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Sarah "Sally" Wilson

November 25, 2022
Sarah "Sally" Wilson
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Obituary for Sarah "Sally" Wilson

Sally Wilson, Sarah Stapleton Doran, (95) died in Bristol, RI, on Friday November 25, 2022. She was the wife of the late George E. Wilson, Jr. who died in 1998.

She is survived by four sons and a daughter – George Earl Wilson, III; Joseph Doran Wilson; Andrew Charles Wilson and his wife, Karen K. Gautreaux; David Leeman Wilson; and, Sara Marie Wilson; as well as three grandchildren, Anna (Wilson) Schnitzler (Ian); Gabrielle (Wilson) Schnepper (Max); and Trevor Wilson (Cholatorn “Cholly” Matekul); and one great-grandchild, Sadie Schnitzler. She is also survived by three nephews, Martin, Paul and Timothy Harrington and a niece, Nondi Harrington, children of her sister, the late Nancy Harrington Petry of Denver, Colorado.

Sally, daughter of Joseph G. and Anna S. Doran, grew up in Providence, graduating from Elmhurst Academy of the Sacred Heart in 1944, and College of New Rochelle in 1948. After graduation she worked in the Admitting Room of R.I. Hospital and then became a Kindergarten teacher for the Providence School System.

The Wilson family moved in l961 to Bristol Highlands, and Sally became an active member of many Bristol organizations – Bristol Art Museum (serving a two-year term as Chairman); Bristol Highlands Improvement Association (editor of the BHIA newsletter, “The Highlander,” for several years); Blithewold Gardens and Arboretum; Coggeshall Farm; Bristol Historical and Preservation Society; Friends of Linden Place; and Mt. Hope Farm. She was also a long-time member of the Bristol Garden Club, and a former member of the Bristol Yacht Club, the Wannamoisett Country Club, the Squantum Association, and the Rhode Island Short Story Club from which she received first prize in 1967 for her short story, “My Friend-Mrs. Gladding.”

In 1976, she authored an historical piece, "Who was Commodore Whipple?" about the first Commodore of the American Navy, published in Revolutionary Portraits: People, Places and Events from Rhode Island's Historic Past, in conjunction with the Rhode Island Bicentennial Foundation. The piece has also been posted on the Gaspee Virtual Archives as Commodore Whipple had organized the Gaspee raid.

Perhaps her most memorable piece was, "Remember When....everyone had eyes for 'Old Blue Eyes,'" published in the Rhode Islander Magazine of the Providence Journal in1969. That was a story about a time in 1942 when she and some other 15-year-old friends posed as teen "reporters" to interview Frank Sinatra in a restaurant booth when he had visited RI. Some of her best times were spent in Matunuck, RI where the Doran Family members were long time summer residents and valued participants in that Community Association.

Sally was a devoted, active member of St. Mary’s Parish, Bristol where her Funeral will be held on Friday December 9, 2022 at 10:00AM followed by a reception in the church.. At her request there will be no Calling Hours. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, Donations may be made to Visiting Nurse Home & Hospice, 1184 E. Main Road, Portsmouth, RI 02871, Condolences may be left at

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