ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Sarah Verstegen. We will remember her forever.
Posted by colin campbell on May 3, 2021
Sarah was one of the conscious warriors the Earth and its human world need right now. Her work was timely, her skills abundant, and her ethic impeccable.  I salute her service in all the domains of her life. She will be missed.
Posted by Alison Prentice on May 1, 2021
I had the great pleasure of working with Sarah in the SeaChange office for the past 5 years. Sarah Verstegen was one of a kind. She was equally at home figuring out complex financial budgets as well as being very capable with her hands. I remember one day when she was happy to leave the computer work at the office to install hardwood floors at the house. It seemed like she was able to fix anything.
Sarah was a proud mother and grandmother. Last Fall, every time I went into the office, Sarah proudly gave me an update on Perry and Mira, complete with photos. She counted down the days until she went on a well-deserved trip to California to see them.
At the Board meeting in December, we all shared a story about ourselves as a fun way to get to know the new people on the Board. Sarah happily told the story of when she and Nikki first met.
Nikki and Sarah were the perfect pair. Not only coming up with ideas but getting them done. All the great work SeaChange has done over the last 20+ years is a testament to their partnership.
The last time I saw Sarah, a few days before she went into hospital, we had a fun day driving to Duncan to pick up two boats and move them into storage. I drove as Sarah was tired, but she took over to expertly back the trailers into their tight parking spots. In typical Sarah fashion, we got things done. While I was driving, Sarah was on the phone arranging insurance for the boats and negotiating the amount for the boat storage.
The office will feel empty, but I know Sarah will be watching over us and we will feel her presence. She will be greatly missed, but always remembered.
Posted by Anu Rao on April 30, 2021
Text of my contribution to today's eulogy:

I’m honoured and humbled to have been invited to share a few words about Sarah’s work. I am one of the many, many people who have been fortunate enough to have been trained by, and work with both Sarah and Nikki.

Many of us have worked with Sarah to map, conserve and restore coastal ecosystems. What did that mean for Sarah? I feel like I only know a fraction. What I do know is that it ranged from office management to gear management to boat skippering to SCUBA diving, to teaching youth about the connections between land and sea while paddling canoes, to divvying up budgets, to operating a crane to pull garbage out of the ocean and a pump to pull waste out of boats, to training young people in a range of skills to launch their careers, to quietly preparing a hot meal for a tired field crew (and clean up afterwards without complaining), and to concisely articulating what is wrong with the system and what needs to be done to fix it. Basically, Sarah could do anything. And teach, support and inspire others to do it as well.

I have a story from one time when we were mapping eelgrass on one of the Gulf Islands. I met Sarah there, after she had trailered the boat across. She said, "I may not have brought the key." To the boat. To turn it on. To do our work for the week. I said – okay…. Sarah taught me how to drive a boat, but I didn’t know much about boats. She looked at the ignition, told me that there’s a number, we had to get that number key from a marine supply store, we looked in a book, found a store, went across to the big island to the store, got the key, went back across, and were on the water mapping by mid afternoon…

To begin to describe the depth of what her work has meant for so many of us, I’ve merged excerpts of words shared with Sarah recently by several members of the extended SeaChange family, in a letter we called “A few of our favourite things about Sarah”:

• You are an amazing teacher.
• Your patience! Your attention to detail. Your optimism. Your leadership from behind.
• We could talk for hours
• The late night conversations during field work trips
• You are able to easily make conversation with everyone you meet.
• You emanate acceptance and curiosity with people who may not share your values.
• Your big picture thinking.
• Someone who takes seriously the dreams of other people. The way you ask questions (and listen!) makes people take their own ideas more seriously.
• You offer such immense and grounded care that makes others feel heard, supported, and empowered.
• Your drive to challenge the status quo while maintaining a kind and respectful presence. You have influenced so many of us to step up for change.
• Your creativity and ingenuity
• Someone who makes things happen …who will add acid to a bucket of screws to strip off rust, who will do the work to understand the problem and then cobble together a solution with whatever is under the seat of your truck.
• You are such a resourceful person who can fix anything from computers to field equipment.
• Your dedication and passion to restore and protect marine ecosystems.
• Your no-nonsense approach, which you mix with humour to keep us all sane in a world that sometimes doesn’t make sense
• You accomplished rather than talked about what was wrong.
• A goddess on the seas - moving important work forward and taking everyone with you.
• The embodiment of the hard work, creativity and resourcefulness that can turn dreams into reality, can make community out of strangers and family out of friends.

Sarah’s departure leaves a big hole, but she’s continuing to teach and inspire us in this surreal world:
- even through grief – to remember the power of positivity, and
- even through distance – to hold each other as tightly as we can.
And of course to never put a single tea bag in more than one cup of hot water, because that’s just not right. Thank you Sarah, and thank you Nikki for all that you have done and that you continue to do.
Posted by Mar Martinez de Saavedra ... on April 30, 2021
What a beautiful gathering to honour Sarah’s life.
So much love here today.
Sarah has been and always will be an inspiration to us all. 
In my culture we say: ‘hasta siempre.’

Let's make sure we all keep working as hard as Sarah, and with the same relentless and hopeful spirit to protect the land.

Greatest hugs and much love to you Nikki and family
Posted by Ana Simeon on April 30, 2021
Sarah had utter integrity. She loved the Earth with her whole being. Rest in honour.
Posted by Anna Isaacs on April 30, 2021
I remember nerding out with Sarah about database stuff. She had such a great laugh and a twinkle in her eye.
Posted by Dianne Sanford on April 30, 2021
Sarah will live on in all our lives. In our memories of her, and how she touched our lives. Her frankness and laugh sit firmly in my memory. 
Much love and support to Nikki and Sarah's family.
Posted by Elizabeth May on April 30, 2021
Sarah's life touched so many people. In work in this loving community, I got to know Sarah through SIPS and of course Sea Change. Her death was a dreadful shock. Sarah was so calm, so steadfast - impossible to imagine all that work without her. This service of celebration of life is so very much appreciated. All my love to Nikki and family. 

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Posted by colin campbell on May 3, 2021
Sarah was one of the conscious warriors the Earth and its human world need right now. Her work was timely, her skills abundant, and her ethic impeccable.  I salute her service in all the domains of her life. She will be missed.
Posted by Alison Prentice on May 1, 2021
I had the great pleasure of working with Sarah in the SeaChange office for the past 5 years. Sarah Verstegen was one of a kind. She was equally at home figuring out complex financial budgets as well as being very capable with her hands. I remember one day when she was happy to leave the computer work at the office to install hardwood floors at the house. It seemed like she was able to fix anything.
Sarah was a proud mother and grandmother. Last Fall, every time I went into the office, Sarah proudly gave me an update on Perry and Mira, complete with photos. She counted down the days until she went on a well-deserved trip to California to see them.
At the Board meeting in December, we all shared a story about ourselves as a fun way to get to know the new people on the Board. Sarah happily told the story of when she and Nikki first met.
Nikki and Sarah were the perfect pair. Not only coming up with ideas but getting them done. All the great work SeaChange has done over the last 20+ years is a testament to their partnership.
The last time I saw Sarah, a few days before she went into hospital, we had a fun day driving to Duncan to pick up two boats and move them into storage. I drove as Sarah was tired, but she took over to expertly back the trailers into their tight parking spots. In typical Sarah fashion, we got things done. While I was driving, Sarah was on the phone arranging insurance for the boats and negotiating the amount for the boat storage.
The office will feel empty, but I know Sarah will be watching over us and we will feel her presence. She will be greatly missed, but always remembered.
Posted by Anu Rao on April 30, 2021
Text of my contribution to today's eulogy:

I’m honoured and humbled to have been invited to share a few words about Sarah’s work. I am one of the many, many people who have been fortunate enough to have been trained by, and work with both Sarah and Nikki.

Many of us have worked with Sarah to map, conserve and restore coastal ecosystems. What did that mean for Sarah? I feel like I only know a fraction. What I do know is that it ranged from office management to gear management to boat skippering to SCUBA diving, to teaching youth about the connections between land and sea while paddling canoes, to divvying up budgets, to operating a crane to pull garbage out of the ocean and a pump to pull waste out of boats, to training young people in a range of skills to launch their careers, to quietly preparing a hot meal for a tired field crew (and clean up afterwards without complaining), and to concisely articulating what is wrong with the system and what needs to be done to fix it. Basically, Sarah could do anything. And teach, support and inspire others to do it as well.

I have a story from one time when we were mapping eelgrass on one of the Gulf Islands. I met Sarah there, after she had trailered the boat across. She said, "I may not have brought the key." To the boat. To turn it on. To do our work for the week. I said – okay…. Sarah taught me how to drive a boat, but I didn’t know much about boats. She looked at the ignition, told me that there’s a number, we had to get that number key from a marine supply store, we looked in a book, found a store, went across to the big island to the store, got the key, went back across, and were on the water mapping by mid afternoon…

To begin to describe the depth of what her work has meant for so many of us, I’ve merged excerpts of words shared with Sarah recently by several members of the extended SeaChange family, in a letter we called “A few of our favourite things about Sarah”:

• You are an amazing teacher.
• Your patience! Your attention to detail. Your optimism. Your leadership from behind.
• We could talk for hours
• The late night conversations during field work trips
• You are able to easily make conversation with everyone you meet.
• You emanate acceptance and curiosity with people who may not share your values.
• Your big picture thinking.
• Someone who takes seriously the dreams of other people. The way you ask questions (and listen!) makes people take their own ideas more seriously.
• You offer such immense and grounded care that makes others feel heard, supported, and empowered.
• Your drive to challenge the status quo while maintaining a kind and respectful presence. You have influenced so many of us to step up for change.
• Your creativity and ingenuity
• Someone who makes things happen …who will add acid to a bucket of screws to strip off rust, who will do the work to understand the problem and then cobble together a solution with whatever is under the seat of your truck.
• You are such a resourceful person who can fix anything from computers to field equipment.
• Your dedication and passion to restore and protect marine ecosystems.
• Your no-nonsense approach, which you mix with humour to keep us all sane in a world that sometimes doesn’t make sense
• You accomplished rather than talked about what was wrong.
• A goddess on the seas - moving important work forward and taking everyone with you.
• The embodiment of the hard work, creativity and resourcefulness that can turn dreams into reality, can make community out of strangers and family out of friends.

Sarah’s departure leaves a big hole, but she’s continuing to teach and inspire us in this surreal world:
- even through grief – to remember the power of positivity, and
- even through distance – to hold each other as tightly as we can.
And of course to never put a single tea bag in more than one cup of hot water, because that’s just not right. Thank you Sarah, and thank you Nikki for all that you have done and that you continue to do.
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