Born Sarah Margaret Banks, Sally was the stereotypical girl child from a period that prioritized boys – under-appreciated by her parents. That lack of approval drove her to excellence in everything she did throughout her life. Never content to be excellent at one or even several things, she worked all her life to be the best. At everything.
After graduating high-school from Cardinal-Mooney High School in 1961, she got a teaching certificate, became the youngest teacher in Ohio, and taught first grade at St. Charles Catholic School that same fall, all while taking classes for her undergraduate degree in Education from Youngstown State University. While teaching at St. Charles, she won the Golden Apple award for Ohio Teacher-of-the-Year. After finishing her Bachelor’s degree, she immediately started working on her first Master’s degree in Education. Over the course of her teaching career, she taught every grade from kindergarten to twelfth, and taught special classes for both gifted and learning-impaired students. Not content to simply teach children the skills they would need to succeed in life, she went back to school for a second Master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling to become a high school guidance counselor at Farmington High School in 1984 to help guide students onto their life’s chosen path. In 1991, Sally participated in a U.S. Department of Education exchange program with its counterpart in the (then) Union of Soviet Socialist Republics as that country was transitioning into the modern country of Russia. She was in Leningrad at the time it transitioned back to its historical name, St. Petersburg. The goal of that exchange program was to teach the Russian guidance counselors to guide their children into their adult lives, rather than dictating them, as had been the practice there since the Russian Revolution.
Sally came from a large family and loved children dearly. She had two children of her own, but due to complications during those pregnancies, was unable to have more. Not content with that, she and her husband went to the Ohio Children’s Services Board and became foster parents in 1993. After retiring from being a guidance counselor in 1998, she and her husband moved to Florida, and enrolled in the foster parent program with the Florida Department of Children and Families. Additionally, she spent the early part of her retirement working as a children’s therapist at the COPE Center in DeFuniak Springs, hoping to prevent children from entering the foster system in the first place. In time, she got “too old to chase children around the house” (which she’d never admit to), so she and her husband switched to taking in intellectually disabled adults. By the time she finished, she and her husband cared for 91 foster children and 4 adults.
After retiring in 1998, Sally moved to DeFuniak Springs where she and her husband bought the historic Sunbright Manor, the former residence of Florida governor Sidney Catts. She enjoyed furnishing and decorating the house in period-themed rooms. As an avid lover of the Christmas season, she especially enjoyed decorating the home for Christmas. At Christmas time, she would set up and decorate up to thirty-eight Christmas trees, ranging in size from 4 feet to 12 feet, each with its own theme.
Sally was also a notable community member. She was a secretary for the DeFuniak Springs Women’s Club, was elected “Queen for Life” for the Red Hat Dollies of DeFuniak Springs. As a lover of flowers, and a part-time florist, she was a member of the Seagrove Garden Club, DeFuniak Springs Garden Club, and The Flower Shuttle. She was also an active church member of Christ the King Catholic Church in Freeport, where she served as a lector, Eucharistic minister, and parish councilor.
Sally is predeceased by her brother, George Banks and her sister, Mary Ann Banks along with her brothers-in-law, Thomas George, Jr., Edward John and Michael George, and sister-in-law Sandra Lee. Among survivors are her husband Reese Orlosky, her sons, Ted Cisine (Susan) and Brent Orlosky. Her grandchildren Katelyn, Allison, Kat Castillo (Michael) and Mady. Her brothers, Bob Banks, Jack Banks (Becky), Michael Banks (Joyce). Her sister-in-law Barbara Ann Banks also survives.
Floral arrangements are being accepted. A time of visitation will be Friday, October 21, 2022, from 10 until 11 AM with Mass beginning at 11:00 AM in Christ the King Catholic Church with Father Longin presiding. Friends and family may go on line to view obituaries, offer condolences and sign the guest register at evansmcdonaldfuneralhome.com.