Anyone who knew Sally is familiar with her loving touch and kind heart. She always had an open door and a good meal ready for any visitor. She relished in her role as a mom and especially as a grandmother “Mammy”. Every grandchild was her favorite and she made sure to understand their unique personalities. She would go out of her way to make them feel as loved and cherished as possible.
Sally was born in Springfield, MA on July 25th 1948 to parents Stuart Lomas and Ruth (Russell) Lomas and was the third child of the four siblings; Marcia Dower, Jackie Parrish and Russell Lomas. Her compassion was nurtured from a young age with two loving and attentive parents. Sally graduated from Springfield Technical High School in 1966. She was very proud that her senior class’ gift was the “Tech Tiger” that resided in Forest Park Zoo until its closure.
She met her lifelong sweetheart Thomas Earnest Wheeler as teenagers at summer camp in Westfield, MA in the summer of 1966. They married on October 10, 1970 and soon after started a family. Their first home in Easthampton, MA is where they met their best friends Terry and Ann (Missy) St Marie, whose families remain extended family 48 years later having seen each other through all of life’s ups and downs. Tom & Sally moved to West Springfield, MA in 1982, raising their three children there: Susan Wheeler Brown, Timothy Lomas Wheeler and Matthew Thomas Wheeler.
Sally followed in her mother’s footsteps to become a Registered Nurse graduating from Springfield Technical Community College in 1991 with an Associates Degree in Science. Sally’s loss of both her parents deepened her compassionate nature, which served her well as a hospice nurse and case manager. She always ensured the absolute best care of her patients and their extended families. Sally found her true passion as a nurse instructor at the American Red Cross and Holyoke Community College teaching the CNA course for the past 12 years. There are hundreds of CNAs who benefited from Sally’s compassionate outlook on care and made every student understand the important role they played in the medical field. During Sally’s last 10 months of hospital and nursing home rehabilitation care, the impact she had was evident when former student after student stopped in to check on her and shared a fundamental life and work lesson Sally had taught them.
In 2005, Tom and Sally realized a lifelong dream by building a log cabin home in Granville, MA. “Windy Crest Farm“ named after their summer cabin filled with family memories, became their happiest place; raising chickens, grandkids and developing what might be the best soaps on the planet. Windy Crest Farm soaps are now sold at multiple local businesses and at the Otis Farmer’s Market in the summer. A hobby and passion Tom and Sally enjoyed together will now remain a loving reminder of her. Tom and Sally created a supportive and loving community in Granville, one that has, and will continue to support Tom. Her tender loving care also extended to her garden and indoor plants. If you’ve had the pleasure of sitting in her home or garden, her lush and colorful plants made you instantly feel at home.
Her kind and generous soul was equally matched with her feistiness and a sharp sense of humor. She could silence a room with one stare or put your ego in check with a well-timed comment. This combination served her well as a patient herself during what was the most difficult time of her family’s life. Sally’s courageous fight to recover from her stroke, during the pandemic, shut off from all her loved ones, proved her strength of character. All of these traits would come out so strongly every day as she strived to recover. Sally fought to the very end, holding on to a life she so dearly loved living. She is survived by her loving devoted husband, Tom, who fought with all his might alongside her every single day, her three children; Sue, Tim and Matt and their spouses; brother Russ and wife Janet, sister Jackie, and the other loves of her life, her grandchildren, Aidan and Andrew Brown; Tommy, Addison and Brooklynn Wheeler; and Mayra and Paxton Wheeler.
She was loved as deeply as she loved and will be forever in all our hearts.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests supporting your local businesses such as the stores who have been great supporters of Tom & Sally. If you see Windy Crest Farm soap, tell them Sally sent you.
A celebration of Sally’s life will take place on Sunday April 25th, 2021 from 2pm to 5pm at Southwick Forastiere Funeral Home, 624 College Hwy, Southwick MA 01077.
To plant a tree in memory of Sally Wheeler, please click here.