Cover photo for Sarah French's Obituary
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1937 Sarah 2017

Sarah French

October 14, 1937 — January 1, 2017

Sarah Annette French, age 79 years of Niles, Michigan died peacefully at 1:15 p.m. on Sunday, January 1, 2017 at her home following an illness.

She was born on October 14, 1937 in Centerville, Tennessee to William and Elizabeth (Riley) Binkley. After graduation from high school, she joined the All American Red Heads women’s professional exhibition basketball team. They toured the United States and many foreign countries playing against local amateur men’s teams – always using men’s basketball rules. They used the same types of skills and entertaining pranks as the Harlem Globetrotters, against whom they occasionally played. The All American Red Heads were enshrined as a team in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011, and in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012.

Known as both “Sarah” and “Annette”, she came to Niles in 1985. She enjoyed yardwork at her home here, and wintering in Florida. She also owned and operated for many years a healthcare apparel store - mostly scrubs – in South Bend, Indiana.

Surviving family includes her son, William Gregory Imboden of Granger, Indiana; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents, and by her siblings, Theresa Gustafson, LaVerne McCawley, Jim Binkley, Lemoyne Hutchinson, and Carolyn Stemm.

Family, friends, and caregivers gathered privately at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home in Niles. Graveside Services were held at the Silverbrook Cemetery in Niles with the Rev. Cathi Huvaere of Wesley United Methodist Church in Niles officiating.

Contributions in memory of Sarah Annette French may be made to The Salvation Army of Niles Building Fund, 424 North Fifteenth Street, Niles, Michigan 49120; or to the Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, Tennessee 38105.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Sarah French, please visit our flower store.


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