Sally Susan Mastin

Sally Susan (French) Mastin

Sally Susan (French) Mastin, 89, earned her place in heaven in the early morning hours of January 3rd, surrounded by family. Sally passed quietly from cancer hastened by the effects of COVID-19.

Born in Portland, Ore. to Jack and Letha French, Sally grew up on the family ranch in Long Creek, Ore. Her ranch roots inspired and solidified her love of animals along with her unending desire for adventure and life-long learning. Sally often spoke of family trips to "the big city" of Portland and laughed, saying she had to choose between a movie or dinner of steamed clams – the clams usually won.

These early years of adventure and learning included summers of riding horses and helping with sheep in the mountains. Sally would never let on that she had allergies as that meant she might have to stay home. She loved her time on the ranch, but her parents intrinsically knew the value of education and sent her to a boarding school in Pendleton. While being away from home was difficult, this is where Sally met her lifelong friends and cemented her faith in God. These friendships persevered and were rekindled in her later years with annual trips to Pendleton, often with her adult children along to witness the sources of their mother's adventurous spirit and steadfast faith.

Sally was very much a pioneer for women, believing there really was nothing she could not do, and lived a life based on optimism. In her early adulthood, she traveled to Cuba with several classmates and remarked on the beauty of the tropical island. With her love of travel, Sally took an interest in aviation first, by earning her private pilot license, which then turned into a life-long career working for United Airlines.

Sally attended Stephens College in St. Louis, Mo. and then graduated with a business degree from Oregon State University. Upon graduation Sally began her career with United Airlines in Pendleton and quickly found herself living in Denver where she met and married Harlan Mastin. With the union of Harlan and Sally in 1960, a new 49-year, crazy adventure began. Through much trial and error this duo managed through both the good and the bad that comes with marriage, family and love. After Harlan's stroke Sally tirelessly cared for her husband for 30 years, until his death in 2009. She never wavered in her commitment. This was simply Sally – integrity, passion and fierce love. She modeled grace, compassion and kindness.

Sally retired from United Airlines in Great Falls, MT. after a 30-year career in customer service and moved on to her next chapter as The Avon Lady {can you hear the ding-dong?}, combining her business acumen and amiability. This adventure continued for 25 years and created many lasting friendships.

Sally was truly a giver. In her retirement Sally quietly dedicated her time and energy to her community and family. She spent years helping with funeral luncheons, reading with kids in the classroom and providing support to those in need in whatever way she could. Sally adored her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, in whom her spirit lives on.

Sally is survived by her four children: Joe (Sue Page) Mastin of Florida; Julie (Jeff Packard) Lake Como, Italy; Patty (Bill Ramsay) of Helena, Montana; and Kathy Mastin of Helena, Montana, along with six grandchildren: Tate (Amy), Aimee (Matt), Alex (Courtney), Ben, Brad (Jolyn) and Brent (Mandy)and five great-grandchildren Dakota, Nash, Bijou, Clara and William.

We will remember this quiet, kind, loving woman with the purple streak by often repeating – with deep meaning and laughter - her famous "Sally-isms." As you sit and share a glass of with those you love, remember Sally, be present in the moment and relish "what a good life we lead."

To honor Sally's memory, let someone who is struggling know that they are loved and not alone.

Sally's family will hold a family funeral mass on 101 and celebration of life when the pandemic has slowed. Please visit www.retzfuneralhome.com to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Sally.


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Published by Helena Independent Record on Jan. 17, 2021.
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