Sarah Abramson, Santa Rosa businesswoman, dies at 37

If there were a trophy for friendship, Sarah Abramson might have both made it and received it.

The hardworking owner of a Santa Rosa executive awards shop and mother of two was known as a loyal companion who frequently had a group of friends by her side.

Abramson was surrounded by loved ones when she died July 18 of cervical cancer. She was 37.

“She was always there for you,” said Penny Herman, a longtime friend who met Abramson through the Active 20-30 Club, a service organization. “If she had a bad day, you’d never know it. She offered great advice, and she had a contagious personality.”

Born in San Jose, Abramson moved with her family to Santa Rosa at age 6 when her father bought Halls Executive Awards and Gifts. As a young girl, she liked helping her father in the shop.

“I had her putting together trophies when she was 8 years old,” Al Abramson said. “She was always a hard worker.”

After attending east Santa Rosa schools and Montgomery High School, Abramson went to work as a waitress and a bartender. Her gregarious personality and the opportunity to work with people drew her to the family business, and when her father was ready to retire, she stepped in and ran the award shop, her father said.

“She saved the business,” he said. “It made me very proud to see her be able to grow the business in tough economic times. She always knew how to treat people right. She had such a sparkling personality.”

Abramson, who had to finance the business with credit cards at times during the recession, also put herself through college, earning business and marketing degrees from DeVry University. With her partner, Eric Nix, she had two children, Tyler Nix, 12, and Cody Nix, 8. She was involved in their YMCA basketball teams and donated trophies to the league, Herman said.

Abramson was passionate about her work raising money for disadvantaged children through the Redwood Empire Active 20-30 Club.

“She really wanted to make the club great,” Herman said. “She gave so much back to the community.”

She liked to camp, travel and spend time with family at the Russian River, Lake Sonoma and Clear Lake, her father said.

Abramson is survived by her children, Tyler and Cody Nix, and their father, Eric Nix of Santa Rosa; her brother, Gabe Abramson, and mother, Fran Sweeney, of Windsor; and her father and stepmother, Al and Robin Abramson of Sebastopol.

A celebration of her life is scheduled for 4 p.m. Monday at the Courtyard by Marriott in Santa Rosa.

Donations to the Redwood Empire Active 20-30 Club will go into a trust account for Abramson’s two boys.

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