Local Obits

Obituary of Sally Ann Toomey


Sally Ann Toomey, 71, of Waynesboro, PA passed away Tuesday, November 28, 2023, at York Hospital following a brief illness. Sally was born August 8, 1952, in Pierre, SD, a daughter of Wilfred and Eileen Dempsey Pape. She was a graduate of Ben Eielson High School, Fairbanks, Alaska. Sally went on to receive her Licensed Practical Nurse degree from Schuylkill Technology Center in 1981, Bachelor’s degree from Kutztown University, Master’s degree and Master’s of Fine Arts from Wilkes University. She received a Writing Fellowship from Westchester University.

Sally was an Elementary and Middle School Teacher with the Blue Mountain School District in Orwigsburg, PA, retiring in 2015. During her tenure at Blue Mountain, Sally enthusiastically engaged with students and colleagues in and out of the classroom as a spelling bee coach, a writing instructor for teachers and administrators, Teacher of the Year, and as a Lead English Teacher. After her retirement, her passion for writing, research, and reading continued. Sally embarked on one of her greatest journeys and adventures by completing her novel, “Nola, An Alaskan Adventure.”

Sally and Marcella were mirror images of each other. Family, friends, even random strangers would often comment when meeting Sally or Marcella how much they resemble each other not only in physical appearance but in mannerism as well. Sally and Marcella had an indestructible bond, were truly best friends, and would talk several times a day, discussing the comfort of dogs, enthusiasm for shopping/home decor, family, and the day-to-day enjoyments of life.

Sally passed along her passion for reading to her son, Peter. They often joked about being in an exclusive book club that no others could join because no one else was as “nerdy.” Fantasy, horror, and science fiction books, particularly those featuring vampires, were the books of choice. Sally saw an artistic quality in Peter and encouraged him to continue his drawings.

She was a wonderful Gram. For her granddaughters, Kate and Nora, every moment of snow and sick days was filled with painting and sewing projects, dog training videos, movies, snuggles, and her yummy chicken noddle soup. She never missed the chance to see them on stage and looked forward to picking them up from school for what they liked to call “ Together Tuesdays.”

Sally was proud of her Alaskan heritage, so proud that she imitated the protective behavior of a huge Alaskan brown bear against anyone who happened to stumble between her and her children. Sally will be remembered as a loving, generous person who cared for others before herself. Her unconditional love and kindness will be cherished forever. Sally’s warmth and aura were apparent to anyone who encountered her, and you couldn’t help but feel better about the world and yourself when talking to her. Sally naturally and organically possessed an ageless and flawless complexion, captivating blue eyes, and a stunning smile. Those she met remarked fondly and frequently on her humble nature and graceful effort to engage in conversations spontaneously. Sally was a badge of courage, had limitless amounts of goodness, knew how to get up and try again, and was an eloquent, beautiful storyteller. We all loved her dearly and deeply.

Sally is survived by her husband, William “Bill” Toomey; her daughter, Marcella “Marcie” (Charlie) Purcell; her son, Peter (Kristen) Kopko; step-daughter, Kyrston (Chuck) Strauch; grandchildren, Alex Purcell (Erica), Daniel Purcell, Kate Kopko, Nora Kopko and Cameron Strauch; brother, Danny (Diane) Pape; niece, Penny Pape (John); former husband, Edward Kopko, sister in law, Helene (Mike) Tracey; brother in law, David Bruffett; sisters in law, Michelle Lorence and Jacqueline Drum; her beloved four legged fur babies, McKinley “Kiki”, Anika “Annie”, and Kodiak “Kodi”; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family members and friends. In addition to her parents, Sally was predeceased by her brother, Stan Pape and sister-in-law, Maureen Bruffett.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Monday, December 18, 2023, 6:00pm-8:00pm, at Faith Worship Center, 1168 Center Turnpike, Orwigsburg, PA 17961.

Services and burial, with her parents and brother, will take place in the spring in South Dakota. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Sally’s memory may be made to your local SPCA or animal shelter. Online condolences at www.perkinsfh.com


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