Sara Hyman, a Venice resident who was well known by people who frequent the Venice Beach Boardwalk, passed away May 22nd. She was 91.

Hyman died surrounded by all of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Boardwalk regulars were accustomed to seeing Hyman in her colorful hats and jewelry as she wheeled her red shopping cart — later traveling by wheelchair — dancing along the way, her family said.

She was an accomplished painter, writer, dancer, and composer and spoke eight languages fluently.

Hyman (nÈe Gutmacher, then G¸ver) was born in Tumruk, Russia in 1917. Her family escaped from the conflict of the Russian Revolution and made their way to Istanbul, Turkey.

She became a nurse in Turkey and tended to soldiers in the American hospital during World War II. Hyman immigrated to the United States in 1948 and married Charles Hyman, a Polish/Jewish tailor.

The couple moved to Los Angeles in the early 1950s, drawn by the promise of a good life and the beautiful Pacific Ocean, her family said. She spent nearly every summer day at the beach with her three children, Barbara, Yehuda and Myron.

In the 1960s, she played the role of the Red Queen in a production of “Alice in Wonderland” at the Venice Pavillion. After her husband passed away in 1980, Hyman became actively involved in the Los Angeles folk-dance community and was a devoted student at Santa Monica College and Emeritus College, where she continued classes into her late 80s.

When Hyman captured the attention of the crowd at the 2006 Venice Carnevale, she was proclaimed as the “true spirit of Venice,” her family said.

A memorial service is scheduled Sunday, June 8th.

Information, (310) 203-1420, or

Donations in her memory may be made to Heal the Bay.