Cover photo for Sally Ann Healey's Obituary
Sally Ann Healey Profile Photo
Sally

Sally Ann Healey

d. June 28, 2019

A force of nature, wherever she went and with whomever she encountered, Sally Ann Healey, after a hard-fought battle, bravely ceased her “rage against the dying of the light.” Those of us who loved Sally knew her unique and infectious personality. Sally was born in Wilkes-Barre’s East End to Sally Dougherty and James Healey. Her father came through Ellis Island and sadly passed away when Sally was a young girl. Sally was raised by three strong, intelligent women: her mother, her Aunt Margaret, and her Aunt Kathleen, women ahead of their time with college degrees and accomplishments such as orchestrating a special education program in Wilkes-Barre and triggering a school lunch program in the state of New Mexico.

As a child, Sally and her younger brother, James, were treated to vacations in Santa Fe and Atlantic City. Her memories and stories include spending time at a dude ranch riding her own special horse, Brownie; and descending into the Grand Canyon on the back of a mule. Sally spent several summers in Atlantic City enjoying the ocean, working as a waitress, and listening to the hottest musical acts of the day.

Sally attended Holy Savior School (a short walk up the hill) and St. Mary’s High School in Wilkes-Barre. Later, Sally was a student at Marywood University and College Misericordia, receiving an English degree. Following the lead of her mother and her aunts, Sally became a teacher and relocated to Long Island where she taught English at Mineola High School. She was a “favorite teacher” and fostered great relationships with her students and fellow teachers, among them her beloved friend, Rhoda.

While living on Long Island, Sally’s love for politics and women’s issues blossomed. She ran for a city position, campaigned for Bobby Kennedy, met Bella Abzug and Shirley Chisolm, and co-authored a feminist literary textbook entitled, The Women, Yes!

Upon retiring from teaching at Mineola, Sally returned to Wilkes-Barre and worked for twenty-four years at Wilkes-Barre City Hall in the accessor’s office and later as organizer of the Neighborhood Impact Team, which navigated throughout the city improving living conditions and sprucing up the streets. Under Sally’s charge, the Team unearthed the missing Big Boy statue, which had been stolen from the Elby’s Restaurant on Kidder Street; the smiling figure was discovered sitting in a dorm at King’s College. Sally was stopped repeatedly when shopping at Wegman’s or Boscov’s and asked to check on houses in the city, jotting down names and numbers from concerned citizens, listening to questions and concerns in the evenings and weekends from her home telephone.

Sally also taught English classes at Luzerne County Community College for over thirty years. Sally was loved by her students because she taught much more than sentences, paragraphs, and essays. She taught her students about life, how to care about each other, how to listen, how to laugh. Sally was able to help her students realize that, yes, we have the ability to better ourselves, to strive to accomplish the goals that we thought were out of reach. A love of literature also permeated each course, a love of poetry, short stories, and drama. A few of Ms. Healey’s choice pieces included “At David’s Grave” by Denise Levertov, “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty, and 'Night Mother by Marsha Norman. The thousands of students Sally taught have commented time and time again about the robust enthusiasm and delight in a Healey classroom.

Sally belonged to several organizations over the years, including the Wyoming Valley Aids Council; began a chapter of the National Organization for Women at LCCC; and received many awards, including the Woman of the Year award from the Wyoming Valley Woman’s Club.

Sally’s favorite pastimes were her love of music, her passion for movies, her zest for travel, her steadfast attachment to West-Highland Terriers, and her ceaseless way of taking the time to talk to friends and strangers alike. Time was not an issue for Sally – wherever she might have been – if people wanted to talk of serious matters, simple joys, or rambunctious ramblings the conversation took center stage. We will miss that fine and genuine quality of attention that Sally bestowed on us all.

Surviving are Sally’s longtime companion and spouse, Mary Catherine Scheib; her pups, Kathleen and Sparky; her true and loyal friend, Cathy Riccetti; Jaime Smith, a woman Sally raised from a child and cared for like her own daughter; brother, James Healey; sister-in-law Elizabeth; nephew, Christopher Healey and wife, Patrice; great-nephew, Harrison; great-niece, Sophia; brother-in-law, Michael Scheib and sister-in-law, Denise; niece Melissa Hildebrand and husband Paul; great-nephew, Lucas; great-niece, Olivia; nephew Jake Scheib and wife, Erin; great-niece Madeline; great-nephew, Zachery; and many, many beloved cousins.

Sally, you are sitting now on that long, smooth bench of stone at the Lamy train station outside of Santa Fe; sitting in the peaceful calm evening of the southwest rolling hills of tumbleweed and pinion trees. Fly yourself to the moon and rest in peace, dear girl – our N.I.T Queen, our teacher extraordinaire, and our “huckleberry friend.”

Our unending love and thanks will be forever sent to the Hospice of the Sacred Heart for their kind and gentle gift of caring. In lieu of flowers, please feel free to make a donation to the Hospice of the Sacred Heart, 100 William St. Dunmore, PA; or the First Presbyterian Church, East Main St. and Spring St., Weatherly, Pennsylvania

Celebration of Sally’s Life will begin Tuesday with visitation from 4 to 8 PM at McLaughlin’s, 142 South Washington Street in Wilkes-Barre and continue there on Wednesday with gathering beginning at 9:30 AM followed by a service at 10:30 AM. Burial will be in Saint Mary’s Cemetery.

Memories and condolences may be shared with Sally’s family at www.celebrateherlife.com
To order memorial trees in memory of Sally Ann Healey, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

4:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Gathering

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Starts at 9:30 am (Eastern time)

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Service

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Starts at 10:30 am (Eastern time)

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