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Aunt Sarah

She was the 7th child

Aunt Sarah embodied the spirit of the Colchamiro Family - her love of life and family, her goodness, her sensitivity that changed tears to smiles and laughter, her adventurous spirit, fearlessness, and her daunting creativity.  She was an independent woman ahead of her times. She worked most of her life as an executive secretary. She loved traveling, often alone on cruises.  She was an athlete and a terrific dancer.  Whenever Aunt Sarah was around, there was always laughter and joy.

My mother by Eve Rook (oldest child)

Sarah Colchamiro, Kraus, Burakoff

Born - February 12, 1919
Died - April 25, 2008


Sarah " Translation" Woman Of High Rank; Princess; Joy And Delight

A woman like no other. Born before her time. She Sarah, loved adventure.

But most of all, she loved family. It was part of her every day existence. Her beautiful smile and

vivacious nature brought excitement in to her life, and those who surrounded her. Sarah provided Marilyn
and I will an independent view of life. And always lent a helping hand to Steven.

We all looked up to her, she was our model (persona).

We followed her direction even thought it might not have been the typical stereotype

of how life was supposed to be.

I was inspired by Sarah, (a mother of progress). I was supposed to go to Europe with a friend, but my friend changed her mind the last minute  

With my Mother's encouragement  I decided to go alone. So here I was on a ship (Queen Mary) going to London, Paris, Holland, Switzerland and Rome. All of the places I dreamed of being.
My mother taught me well. Without her determination about me going all myself I probably I would have  stayed home. She taught. me to be  an independent woman.

Not only did Sarah travel all over the world, Europe, Asia, Italy, Greece, and Morocco. She made many trips across the United States. She enjoyed traveling, traveling: the true Greek she was.

She managed to have a wonderful and full life at home. Sarah had a lot of friends. She was very active, playing  cards, Mahjong, bridge, etc. but most of all, Sarah loved going to family functions. That was a must!

Suddenly, Sarah's life changed, when she got divorced. She now had sole custody of her 3 children plus she was the bread winner. As hard it was to handle, she made everything look easy. Sarah's busy life didn't defer her from always being there for her children, especially when they needed her the most

Even though we didn't have a father in the picture Sarah made up for it in the most extraordinary ways

Her relationship with her sisters and brothers were the best .There was never any fighting going on. It was all about love. There was never a friend she would leave behind. Sarah would never let go of anyone go. She was connected to everyone!!

In good times bad times she always danced to the music which she taught her children

Sarah was very close to her niece's and nephews, she made them feel that they were special to her. Her relationship with them were unique and independent  

I can only say now that I was very lucky to have had her as my mother, my friend, and my companion. I will always love her and think of all the good times we shared together.


Marilyn loved my mother so....
She couldn't find the words to show

Sometimes when hearts, are broken
Words of love, can not be spoken

Steve was sad, when she left his side
Life was lost he often cried

His need for her was too great
For only she could control his fate

Aunt Sarah was a prolific writer in her later years.  Her poetry was something she did for the majority of her life. Here is a poem she wrote about her via this link family.

Good-Bye a Poem by Eve Rook to her Mother Sarah:

As the sky opened up

The clouds formed a face

It came not from Earth

But from another place

Visions of her

Flashed by with light

There she was

Fully in sight

The sun shone as the

Air lifted its dew

If I could touch her

I'd known it be true

She spoke to me softly,

And sent all her love

And threw me a kisses

From Heaven above

As she was saying

Sweet things to me

The birds flocked above her

And sung from the trees

Two fingers she raised

And made a sign

Peace on Earth

Until the End of Time

There was music in the air

As her wings passed me by

Sadness rose in me for she

Was saying Good-bye.

Poem by Marilyn Riba to her Mother Sarah:


Heaven to Earth

Shore to Sea

I always knew

You'd be there for me.

Thank you for waiting.

To Say Goodbye

I knew if you Could

You would Certainly Try

You've found your peace

I know it's true

And as always

I'll be thinking of you

Past time well spent

The future Awaits

And then I'll join you

At the Pearly Gates.

A Mom like you

Is Hard to Define

All I can say is

I'm Glad You were Mine.


She published several books which are available on under Sarah Burakoff, which the link will take you to. Her list of books are:

Brighton Third Street 2004

Joshua Is Missing 2005

Search for Identity 2005

The Secret Cave of Janina 2005

Where is Jack? 2006

The Urge to Kill 2007

Dates & Nuts 2007

Smiles and Tears Poetry 2008














One of her books, Joshua Is Missing, was green lit by Universal Studios, more details when they become available.












Aunt Sarah had celebrated her 80th birthday, when she wrote to me 1998.


These are stories about her mother, Sperenza Mazza Colchamiro and father, Elias Colchamiro.


My Favorite Story About My Mother

by Sarah (Colchamiro) Burakoff - August, 1998


My mother came to this country from Janina, Greece when she was about 14 years of age and immediately went to work in a factory.  She had never gone to school in Greece (as most girls at that time.)  She was taught the necessities of life by her mother which consisted most of catering to her future husband and raising a family.  She did all these chores well when she married Elia Colchamiro.

She raised her five daughters and three sons in a clean healthy, happy environment and saw them all married and raising families of their own.

She was known to all her 19 grandchildren as NONA.  She was proud that some of her children went to college and that most of them were good students.

When Nona was in her fifties, her daughter Rae and Jean were married.  Ray was pregnant.  At this point in her life Nona announced to her family that she intended to go to a local school to learn how to read and write English.


Her daughters were very proud of her and encouraged her to go.  However, Elia, her husband did not see any sense to her starting school at this time in life. "Why do you have to go to school at this late date?  After all, you have managed very nicely to get along without reading and writing all these years.  It's foolish to start learning now."  Her reply was, "I must learn to read and write.  When my little grandchildren go to school, they might ask me to help them with their homework! How will I feel when I have to tell them I don't know how to read or write?  Oh No.  I must go to school."  And so she went faithfully every day -- through all kinds of weather.

I can still see her carrying her books to and from school.  Sometimes she complained about all the homework her teacher gave her.

After eight years, she earned her public school diploma but refused to accept it because it meant she would have to take a subway to the high school and she didn't want to travel an hour each way to and from high school.

She solved the problem by continuing her eight grade schooling until the end of her life.

She wrote the most beautiful compositions.  Her handwriting was a work of art.  She wrote -- and re-wrote each page until she was satisfied that the spelling and the writing was perfect.  She had a beautiful handwriting.

How she enjoyed reading the newspaper everyday!  She took bus trips with her classmates to places of interest.   She was especially enthused about her trip to Washington, D.C.

Her late education stood her in good stead when she got old and sick.  She spent her days reading and writing letters to her family.  It gave her great pleasure and made us all very proud of her.



A Story About My Father

by Sarah (Colchamiro) Burakoff - August, 1998


My father Elias was the youngest boy in his family.  To the outside world he was a great story teller making his audience laugh.  He was respected and loved by all his nieces, nephews and friends.

When my cousins came to visit in the summer, they ran to my father for their hugs and kisses.

At home with his children, he was very different. Mama used PAPA as the disciplinarian.  Whenever she wanted to keep us in line she would warn with a wagging finger...."Wait till papa come home."  Consequently most of my siblings were afraid of my father.  We were always on our best behavior when Papa was home.

My father was a great pinochle player and almost every weekend some of his friends and relatives would come to our house to play pinochle.  My mother would stay in the kitchen -- on call, in case the men needed Turkish coffee -- fruit -- or whatever refreshment was wanted. Sperenza was always on call in the kitchen.  That is, until Sperenza went to school to study reading and writing English.


She also learned about American freedom. One day my father was playing Pinochle in the living room, when he called for refreshments. "Sperenza -- Café." Papa waited for Mama to bring in the refreshments.  Some time passed and Mama did not appear. Papa went into the kitchen to see what was holding up his order.  Much to his surprise, Mama was not there.... nor was she anywhere in the apartment!

It seems Mama had learned more than just reading and writing in school.  She learned about American Freedom (for all). Mama had gone to the movies!  that was the beginning of Mama's liberation.

Click on the image below of her books to get to Amazon.

Aunt Sarah Books.png
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