Sara Allison Chitko, born September 18, 1965, in Chattanooga, TN, left this earth for some serious Jesus hugging on April 18, 2023. Allison was diagnosed at birth with Down syndrome. Her parents, Edmund J. and Bebe S. Chitko, were given the option to institutionalize her but didn't for a minute consider it.
Allison renamed many of her family. Her nicknames are stated in these lists: Those who went before her include her mother ("Bebe Lee," sometimes "Darlene"), father ("Egg"), and brother-in-law, Dan Kotarski. Those remaining to share stories about her are her sisters, Georgiana Kotarski ("Ms. 'Tarski") of Flintstone and Lynn Jewell ("Aunt Jewell") of Chickamauga; brother-in-law, R. Houston Jewell, III, Chickamauga; nieces Kerry Bowler Yun ("Niece") of Signal Mountain, Sara Jewell Cathy ("Wiggle Knee") of St. Elmo, and Caroline Jewell ("Octopus") of Chattanooga; great- nieces Lilianna Yun ("Baby Lala"), Mary Yun, and Piper Cathy; nephew-in-law, Seth Cathy; great-nephews Bo and Champ Cathy; several cousins, and dearest, loving friends, Warren and Ginger ("Doll") Johnson and their large family of Trenton, GA.
Allison was blessed with a sense of mission as soon as she arrived: to love everyone unconditionally. She spent her life accepting people as and where they were, hugging each person she encountered and often singing Amazing Grace or playing her harmonica for them with great zeal. Although many tried, no one was able to break Allison's hugging addiction.
She asked anyone she met their birthday and possessed the incredible ability to remember them, even without her well-documented calendars. Not only did she keep her own calendars up-to-date, but she would sneakily add important dates to others' calendars, especially her birthday.
She kept a big inventory of greeting cards. She sent birthday wishes to as many as possible, enclosing a tea bag in each one and sometimes a dollar bill.
She possessed a determined work ethic, loved cats, and enjoyed dancing, bowling, shooting basketball hoops, riding her large trike, and cheering for the Dade County High School football and wrestling teams. She also copied many books cover to cover by hand with monk-like diligence. She gave away those pages, as well as those she had colored, to whomever crossed her path as personalized calling cards.
Allison attended Siskin Children's Institute as a small child, where she was an enthusiastic member of their PR team. She was later a client at Orange Grove Center, the Center for Exceptional Center in Wallaceville, and Bridge Health (formerly the Walker County Training Center).
She was a charter member of the Friendship Sunday School Class at First Centenary United Methodist Church in Chattanooga. More recently, she spread joy at White Oak Baptist and Harvest Fellowship, both in Trenton, and Fairview Church in Flat Rock, AL.
Allison always told anyone who had lost a loved one that Jesus was hugging them. Now He's hugging her.
The visitation will be Saturday, April 22, from 4:00 - 7:00 PM at Moore Funeral Home in Trenton, GA. The graveside service will be April, 23 at 4:00 at Forest Hills Cemetery in St. Elmo, officiated by Pastor Stewart Wilkerson of Fairview Church. A reception will follow at Thankful Episcopal in St. Elmo.
Although Allison loved flowers, the family requests that donations in her memory be made to a favorite charity that shares her values.