Sally Lynne Smith, 63, of Ashland, Ore., passed away Friday, November 26, 2010, at Rogue Valley Medical Center, from a sudden heart attack. She was born on March 18, 1947, in St. Mary's, Pa., to Dr. Jack E. and Winifred E. Smith. Sally graduated from Knoch High School in 1965, and from Pennsylvania State University in 1969, with a degree in physical education. She was and outstanding athlete in high school and college. Sally relocated to San Francisco, Calif., in 1970, where she taught senior high school P.E., and was a tireless advocate for at-risk students. She began her move to Southern Oregon in 1975.
An accomplished carpenter, Sally was the first woman to become a licensed contractor, by the State of California. She ran her own private general contracting business part-time while teaching, and later full-time after her teaching career ended. Sally was one of the first pioneers in the creation of women's land communities in Southern Oregon in the 1970s. She helped build many of the unique and beautiful dwellings in those communities, and changed many women's lives by using those structures to teach the art of construction. Passionate about country living and cooking, Sally was famous for her generosity and her gourmet dinners, barbeques and get-togethers around a bonfire.
Sally was on the Board of the Abdill-Ellis Center and contributed to her community in many ways. At her request, a scholarship fund in her name for women pursuing a career in construction will be established at Rogue Community College.
Sally is survived be her two sisters, Joyce S. Brehm, of Butler, Pa., and Carole S. Dickson, of Renfrew, Pa.; a brother, Jack E. Smith, of Bristow, Okla.; eight cousins; eight nieces and nephews; and five great-nieces; as well as many friends; and her two dogs, Rosie and Biscotti.
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, December 18, 2010, at 1:00 p.m., at her home in Ashland and on Friday, December 31, 2010, at 5:00 p.m., at her home in Murphy, Ore. Stephens Family Chapel is in charge of arrangements, www.stephensfc.com.