Sarah (Sally) Clise Black died peacefully in the company of her husband, Alan, and children on October 27, 2018. She was born in Seattle on September 12, 1934, the daughter of James W. Clise, Jr. and Eunice Padelford Clise. She was married in 1954 to Alan F. Black of Seattle and Bainbridge Island. She attended McGilvra Elementary School, St. Nicholas School and graduated from Bainbridge Island High School in the class of 1952. Sally completed two years at Smith College, Class of 1956, studying Classics and Music before her marriage and later graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Washington with a degree in English Literature followed by a Master’s Degree in Social Work. She practiced in this field professionally for over 15 years.
Sally liked the outdoors and being close to nature. She was a great walker and a participant in several walking and cross country skiing groups. In the earlier years of their marriage Sally and Alan took many backpacking trips into the Cascade and Olympic Mountains; often with their children. Over the years they also took some memorable and challenging trips to Tibet, northern India, and traveled from northern Pakistan into western and northern China along the Great Silk Route.
Sally especially enjoyed music and literature. She played the piano, sang in the Bainbridge Island St. Barnabas Episcopal Church choir during high school and in recent years sang in the Northwest Chamber Chorus and the Seattle Women’s Medieval Choir. Reading and literature were an important part of her life. Sally’s interest in literature may well have stemmed from her Mother, Eunice and her grandfather, Frederick Padelford, Dean of the University of Washington Graduate School and head of the English Department. Her paternal grandmother, Anna Herr Clise, was the founder of what was then Children’s Orthopedic Hospital in 1907. Sally was a participant in several book groups spanning several decades, bringing her new friendships and a deepening interest in literature. More recently she became particularly interested in poetry, some of which she memorized and shared with her children and grandchildren. This gave her pleasure and comfort during her struggle with ALS disease.
Through the years Sally came to love the Black Family home and garden on Bainbridge Island. She spent many happy hours there this past summer and fall as she came to accept the realities of her illness. Sally and some of her friends would sit in the sun under the partial shade of an umbrella, sometimes doing watercolors, and at other times reading books and poetry together.
In addition to her husband, Alan, Sally is survived by a brother, John Clise of Port Townsend, Jayme Curley of Bellingham, and Ann Fisher of Berkley, California. She is also survived by three children, Andrea Black, Fraser Black and Kayla Black. Alan and Sally lost a 17 year old son, Ian, to a mountain wilderness accident in 1974. Sally also leaves 7 grandchildren now all of college age or older.
At her request there will be a private family gathering during the Christmas holidays at the Black Family home on Bainbridge Island to remember and honor Sally’s life with some of her favorite poetry and music. A gathering of friends will be announced at a later date.
Sally suggested that any remembrance be made to Seattle Children’s Hospital or Providence Hospice of Seattle.