Sally Lou Kiessling of Norwell left the dance floor on December 30, 2023, leaving fond memories of her sweet personality, as well as her energetic rhythm that will beat eternally in the hearts of those she touched.
If you ever asked her how she was, her stock answer was, “As good as I can be.”
Sally was born to the late Mary (Regan) Holman and John Clifford Holman, on Nov 4, 1930. She grew up as an only child in Hyde Park and graduated from Hyde Park High School in 1948, where she was chosen to do the waltz on stage at her special class day celebration. Throughout her childhood, she had a pretend friend that she dubbed Arborine, so maybe she was not an only child after all.
Sally is survived by her daughters Paula Knudsen, of Sarasota FL, Pamela Kiessling and husband, Jon LeClair of Plymouth, MA, her grandson Jesse Knudsen of Sarasota, FL and we must not forget her two sweet grand dogs, Mango, and BB.
Sally was predeceased by her son, Neal Kiessling, her husband Paul W. Kiessling and her beloved cat Chubba, who is back on her lap again.
She was a true Girl Scout, with the badge of honor to prove it. She would always be there when someone was in need, giving, caring, and sharing her love. She was charitable, genuinely kind, and fun to be with.
Sally Lou got her name from both of her grandmothers. One was Sarah and the other Louise. She was deathly afraid of snakes and heights, and petrified of clowns as a child, but she always loved to sing and dance. She took many dance classes throughout her life and won numerous awards and still was doing exhibition dancing in her late seventies, where she won yet another trophy for her last dramatic tango performance at Fred Astaire Dance Studios.
Sally was introduced to her husband, Paul, in high school. Their first date was at Chez Vous in Dorchester roller skating. She was head over heels for the charming, bad boy, roller-skater who was also an exquisite ballroom dancer. They got married in 1952 and moved to Randolph, where they bought their first home and started their happy family with three children. In the early sixties, they bought their dream house and moved to Norwell. Of course, they still ballroom danced a couple times a week and it was magical each time they did.
Life was good, as they embarked on many adventures together. They traveled to Europe and sailed the ocean, hiked mountains and trails, roller-skated, ice-skated, and bowled in a candlepin league once a week. When the summer season arrived, they packed up the car along with the kids and headed to their trailer on the Cape. Paul’s father was one of the founders of the Worcester Surf Casting Club, which is located next to the Cape Cod Canal, and that is where they did justice to the term, “Happy Campers.”
Sally was an expert seamstress who won an award for her outfit she sewed for herself in fourth grade and then again, for the walking suit that she designed and sewed for herself in high school. She made a lot of wonderful clothing for her family and herself. Her girls were always sporting a fancy dress that mom made. Sally had many passions that she mastered and was extremely artistic: painting, acting, decorating, quilling, gold leafing and poetry, just to name a few. Beach shells were sure to be an addition to most of her creations.
Her first full-time job was as a secretary at the First National of Bank of Boston and she was still writing shorthand when she turned ninety. She volunteered for good causes and worked a lot of different jobs, but working at the Norwell Council on Aging was by far her favorite, which she did for many years. They were like her second family. She worked in the office, the front desk and decorated impeccably for every holiday, “the Sally way.” She and her friend ran the senior trips and they went all over the place. She took pride in making them exciting, even making handmade prizes for the games on the bus trips. She was good at it, always preparing to make sure every detail was perfect.
So, at last Sally’s blue eyes are both sparkling with clarity again, and once more she gets to embrace the waltz with her award-winning grace. Dance on Mom knowing that you will always be our sunshine!
That was the song of Sally.
Our family would like to thank all the wonderful people at Life Care Center of Plymouth, where she spent the last two years of her life. Their love and caring went to the moon and back.
No service is currently planned. The family requests that you do something nice for someone in Sally’s honor.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made “in Sally Kiessling’s memory” to the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund.