Sarah Lindsay Reed Gracie (Sally) died suddenly on Oct. 14, 2019, in Lincoln, Nebraska, as a result of a stroke. Her family was by her side. She was 76.
Sally was born in Baltimore, Maryland, to William Jay and Louise Ayres Reed. For most of her 55 years on the East Coast she lived in Sudbrook Park, Pikesville, Maryland. She was a 1961 graduate of Milford Mill High School and graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1965. There she was a member of the Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority. Sally taught English and journalism at Catonsville High School, having been hired by Principal Samuel E. Clopper, who had also served as principal while she was a student at both Pikesville Elementary School and Milford Mill High School. Later, Sally became certified as a school librarian at Towson University and served in that capacity at elementary schools, also in Baltimore County.
After retiring from teaching, Sally moved to Twisp, a small town in the Methow Valley in Washington state, to be near her eldest son, Robert Reed Gracie, daughter-in-law Salyna, and (then young) granddaughter, Amaya Genevieve Gracie. She flew across the country with her cat while her younger son, David Reed Gracie, and a friend carted all her worldly possessions in a rented U-Haul truck, along with her two dogs, out to meet her in Twisp.
She loved her life in Twisp, made many friends, and became actively involved with the community library and art gallery. A gifted writer, Sally wrote a column for the local weekly newspaper, The Methow Valley News, for 15 years. She enjoyed her books, her pets, was a marvelous cook, excellent gardener, and a dedicated political observer/commentator.
In 2016, Sally moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, to be nearer her younger son Dave, daughter-in-law Kate Ann Gracie, and her newest grandchild William Ayres Gracie. There she, again, had the opportunity to read books and influence the life of another active, young grandchild. In Lincoln, Sally continued to work on her spiritual and intellectual life. She attended a local book club and she found fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous, a program she began while living in Twisp.
As said by her former Methow Valley News editor, Don Nelson, in a recent editorial, “Sally speaks her mind, prods when necessary, follows her curiosity and digs for information. She’s also not afraid to express passion, emotion, joy, sorrow, humor, dismay or indignation. Like our other correspondents, she has always been part reporter, part observer and entirely an invested resident of the valley.”
Our Sally’s passion, intellect, and deep commitment to those she loved and admired will be with all of us who loved her…. her family, her many friends and neighbors throughout our country, and the hordes of former students whose lives she touched so deeply.
Sally is survived by son Reed Gracie, his partner Sarah Ferguson and her son River, son David Gracie and his wife Kate, grandchildren Amaya and Will, her sister Elizabeth Reed English of Charlotte, North Carolina, many nieces, nephews and cousins, and her childhood friends of over 70 years, the former Annie Zouck, Dorrie Boone, Roxanne Heffner and Julee Bosse. Her former husband, Robert A. Gracie, died in 2017.
A celebration of her life will be held in Twisp on Nov. 24, from 2 – 4 p.m., at the Methow Valley Community Center. Additional celebrations are planned in Lincoln on Nov. 2, and in Baltimore on Nov. 10.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Sally Gracie Fund may be made through the Community Foundation of North Central Washington at www.CFNCW.org. All proceeds will be donated directly to the Twisp Public Library in Sally’s memory where they have dedicated a plaque to Sally recognizing her love of reading and her support for the vital role it plays in the community.