Letter: It was an honor to know Sally Havstad

I had the honor of attending the funeral/memorial/celebration of life for an amazing woman this morning. It’s funny how these occasions cause memories, often long forgotten, to come rushing back.

Sarah (Sally, to most of us in Rappahannock) Havstad never lacked for energy. Her generous heart, and no-nonsense, loving nature touched children and their families for decades. As I looked around the church I saw old Garden Club, Band Booster and 4-H friends. I’m sure there were also friends from Girl Scouts, and neighbors as well.

My memories were mostly Band Booster related. I remember:

• Standing with Sally by the sink in the RCHS band room, Simple Green in hand, often with other band parents, scrubbing 60 pairs of white marching shoes before each band performance;

• chaperoning band trips with her to Williamsburg, Blacksburg and Pennsylvania;

• planning seven Coffee House fundraisers, with Sally, boosters’ treasurer, always at the door collecting money;

• helping her raise funds for and hemming band uniforms;

• loading the band trailer that would be towed by her pick-up truck to competitions and other performances;

• selling citrus fruit with her (her idea) and distributing it in freezing winter weather from the Rappahannock Co-op’s loading dock;

• chairing a Theme Basket fundraiser at every Christmas concert — also Sally’s idea brought from Pennsylvania. After every Coffee House, she washed and ironed 40 tablecloths! And then there was her involvement in the Garden Club, and 4-H, and Girl Scouts . . .

My involvement, and the involvement of other parents, in these activities is not particularly noteworthy. We were all parents and it was our responsibility to support our kids’ endeavors, but Sally was not a band parent at that time. Her children were raised and grandchildren were appearing, yet she loved and cared for our children as her own. Amazing!

Through 4-H, Girl Scouts, Band and any other place that she could find children to “adopt,” there was Sally — giving it her all, and loving every minute. I’ll never forget her, nor will the many children and parents whose lives she touched. I was honored to know her.

Jan Makela

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