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River Authority Board Chairwoman Known For Leadership And Collaboration Dies


The San Antonio community is mourning the loss of Sally Buchanan.  She was the board chairwoman of the San Antonio River Authority.  She passed away Saturday morning, after battling melanoma for five years.  Buchanan served as a SARA board member at-large since 1999 and became SARA’s board chairwoman in 2013.

SARA General Manager Suzanne Scott says, “Through Sally’s leadership, SARA has developed strong collaborations with Bexar County and the City of San Antonio that will continue to protect the health of the San Antonio River for future generations.”

Buchanan was also a co-founder of the San Antonio River Foundation and served on the board from 2003-2016. She served as the foundation’s chairwoman from 2003 - 2006.

Gaylon Oehlke, SARA board vice chairman, said Buchanan played a vital role in many of SARA's projects during her tenure including the San Antonio River Improvements Project.

"It was imperative to her that the community’s voice was heard and that the history of the San Antonio River was respected throughout the development of the project,” Oehlke said.

A native San Antonian, Buchanan graduated from St. Mary’s Hall. She earned her B.A. in art history in 1964 from Mills College in Oakland, Calif., and a Texas Teacher’s Certificate in 1965. In the early 1980s, Buchanan was one of the founders of KPAC 88.3 FM, now a part of Texas Public Radio. Buchanan and her husband Bob were the owners of the Kangaroo Court and The Original Mexican and Bar on the Riverwalk. As part of her strong passion for the development of Confluence Park, the family requests in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the San Antonio River Foundation Confluence Park Maintenance Fund or the charity of your choice.