Arts & Leisure
Calendar of Events
Fashion & Style
House & Home
About Us/Contact

  Don't Miss

--- Ethnic Heritage

--- Foodies/Wannabe Chefs

--- Best of Cleveland

Cleveland Speakers
--- Find or be a speaker

--- 55 and over

--- Biz, Science, Tech

Sara Gonzalez Madison

Sara Gonzalez Madison was born in Madrid, Spain, in 1933, and with her four sisters spent her childhood there. Sara earned a nursing degree from the University of Madrid and became a registered nurse, which is how she met her future husband, Bob — he was US Air Force officer stationed at the Torrejon Air Base near Madrid.

Sara was working there as a civilian nurse for a friend of Bob’s. When the two decided to marry in 1960, they could not do so in Spain — such “mixed” marriages were forbidden by the country’s dictator Francisco Franco.

Sara and Bob, with Sara’s mother and one of her sisters, managed to hold the wedding ceremony in Gibraltar, which was under British rule. The Spaniards could enter Gibraltar via ferry from Morocco, and Bob, the American, could simply drive across the border.

Bob and Sara Madison wedding 1960

Bob and Sara Madison wedding July 1,1960

When Bob was discharged, Sara left the only country she’d ever known. Her English was only passable when the couple moved to the Akron area. Their first home was in Barberton, where they lived with their two small daughters. Later, Bob took a job in Cleveland and the family moved to Hudson.

Sara was small in stature but she had a giant, outgoing personality. She never let her heavy Spanish accent or occasional search for English words stop her from doing what she wanted. For instance: Sara learned quite suddenly what “winter” meant in northeast Ohio. But true to her nature, she made the best of things: She learned to ski and joined the US Ski Patrol at Brandywine and Boston Mills ski areas.

Although her sisters eventually scattered over the globe — two moved to Canada, one married an Englishman, another stayed in Spain — Sara kept in close touch and visited with her girls as often as possible. She, Bob and the girls traveled often — to visit the girls’ aunts and sometimes to Colorado or Utah ski resorts.

Bob, Sara and daughter Shari Madison in Barberton in 1964

Bob, Sara and daughter Shari Madison in Barberton in 1964

Sara died in 2014. Bob stayed in Hudson, where he had many lifelong friendships, many the result of his tiny Spanish wife’s. She had a wide network of friends — in fact, almost everyone who met her was enchanted & wanted to be her friend thanks to her outgoing, friendly and funny personality.

By her daughter Shari Madison Sweeney

Top of Page

Back to Memorial Tributes by and of Cleveland Women

Sign up for our free eNewsletter sent about once every month with special offers, discounts, contests and more specifically for Cleveland area Women and Girls.

Follow us on

Follow ClevelandWomen on Twitter

and friend ClevelandWomen on Facebook

In Association with Amazon.com

Murder in the Cultural Gardens - Whodunit Mystery set in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens by Dan Hanson

Copyright © 2004-2022 ClevelandWomen.Com. All Rights Reserved.
Questions or Comments? E-Mail us at: