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Sara Lycett, medical publishing house executive, dies

Sara Finnegan Lycett was an executive with Williams & Wilkins medical publishing.
Sara Finnegan Lycett was an executive with Williams & Wilkins medical publishing.

Sara Finnegan Lycett, the retired president of a medical publishing house division, died Nov. 18 of a heart ailment at Seasons Hospice. She was 81 and lived in Mount Vernon Place in Baltimore.

Born in Baltimore and raised in Pikesville, she was the daughter of Rosalin, a stay-at-home mother, and Lawrence Finnegan, a Bethlehem Steel manager. She was a 1957 graduate of the old Hannah More Academy and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Sweet Briar College and a master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins University.

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She later returned to Hannah More and taught and became chair of its history department.

In October 1965, Ms. Lycett joined Williams & Wilkins, a medical publishing company. Initially an editor, she rose through the organization to become president of its Professional & Reference Group.

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A family biography said she fought her battles within the medical publishing business, and was revered for her ability and prowess in the field.

Among the books she edited was the Kapland and Sadocks “Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry.”

She was a public speaker and talked about book marketing, acquisitions and medical publishing.

She served on the boards of Hannah More Academy and St. Timothy’s School. She was a past board chair of Sweet Briar College and was a docent at the Walters Art Museum for more than 25 years.

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In 1974 in the chapel on the grounds of Hannah More Academy she married stationery business owner Isaac Lycett Jr. The couple split their time between a Baltimore residence on Mount Vernon Place and a restored log cabin and stone country home, called Ross House, in Delta, Pennsylvania.

Ms. Lycett enjoyed gardening and belonged to garden clubs. She beautified the Ross House grounds with raised flower and vegetable gardens. She opened her home for business luncheons, holiday feasts and weddings. She also hosted the Welsh Men’s Choir on visits to Baltimore.

She was a dog and cat fancier, and worked needlepoint. She was a New York Times and Baltimore Sun crossword puzzles solver.

Survivors include three stepsons, Jim Lycett of Carabelle, Florida, David Lycett of Baltimore and Rob Lycett of White River Junction, Vermont; a stepdaughter Merry Lycett of Salt Lake City; a cousin, Bonnie Shipley of Jupiter, Florida; 10 grandchildren; and numerous great-grandchildren. Her husband died in 2011.

A life celebration is being planned.

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