Sabarah Israel was born Nada Marleane Swanson on Feb. 13, 1933, in Oakland, California. Also known as Nada Hall and Nada Tillman, her passing came on June 10, 2013, at age 80. She was a retired missionary and evangelist. An alumna of Berkeley High School, class of 1951, she later graduated from College of Alameda and attended U.C. Berkeley briefly in the School of Social Welfare.
Evangelist Israel had a high facility for artistic drawings, floral and architectural design. Given a kinder social landscape, she might have been the first Black woman to be employed in the aerospace, architectural or automotive design industries.
She was a fond collector of Egyptian artifacts. In her youth, she worked as a collector specializing in commercial law. This required good judgment, decision making and accuracy. She later worked for the U.S. Postal Service as a quality control officer, and belonged to Local 6.
In later life, she gave herself over to the work of evangelism and embraced her authenticity as a Hebrew. For her kind community service, she was given a Special Service Award from Terrace Convalescent Hospital as a stellar volunteer group leader.
She is predeceased by her mother, Olive (aka Olivia) Scott Heron of New Orleans and Washington state, father Carl Swanson of Indiana and Ohio, and siblings Barbara Mae Pendleton of Richmond, John Roberts Jr. and Esther Laura Fuller, both of Oakland. The whereabouts of two other siblings, Joan (Joanne) LaVerne Newman of Lancaster and Richard Roberts of Oakland, as well as a sister-in-law, Shirley Harbor Roberts, of Oakland, are unknown.
Evangelist Israel’s remains were undertaken by Grissom’s Mortuary of San Lorenzo and are interred at Mount Eden Cemetery in Hayward. She received a formal Hebrew Khametic gravesite and Oceanside service by her daughter, Dr. Luticia Santipriya-Khonsu of New York City, who can be reached at Box 1442, Jackson Heights, NY 11372.