Sally Dudley
1944 - 2018
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Sally J. Dudley

July 4, 1944 - May 26, 2018

Sally J. Dudley passed away in Palo Alto on May 26th, 2018, at age 73. Weakened by advancing Alzheimer's, she succumbed peacefully to an unexpected internal brain hemorrhage, surrounded by her loving family.

Sally was born on the Fourth of July in New Haven, Connecticut, and always appreciated the fact that the rest of the country took the day off to help her celebrate. She grew up with her three brothers (Gus, John, and Sam) in New York.

Sally graduated as a math major from Vassar in 1966 and entered the unfamiliar world of computer programming at a time when IBM was just starting to expand its resource pool by recruiting at women's colleges. She moved to the West Coast and thrived in her chosen field, staying at the forefront of opportunities for professional women in Silicon Valley for the rest of her long and successful career.

After relatively brief stays at IBM, Lockheed, and PG&E, Sally joined Hewlett-Packard in 1973 as a programmer in the Corporate Information Systems organization. She loved the old HP, with its culture of cooperation, contribution, and unshakable integrity, and played many different management roles in different parts of the company until her retirement in 1999, including a pioneering role in software quality management at the division, group, and corporate level, and a key strategic position as the highest ranking woman in Personnel, with worldwide responsibility for HP's compensation and benefits programs. Throughout her career, Sally served as a mentor and role model for countless younger women navigating their way through the still predominantly male culture of a traditional engineering company.

After retiring from HP, Sally turned her positive energy to volunteer tutoring and even teaching calculus at a start-up school in East Palo Alto, Eastside College Preparatory School, which has since compiled a remarkable record of sending all of its underserved minority students on to four-year colleges for the last 19 years. She also served on the Board of Humanities West, a San Francisco-based non-profit offering cross-disciplinary programs focused on history and the arts.

Sally will long be remembered for her intelligence, her cheerful disposition, her unfailing sense of humor, her generosity, and, above all, for her love of family and friends.

She is survived by her husband of 41 years, Chuck Sieloff (whom she met at HP), by her two beloved daughters and their husbands (Christy and David Story; Lindsay and Casey Pera), and by six wonderful grandchildren (James, Charlie, Chris, Sage, Cricket, and Ember). She is also survived by her three brothers and their wives and all her cherished nieces, nephews, cousins, grandnieces, and grandnephews.

A celebration of Sally's remarkable life will be held on Sunday, July 29, 1:00-4:00, at the enclosed patio area of the Lucie Stern Community Center in Palo Alto (1305 Middlefield Road). Donations in her memory may be made to the Alzheimer's Association Sally J. Dudley Tribute Fund:

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Jun. 22 to Jul. 1, 2018.
Celebration of Life
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Memories & Condolences
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8 entries
August 2, 2018
Sally--what can we say? A beautiful mind, a caring heart, a generous and compassionate spirit. Sally epitomized the HP Way for many of us, including Jenny and me, on occasion after occasion. I'll never forget her sitting in the front row for one of my 'talks' and invariably she'd frown or scowl about half way through. It was unnerving, to say the least, and I finally asked her one day about it. Her quick answer: "Sometimes, you say provocative things, and I just have to think about it before I can agree; that's when I kinda frown, but trust me, it's just a pause to gain understanding/" After that, I cherished her presence, and her frowns. They didn't cease; rather, they increased. Such was Sally!
Her greatest teaching for me, though, was the extent of what you could do to 'change things' at HP, especially if at Corporate. She was a stout believer in process, and she'd work it in subtle ways so it was not 'an order' --but, you knew it was anyway. How she could pull this off, repeatedly, always amazed me.
Chuck House
July 2, 2018
Sally was a highly-skilled professional, 'though I knew little of her background when I worked with her. Curiously, what impressed me most was a different type of professionalism. I had a different role when Sally gave a presentation to a group of Traffic Managers, at HP Santa Rosa. We were outside, in a picnic area; the wind came up, with dirt and leaves swirling and threatening to blow us off our benches. Sally did not skip a beat, finished her formal presentation...and stayed for questions!! Chuck, if you read this, you and Sally are in my thoughts. Jim Duggan
June 26, 2018
Sally is a truly noble spirit who really understood and lived the "HP Way". My last memory of her was a conversation in building 20 where I overheard her telling someone that she had just gotten a childseat for her car so she could drive her grandchildren around and that grandchildren were "the best." Even as a hard-charging HP manager, family was top-of-mind. Condolences to the family and thank you for sharing her with us!
Marcel Provencher
June 26, 2018
Sally's love for life will always remain in my heart. My high school friend, I can't believe you are gone. My condolences to her family.
June 25, 2018
Sally was always upbeat and capable. She was a great counter to Chuck's dry sense of humor and added to greatly to the team we had in Geneva.
Bob Lewin
June 24, 2018
Sally was a warm and intelligent person and had a positive and kind spirit. My condolences to her family.
Chuck Ortenberg
June 24, 2018
Sally was a terrific manager, co-worker and friend! The best lesson she ever taught me was,
"It's not always about being right." Rest in peace Sally.
Rosemary Napolitan
June 24, 2018
Sally had a warm and sparkly personality and always a huge smile and kind word for all. We will miss her. The George McNamees
George/Kathleen McNamee
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