Born: Aug. 26, 1933, in Coronado, Calif.
Died: Nov. 14, 2021, in Woodstock
Sally Heydon, 88, of Woodstock, passed peacefully at Valley Hi Nursing and Rehab after enduring more than 15 years with dementia. She was born Aug. 26, 1933, in Coronado, Calif., to Julian D. Greer and Eleanor Jones Greer.
Sally’s father was a naval aviator who graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy. He earned the rank of captain before being killed in a plane crash. Due to his nomadic military career, Sally had a charmed and well-traveled childhood, including living on Ipanema Beach, Rio, Brazil, where she attended three years of high school. Her family also lived in Hawaii, Rhode Island, Atlanta, and California several times.
Sally attended Miami of Ohio University on an NROTC scholarship, where she majored in political science and languages. Although she completed her initial Navy training, her career plans were waylaid when, in 1954, she married Robert M. Heydon, a Navy pilot whom she met in college. They lived in Pensacola, Fla.; Oahu, Hawaii; Coronado, Calif.; and Okinawa, Japan. When her husband left the service and started flying for United Airlines, the family of five moved to Crystal Lake, Ill., in 1965, then to Bull Valley in 1972. After their divorce in 1977, Sally enjoyed a nearly 40-year relationship with her life partner until his passing in 2010.
Sally enjoyed parties, celebrations, and music. Andy Williams was her favorite singer. She was also a great dancer, especially ballroom and the hula, which she valiantly tried to teach her daughters. She was a very intelligent, beautiful, and accomplished woman, as well as a good mother and grandmother, a great cook, wife, and partner. As a homemaker before starting work in the mid-70s, she was a shrewd bridge player, member of League of Women Voters and AAUW, and volunteered for multiple community organizations, including the old Woodstock hospital. Animal lover doesn’t begin to describe how much she loved furry creatures, in particular cats, dogs, and horses. She won many ribbons in equestrian jumping competitions.
She is survived by her daughters, Lisa Heydon and Julie Heydon Miller of Woodstock; grandson Nick Miller of Revere, Mass.; granddaughter Samantha Miller of Chicago; niece Ann Pentland of Calistoga, Calif.; as well as nephew Linus Heydon, III and niece Susan Heydon Szozda; plus several cousins.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Julian and Eleanor Greer; her son, David Heydon; and her sister, Barbara Pentland.
Her daughters thank the staff at Valley Hi for their diligent care the past few years, and JourneyCare for their gentle and capable hospice assistance at the end. The “long goodbye” that dementia creates for patients, caregivers, and families has now come to an end.
Arrangements are being handled by Schneider, Leucht, Merwin and Cooney Funeral Home in Woodstock. Friends and family may sign the digital guest book at slmcfh.com. The family plans a celebration of Sally’s life in May 2022, details for which will be published at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association or Woodstock Helping Paws in her name.