Cover photo for Sallie Staley's Obituary
1934 Sallie 2023

Sallie Staley

April 19, 1934 — February 11, 2023

Hermitage, TN

Sallie Ann Staley of Hermitage, TN passed away on February 11, 2023, at the age of 88. Born April 19, 1934, in Detroit Michigan to Bessie and Charles Lau, she graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in education. She was an accomplished equestrian and a marksman in college. Here she met and married her first husband Heber “Harlan” Wilson Jr. After relocating to a ranch in south Florida, Sallie began her 30-year career as an elementary educator and raised her two children, Todd and Wendy. Throughout her life, she had a love of horses, birds and other “critters” including her beloved Woolly monkey Minky, whom she often took to school to the amazement of her students!
In 1974, Sallie married Donald Staley, and for almost 50 years, they enjoyed an adventurous life of horse-back riding, square-dancing, camping, and Sallie’s exploration of all things art. After retirement, they moved to North Carolina to continue a life of horses (and pet birds) until a house fire in 2019, at which time they moved to Nashville to facilitate better care for Don and his increasing dementia. He lost his battle with dementia in 2021.
Sallie was a woman of numerous talents; in addition to being an excellent cook and seamstress, she was a natural musician, as a singer in Sweet Adelines International quartets and choruses, and as an instrumentalist playing the organ, ukelele and banjo. Sallie taught both of her children how to sing harmony as toddlers and has passed this legacy of music on to her 3 beloved grandchildren. She was also passionate about the visual arts—painting, wood-carving, sketching, experimenting with different art media throughout her life. The teacher in Sallie never quite went away, and in her later years she taught classes in calligraphy, ukelele, and adult literacy. Sallie will always be remembered for her uniqueness, her talents, and her can-do spirit. She will be missed by all who knew her.
Sallie is preceded in death by her husband Don, her parents, Charles and Bessie Lau, and her sister Virginia Starkweather.
Sallie is survived by her son, Todd Wilson and his wife, Jennifer, and grandsons, Taylor and Travis Wilson of Nashville, and her daughter Wendy DeCrow, and granddaughter Savannah DeCrow of Lewisville, Texas, as well as her niece, Sherri Bosley (Jim) and family, and nephew Michael Mack (Sandy) and family.
A celebration of Sallie’s life will be held in Nashville at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations in Sallie’s honor can be made to the EQUUS Foundation

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Sallie Staley, please visit our flower store.


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