Eleanor Sarah "Sally" Gilpin died peacefully in her room at Woodhaven at The Williamsburg Landing on Sunday evening, May 5. She was 16 days shy of her 101st birthday. She exited this world as gracefully as she lived her life.|
Eleanor "Sally" was born May 21, 1912 in Flushing, N.Y., the older child of Oscar and Helen Holcombe. She was a 1929 graduate of Cliffside Park High School in New Jersey, and the Katherine Gibbs School in New York City. She was a secretary for 12 years in New York City after finishing secretarial school.
She married E. Roy Gilpin on Aug. 5, 1942, in Teaneck, N.J. Mr. Gilpin worked for Reid and Priest on Wall Street. They were members of several area country, golf and field clubs.
During her married life, Mrs. Gilpin traveled the world extensively, both accompanying her husband on business and with him for pleasure. Together they circled the world, when trips were pieced together, a total of seven times. One of her favorite spots was Jasper National Park in the Canadian Rockies, where they spent their honeymoon.
After Roy's death in November 1981 in Bronxville, N.Y., Eleanor "Sally" moved to Williamsburg Landing in April 1991 where she led a very active lifestyle. She made many dear friends and was often one of the first to greet new residents.
She continued to travel each summer to New Hampshire to vacation with her brother Robert and his wife Libby Holcombe, as well as her dear Cousin Mildred Cromwell, now of Utah. They were often joined by close friends. Each winter the group spent a month or more in Long Boat Key, Fla. With her step-daughter "Gin" and her husband Carl Lerner living on Maui for over 30 years, Eleanor visited them frequently.
While at The Landing, Eleanor "Sally" participated in bridge and cultural events, as well as volunteering at Rawls Byrd Elementary School where she tutored young students in their reading program. She enjoyed knitting and needlepoint and learned to make cut paper pictures and lampshades. Two of her cut-paper pictures have been donated to The Landing and will now decorate the wall outside her room at Woodhaven in the Long-term skilled care 1st floor wing.
Even with increasing signs of aging, she continued to be the consummate gracious hostess, including hosting her niece Faith's visits from Bend, Or. several times a year for the past 10 years. Every Friday morning for many years, Sally had breakfast at The Landing building with dear friends, Ann Symroski, Judy Hamblet, and Sally Councill. Her dear friend Bert Schmidt, also part of the Friday Breakfast Group, predeceased her by just 11 days. She was loved by many and will be missed by all, both friends as well as the caring staff at The Landing.
Eleanor was predeceased by her parents, Oscar and Helen Holcombe; her stepdaughter, Virginia M. "Gin" Lerner; and her brother, Robert Holcome and his wife Libby, Bob in March 2011 here in Williamsburg.
She is survived by her cousin Mildred Cromwell and her three adult children of Utah and California, as well as her niece, Faith Gilpin, of Bend, Or. She is also survived by her brother's son, Charles F. Plymale, Sr. of West Virginia, and grandson Charles F. Plymale, Jr., along with Cathy Porter and their daughter Chase Plymale, age 6 months, of Alexandria.
Aunt Eleanor had a wonderful visit from Charles and his family as well as her niece Faith in mid February of this year with many opportunities for four-generation pictures, now priceless. In addition, several nieces and nephews as well as many dear friends to whom she was known as "Aunt Sally" will miss her.
At her request she was cremated. Interment was held at the Reformed Church of Bronxville Columbarium on May 15, where she's been a member since 1945, next to her beloved husband. Her niece Faith accompanied her on the train on this one last adventure together from Williamsburg to Bronxville.
A Celebration of life gathering will be held at Woodhaven Assisted Living Parlor, 5500 Williamsburg Landing Dr., on the Williamsburg Landing campus at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 20, with a small reception to
In lieu of flowers, her family requests that memorials be made in her name to The Williamsburg Landing Benevolence Fund, 5700 Williamsburg Landing Dr., Williamsburg, 23185.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Nelsen Funeral Home and Crematory of Williamsburg. Her niece, Faith Gilpin, may be contacted at email@example.com . Online condolences may also be sent to Nelsen Funeral Home or online at www.vagazette.com .
Published in Virginia Gazette from May 14 to June 13, 2013