Sarah Elizabeth Cates, Oak Ridge

Sarah Elizabeth Cates, 51, passed away in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, on May 20, 2022, after many years of suffering from neuro-sarcoidosis. She died peacefully in her sleep at her childhood home. She is survived by her parents, Michael and Linda Cates of Oak Ridge, her brother, Joshua Cates, his wife, Lara, and their children, Anika and Henry, all of Salt Lake City, Utah. Sarah left behind countless friends and other family members who have been touched by her wonderful spirit.

Sarah graduated from Oak Ridge High School in 1988, received a Bachelor of Science degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Tennessee in 1993 in the field of biology, and pursued further postgraduate study in the area of evolutionary biology. Before her retirement, due to the later stages of her disease, she was on the research staff at the System Genetics Core Facility at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

Sarah had many beautiful traits and talents, which included a wry wit, a love of music of all kinds, gifted artistic and vocal ability, culinary skills beyond compare, curiosity about any subject, and a magical way with her that made people who came into her presence feel happier about themselves. She will be terribly missed but what she has left us has made the world so much better.

The family will hold a memorial service 3 pm Sunday, June 12, 2022, at First United Methodist Church of Oak Ridge. Any who knew and loved Sarah will be welcome. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research, Online condolences may be left at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Sarah, please visit our floral store.

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