Dorothy Wilkinson Sali
1924 ~ 2013
Granmommie: A woman of charm and grace.
Dorothy Wilkinson Sali, 89, went home to be with the Lord on December 9, 2013. She passed peacefully in her home at 5625 Bond St., Boise, Idaho where she had lived for 51 years.
Her given name was Hazel Wilkinson but, she deeply loved her 4th grade teacher, Dorothy Hill, and took the name Dorothy Hazel Wilkinson. Thereafter she was known as Dorothy to many but; soon after her first grandchild was born in 1969 she became simply 'Granmommie' to her family.
She was born at home in Tignall, Georgia on February 11, 1924 to William Howard and Gold House Wilkinson and grew up in their house on Danburg Street.
Granmommie graduated from Tignall High School in 1941. She was the class Secretary and was also chosen Queen of Tignall High School for 1938, 1939 and 1940. She missed being designated as the class Valedictorian (which she actually was) due to an error in recording a grade in her transcript. Her classmates chose her as Most Mannerly, Most Original and Most Intellectual Girl of her class.
Her Senior Motto was "Hurry kills more people than disease so, take your time." She lived that motto throughout her life. At her 25th Class Reunion she arrived with seven children in tow just as they read her tongue-in-cheek contribution to the Class Will…. "I, Hazel Wilkinson will my promptness and punctuality to…"
In her schooling Granmommie excelled in English and was an exceptional writer. She planned to "Go to college to prepare for the profession of teaching." but, a different path lay ahead as WWII began.
After high school she entered Chapman Springs School in Atlanta, GA to study communications. Her class mates began calling her "Wilkie". On completing her courses she went to work at Fort McPherson as a civil servant in the Signal Corps. When her training was finished she was transferred to San Francisco. Her future husband, Greg Sali served in the Army Signal Corps there but, they did not meet until both attended a USO dance in June 1943. She swept him off his feet with her beautiful smile, sweet Georgia accent and winsome charm.
When Greg was transferred to Ft. Lewis, WA, Granmommie followed him there. As she said, she was "quite smitten" with him. They were married in Greg's home town, Yakima, WA on June 2, 1944. They made their home in Tacoma, WA where their first child, Carolyn Jean (2-27-45) was born. After his discharge they moved to Yakima, WA where Greg attended Yakima Valley Junior College and their second child, Mary Annette (7-26-46) was born.
She was a devoted wife who supported her husband in all of his undertakings. A year later they moved to Baton Rouge, LA where Greg received his degree in Physics from LSU. While there, three more children were born, Gregory Josef "Joe" (4-18-48), Glenda Elizabeth (6-2-49) and Kathleen "Trink" Jane (2-19-52). Granmommie was a full-time homemaker taking care of their five children. She was also a Society Reporter for the North Baton Rouge Journal and worked at Union Federal Savings & Loan.
After graduation Greg worked in the nuclear industry beginning at the Savanna River Project near Athens Georgia. From there they moved to Beaver, Ohio where two more children were born, William "Bill" Thomas (2-17-54 in Portsmouth, OH) and Virginia "Ginger" Len (12-16-55 in Chillicothe, OH). In 1956 they moved to East Granby, CT where Greg worked for Combustion Engineering. Granmommie was a Scout Den Mother and the family was very involved in the Pamona Lodge, Grange.
In 1962 Greg left the nuclear industry and they moved to Boise, Idaho. Granmommie played a vital role keeping books for family mining businesses. In 1972 she and Greg started a grain business, American Triticale, Inc and in 1974 she authored her cookbook "An Introduction to Cooking with Triticale".
As our mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Granmommie displayed her deep Christian faith, working to teach us to be gracious and kind and to express true love for others. She was ready to quip the classic Southern admonition to behave - "Don't be ugly, now".
She had an uncanny ability to draw in those around her; even total strangers and was "irresistibly charming" as one person put it. She loved to talk to everyone she met and her caring heart pressed her to remember details of each conversation so she could follow up later to make sure things had turned out well. Her concern for others was genuine.
Granmommie lived a life full of grace and reconciliation. Her love for life and for others overflowed into the lives of everyone she met through her gracious demeanor, captivating charm, wonderful sense of humor and unending life stories. They were the trademarks that drew so many to love her so deeply.
She was preceded in death by her mother and father, her husband, Gregory, oldest daughters Carolyn Jean Sali and Annette Pascoe (Bill); brothers, Howard (Joyce) Wilkinson and Joe (Lucile) Wilkinson and sister Anne McClearen (James). She is survived by three sisters, Imogene Echols (James), Mary Lane Sayer (Ralph) and Jane Hutchinson (James) Arnold (Ralph) and her children, Gregory, Glenda, Kathleen, Bill and Ginger; 19 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren (with 2 more on the way).
A Memorial Service will be held 2:00 p.m., December 17, 2013 at Calvary Chapel, 123 Auto Dr., Boise ID. Her grandson-in-law, Pablo Moreno will officiate.
Published in Idaho Statesman on Dec. 17, 2013