Sara Ann Hartin, former Judge of the New Braunfels Municipal Court, passed away Sunday, the 16th of October, in New Braunfels at the age of 74. She was born in Houston to Jesse & Betty Jean (Birney) Burns and raised in Deer Park. Wishing to emulate her grandfather, Houston newspaperman Frederick Birney, Sara earned a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin; on completion, she returned to the Houston area to marry and bear two sons. After working in the Houston area for several years, she enrolled in the South Texas College of Law and obtained a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree; on graduating, she became an associate of Dr. Kenneth Mathis, a noted Houston area physician-attorney. After several years in private practice, Sara entered the public sector, in the course of her career serving as an Assistant District Attorney, Chief City Prosecutor, City Attorney and, ultimately, Municipal Court Judge.
During her career, Sara was lauded by the State Bar of Texas for her service on the State Bar Grievance Committee; by the Texas Network of Youth Services for her participation in the formation of New Braunfels’ first Teen Court; by the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center for her work in Traffic Safety; and, by the Texas Bar Continuing Legal Education program for her work as a teacher of municipal court personnel and new judges at annual CLE seminars. She was also a member of the Kiwanis Club and the American Business Women’s Association, serving as a past president of chapters of both. In retirement, Sara acted as court-appointed counsel for the indigent of Comal County.
In her leisure time, Sara enjoyed collecting southwestern art; was an avid horsewoman and rodeo competitor; was an accomplished square-dancer; was an amateur astronomer and member of the Friends of McDonald Observatory; became an accomplished quilter; was a voracious reader; enjoyed target shooting; served on the board of the Mid-Texas Symphony; and, relished her Tai Chi studies, earning a Black Belt in 2016.
She is survived by her husband, Steven, sons Sean (and wife, Sherri) and Chris (and wife, Jennifer) and eight grandchildren.