Christian Peacemaker Teams, Mennonite Central Committee and Amish Mennonite Aid.
Memorial information, memories, etc. can be found at: www.joymennonite.org/sadie
For additional reading:
Here are some pictures and videos from the memorial for Sadie, at their home on September 5, 2020.
Video of memorial (from facebook live)
If you have something to share from the life of Sadie Mast (a picture, an audio or video recording, a written recollection, etc.), please email it to James Branum at jmb(at)jmb(dot)bike. We will add these as we can to this page.