Sarah Hessen Eyd, a Shippensburg University alum and former managing editor of The Slate, died on Dec. 22, 2017, at her apartment building in Baltimore. She was 25 years old.
Eyd’s death was the result of an accident, according to Robyn Woodley, one of Eyd’s close friends.
Eyd graduated from SU in 2015 with a bachelor’s of arts in communication / journalism and a minor in international studies. She was hired as The Slate’s assistant arts and entertainment editor in 2012 and was hired as the managing editor the following year. From stage performances to political rallies, Eyd reported on a variety of stories and became a key contributor to The Slate.
She also wrote for the Shippensburg News-Chronicle, HerCampus and Girl’s Life Magazine.
Eyd became a great writer because of the way she could make stories relate to people, Woodley said.
“She had a gift to connect with people, no matter who they are,” Woodley said. “I always admired her ability to talk with people.”
Eyd was always different from other people, because she was creative, curious and compassionate from a young age, her mother, Mary Ann Gleockner, said. These traits largely defined who Eyd was as she got older.
“She was always inquisitive about everything,” Gleockner said. “It wasn’t just curious. She always wanted to gain knowledge.”
Eyd did not want to be more knowledgeable for the sake of being smarter or wiser, but because she wanted to help people, her mother said.
“She had to use it in a good way,” Gleockner said. “She always wanted to help other people.”
In 2017, Eyd moved to Baltimore and began working for Southern Management Corporation, a job she truly enjoyed, Gleockner said. Eyd helped manage some of the dozens of apartment communities and other high-end rental properties in the Maryland and Virginia area by filling vacancies and solving other issues.
“She was doing very well,” Gleockner said. “She was very well liked.”
Eyd’s success at her job and in her professional writing could not be traced to a role model or a particular person as a source of inspiration, Gleockner said.
“Sarah got inspiration from everyone ― the people that were in her life,” Gleockner said.
Gleockner’s wife, Wanda Holbert, thought differently. Holbert said Eyd always looked up to her mother and had a lot a respect for her. Eyd would write her mother letters about how much she admired her.
Gleockner admired her daughter too. She recalled memories of Eyd while they were taking one of their annual trips to Ocean City, New Jersey, and how when Eyd was 4 years old she dumped sand into her hair. Gleockner laughed as she told the story, explaining Eyd used to have curly hair, and while Gleockner knew it would be a nightmare to get all the sand out, she could not help but appreciate that Eyd was having fun.
“I have so many favorite memories,” Gleockner said, before finally settling on her most favorite. She said every Christmas since her daughter was a child, Eyd had a special way of opening up presents. Instead of rushing down the stairs early in the morning, Eyd would sleep in and when she was finally awake she resisted tearing open the wrapping paper.
In fact, Eyd would do somewhat the opposite. She would have her family sit at the dining room table and she would bring everyone a present. Then they would take turns unwrapping the gifts. Eyd would continue to bring in presents and have everybody take a turn opening them until they were all gone.
Gleockner said, “[It was] Sarah being Sarah.”