Sally Lassiter died peacefully at her home in Hot Springs, NC, surrounded by her family as she had always wanted, on October 31, 2020.
Mother, wife, homemaker, gardener, genealogist and insatiably curious learner, Sally loved family life and raising her children. She had an active mind and together with her husband, Ike, valued education. They raised their seven children to care deeply about reading and writing and to think critically about the world around them, enjoying wide-ranging, lively discussions over the family dinner table. She was a talented biscuit maker and enjoyed cooking, mountain streams, flowers and native plants, rocks brought to her from family and friends' trips, good conversations, reading stories about history and the mountains and writing. Her favorite thing in life was to connect people and bring them together.
Sally and Ike together had a unique gift of hospitality that they shared generously with others throughout their married life. The doors of their home were always open. They made friends easily through their years of service in education and schools and in their latter days living on the Appalachian Trail and helping thru-hikers.
Sally was a passionate activist who fought hard for the things that mattered to her. She held sacred these mountains where her ancestors lived and she fought against short-sighted overbuilding and overdevelopment that would damage the water and air quality for future generations.
Inspired by her love of Frederick Law Olmstead's work, Sally sought to transform the many properties she worked on with her gift of landscape design and gardening. A hard worker, she and her undergardener Ike undertook many projects using native plants and rocks to build beautiful gardens. Sally also designed, built and renovated homes, including three notable historic properties, for the benefit of her family and friends.
From a young age, Sally was fascinated by family history. She loved collecting stories and grew into a serious researcher in her adult life, working on projects to document and put together the Proffitt, Heiskell and Lassiter family histories from the early 1700s to the current day. Her work took her and Ike on the road traveling and researching throughout the South, Ireland and Scotland.
Sally's whole understanding of her history was informed by her Presbyterian heritage. Her favorite Bible verse was from Micah 6:8, "What does the Lord require of you? To do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." She tried to live out her faith based on this scripture.
Sarah Jeanne (Sally) Heiskell Lassiter was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on September 30, 1947 to Miriam and James M. Heiskell. She is survived by her beloved husband of 51 years, Isaac Homer (Ike) Lassiter III, and her adoring children: Matthew Lassiter of Ann Arbor, MI and Hot Springs, NC; Rebekah DeRoco of Richmond, Virginia; Sarah Beth
Murphy of Greensboro, NC; Isaac Homer (Chip) Lassiter IV of Sacramento, CA; Mary Alice Proffitt of Calais, VT; and Daniel Lassiter of Santa Cruz, CA; and her grandchildren: Lauren, Abby, Mia, Kate and Tess DeRoco; Clare and Anna Murphy; Finn, Grady and Violet Lassiter; Tennessee, Sylvia and Ursula Lamb; and Charlie and Beatrice Lassiter. In 1997 she was predeceased by her precious daughter, Rachel Leigh Lassiter of Atlanta, GA.
A private family service was held at her home in Hot Springs, NC, overlooking Spring Creek and the mountains she loved to call home.