Sara Dubin

Sara Dubin, of Savage (formerly of Baraboo, Wisconsin), passed away peacefully on July 15, 2018.  A gathering of family and friends will be held on Friday, July 20, 2018 from 4:00 – 7:00 PM.  A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Saturday, July 21, 2018 at 1:00 PM with visitation one-hour prior.  All services will be held at Ballard-Sunder Funeral & Cremation (833 South Marschall Road) in Shakopee.  Pastor Diana Hunstad will preside, and Larry Hoover, Mike Beyer, Tim McKay, Jared Johnson, Shawn Prenevost, Jonathan Dubin, Evan Miller and Joe Probst will act as pallbearers.  Sara will be laid to rest at Spring Lake Cemetery in Prior Lake.

There will also be a Celebration of Life gathering in Sara’s hometown on Saturday, July 28, 2018 from 12:30 – 3:30 PM at the Glacier Rock Restaurant in the Clarion Hotel (630 West Pine Street) in Baraboo, WI.

On September 9, 1983, Paula Schultz gave birth to a beautiful little girl.  Paula was young and wanted a good life for her daughter, so she gave her up for adoption.  Duane & Nancy Kowalke became the proud parents of Sara Jo Kowalke. They provided a great home for Sara.  She grew up in Baraboo and loved spending time on her family’s hobby farm with her older brother, Jason.  It was on the farm that Sara’s lifelong love of animals began.  She made an extra special connection with a kitten named Max.  Sara cared for him from the time he was born as his mother died while giving birth.  He was the only kitten from his litter that survived, and he always loved Sara.

After graduating from Baraboo High School, Sara attended UW-Madison where she studied Japanese and International Relations.  While majoring in Japanese Studies, Sara was required to study abroad in Japan for a year.  She was thrilled to live in Japan and take classes at Sophia University.  She quickly became fluent in Japanese and embraced the culture in every part of her life.

When she returned to the states, she met the love of her life, Josh Dubin.  Sara was dragged along to a party by one of her friends in the Japanese Studies department, and Josh was bartending at the party.  They hit it off immediately and their love grew quickly.  After only a year, Josh and Sara exchanged wedding vows in Baraboo.  It was a beautiful day filled with lots of love and even more fun.  For their honeymoon, Josh and Sara went to Disney World.  This was one of Sara’s favorite places as she was a true Disney enthusiast.  Throughout their marriage, they took many memorable trips to Disney World.

Soon after they were married, Josh and Sara bought a house and settled in Savage.  They were so happy to have a home of their own and were very thankful for all the help and support family gave them during this time.  Sara’s love of Japanese culture was very apparent in their home.

Throughout her life, Sara had many interests and hobbies.  One of her favorite things was taekwondo.  Josh got Sara into taekwondo shortly after they met.  She loved the sport, and quickly learned she was very good at it.  Sara became a fierce competitor and earned her third degree black belt.  Sara had always been quiet and shy, but taekwondo gave her the opportunity to come out of her shell and show off her talents.  She made so many wonderful friends in the taekwondo community.

Sara also made many great friends through work.  She spent several years at Teavana and later Starbucks Coffee.  She always loved the people she worked with, and that love was mutual.  Sara was a genuinely kind person and wonderful friend.  Recently Sara decided to go back to school and was pursuing a degree in IT through St. Scholastica.

When she wasn’t working, Sara enjoyed spending time with animals, being with family and friends, and watching anime.  She was also a self-declared Sci Fi nerd.  Another passion of Sara’s was traveling.  One of the most memorable trips she took was when she traveled back to Japan with Josh.  Her highlight was visiting Bunny Island.  Sara always loved bunnies, and she was in Heaven being surrounded by the island’s hundreds of bunnies.  She also got to enjoy delicious tea, Kobe beef and many other Japanese delicacies.  It truly was the trip of a lifetime.

In 2016, Sara was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She fought hard to beat this horrible disease, but she kept getting bad news.  Eventually it became too much.  Sara was in her home surrounded by friends and family when she passed away.  She will be remembered always for her dry sense of humor, gentle spirit and her kind heart.

Sara will be deeply missed by her husband, Josh Dubin; parents, Duane & Nancy Kowalke; brother, Jason Kowalke; foster sister, Tola Ewers; birth mother, Paula Schultz; fur-babies, Max and Lucy; other loving relatives, many dear friends and the ATA Taekwondo community.  Sara was greeted in Heaven by her grandparents.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Angelique Camacho Baker

    I have such nice memories of Sara. Watching movies on a cold snowy weekend, having Halloween get togethers, going to the sushi place, preparing a practice turkey for Thanksgiving, seeing her passion for Tae Kwon Do and the love she would spread around with her sense of humor and her hugs. I will always remember her with a smile.

  2. Heidi Nicholas

    Sarah and I were the same age, we grew up knowing each other. My mom was a
    Her foster sister. We will truly miss her. She will not be forgotten.

  3. Eric Dominguez

    Sara Dubin: I remember you for your warm, infectious smile and genuine friendliness. You embodied how an ATA Instructor should treat all students and fellow intstructors

  4. Kevin & Karla Vick

    Josh: We are so sad to hear of Sarah’s passing. She was a very gentle soul. Know that you’re in our thoughts and prayers.

  5. Sara came to work at the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities as an intern in the IT department. She was a fast learner, easy going, and highly respected by all members the team. We extended her when her internship ended as she was such a great fit and a hard worker. We will always remember her and hope she is surrounded by the bunnies and at peace.

  6. Dr. Jeff Danielson

    Sara and Josh have been mentors to my kids as they progressed through Taekwondo training. Sara’s kind and gentle demeanor in combination with her competitiveness was inspiring. It has been a tremendous honor to be her chiropractor and friend. What a gem of a human being! And what a great loss for all of us. My greatest condolences to the family and friends of this great woman.

  7. So sorry to hear of your loss. Prayers for you and your family! May GOD carry your hearts thru this difficult time!
    Deb Burroughs

  8. Jennifer Singewald-Hay

    I am so sorry Josh to hear about Sara. My thoughts and prayers are with you and the rest of the family. Please let me know if you need anything. ❤

  9. Josh, so sorry for your loss. Sending prayers for strength and comfort during this time.
    Sincerely, Bernie, Pam, Nick and Luke Johnson

  10. I only knew Sara a short time, working together at the YMCA BT Service Desk but even in that short time Sara made a lasting impression on me. I am so happy Sara and Josh we’re able to go to Japan while she was still able to eat and enjoy themselves. My heart aches for Josh and all of Sara’s family and friends, as I too consider myself Sara’s friend.

  11. Margaret ( Meyer) Young

    Nancy & Duane,
    I am so sad to hear of Sara’s passing. I remember how special her addition to your family was for you. I truly feel your pain as nothing is as hurtful as losing a child. The meaning of the words “broken heart” are words only a parent who has lost a child can understand. Time will soften the pain, but the hurt will never go away. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  12. Nicole Anderson (Ruskowsky)

    Sara was a truly beautiful individual. I enjoyed playing in the band with her in high school. I am sorry for your loss.

  13. Sara and the Dubin family have purchased a number of cars from me over the last few years. I have always appreciated their loyalty to me with their business and catching up with their lives when it was time for the next vehicle. My sincerest sympathies to Josh and the family during this time of loss.

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