Remembering Sarah ‘Sally’ Louise Garland, 93, spunky grandmother known for her biscuits and gravy

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Sarah "Sally" Louise Garland
Sarah “Sally” Louise Garland

Deemed her family’s matriarch, Sarah “Sally” Louise Garland had a big title to live up to–and she more than filled the shoes.

Her family remembers her as an outspoken woman whose talents were many and love for her family was unmatched.

Mrs. Garland, a resident of Winnabow, died peacefully in her sleep on Oct. 19, 2015, after a period of declining health. She was 93.

During the holidays, Mrs. Garland insisted on celebrating at her house, according to her granddaughter, Kara Mitchell. It wasn’t difficult to round up the family since most of them lived within one mile of each other, including a number of her great-grandchildren and their families.

It wasn’t just the holidays and close quarters that kept her family coming around, though. Mrs. Mitchell said they would often call to find out what Mrs. Garland was cooking, and her response was always the same: “I can whip up some biscuits and gravy and baked apples.”

It was the comfort food she was known for, Mrs. Mitchell said, and no one ever went hungry in her home. She loved to feed others and she didn’t save the biscuits and gravy for special events — she made them as often as possible. Even in the last couple of weeks while she was bedridden, Mrs. Garland wanted to make sure everyone in her family had something to eat. It was part of her personality, a spunky spark her family adored. And it was always matched with complete honesty.

“The running joke was if you don’t want to know the truth, don’t ask her,” Mrs. Mitchell said, laughing. “You were going to get her opinion.”

When she wasn’t in the kitchen, she could be found in her favorite chair, her Bible on the end table next to her, with either a needle and thread or yarn and crochet hooks. Mrs. Mitchell said her grandmother retired from the Timme Corp. textile factory, then opened a fabric shop at her home. She tailored for many people in the area and made many items of clothing.

Mrs. Garland also crocheted sweaters and bonnets for all of her grandchildren, Mrs. Mitchell said, including her great-great-granddaughter who is due in December.

Family was important to Mrs. Garland, her granddaughter said, as well as her Christian beliefs. She instilled the love of both in those around her. Having a tight knit family, Mrs. Garland spent a lot of time with her grandchildren. When Mrs. Mitchell’s sons were younger, Mrs. Garland took care of them after school. She taught them how to take care of the garden and the boys could drive a tractor “before they could reach the steering wheel of the car.”

“Those are childhood memories that even the great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren got to experience,” Mrs. Mitchell said. “We have so many wonderful memories.”

In all of her children and grandchildren, including great- and great-great-grandchildren, Mrs. Garland instilled the importance of reading the Bible. Her own copy, worn and well-loved, was thumbed through and read daily. When the words became difficult to see, she switched to a large print Bible and continued her readings, leaving her bookmark on Psalm 119.

She was born April 24, 1922, and was a member of New Hope Presbyterian Church in Winnabow.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Walter Lee Garland; sons-in-law, Elbert Lee Sullivan and Steven Wayne Vallender; grandson-in-law, Joseph John Staradumsky; and several brothers and sisters.

She is survived by her daughters, Clara Sue Sullivan and Linda Lee Vallender; grandchildren, Kara Sullivan Mitchell (John), Deborah Sullivan Senekal (Andre), Michael Wayne Fields (Sally), Sarah Sullivan Southerland (Randy), Lisa Sullivan Batts (Bryan) and Mark Allen Fields (Kim); great-grandchildren, Chad Staradumsky, Britton Piner (Chris), Andy Staradumsky, Kyleigh Piner (Keith), Jessica Turner (Bryce), Mark Fields Jr. (Brittany), Tyler Fields (Maddie), Allysa Fields (Trae) and Ethan Fields; and great-great-grandchildren, Kynleigh Elizabeth St. Pierre, Lena Denise Fields, Ava Rayne Prosser and another St. Pierre little girl due in December.

Funeral services will be held at noon on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015, at New Hope Presbyterian Church in Winnabow. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service.

The family would like to give a special thank you to Brunswick County Hospice nurses Wendy, Meghan, Jeannette, Christie and Tina.

Please leave online condolences for the family in the comment section below.

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Amanda Thames is the obituary writer for Port City Daily. Reach her at 910-772-6300 or obits@portcitydaily.com.