Sally Ruth Sims Stokes, of Silver Spring, Maryland, died of cancer on August 13th at Holy Cross Hospital.
She is survived by her husband Samuel Newton Stokes, their son Thomas Wiatt Stokes, her brother John Marshall Sims of Tyler, Texas, and her sister Emily Cordelia Sims of Philadelphia. She was predeceased by her brother Jefferson Michael Sims and her parents Eugene and Jean Ashby Johnson Sims.
Born in Philadelphia, Sally spent most of her childhood in Lower Merion, Pennsylvania, except for a couple of years in Cincinnati and St. Louis. She graduated from Lower Merion High School and William & Mary. She received master’s degrees from George Washington University in American studies and Clarion University in library sciences.
Sally had a long career in humanities research, historic preservation, and academic library administration. She taught at Clarion University, Ohio State, Kent State, the University of Maryland and, most recently, Catholic University.
In 1987, Sally moved to Greenbelt, Maryland, to manage the new National Trust Historic Preservation Library Collection at the University of Maryland. She and Sam were married the following year and moved to Silver Spring. Tom was born in 1990.
Academic research was Sally’s passion. She had numerous articles published in professional journals, gave presentations at conferences, and organized exhibitions on an eclectic range of humanities topics that fascinated her. Examples include: historic sites in rural northwestern Pennsylvania, what women cyclists wore in the 1890s, California school architects Allison & Allison, the behind-the-scenes lives of White House workers, religious quotas for government workers moving into the Maryland planned community of Greenbelt in the 1930s, the creation of the Temple of Religion at the 1939-1940 New York World’s Fair, women’s fashions exhibited at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, decorative tiles designed for FDR’s White House library, and British children’s author Noel Streatfeild—the subject she returned to most frequently.
Sally was an avid reader, loved needle work, and derived great pleasure from getting to know her neighbors and their children on her daily walks near her home in the Sligo Park Hills neighborhood of Silver Spring.
A gathering of friends and family will be planned for a later date. Burial will be in the Stokes family plot at the Woodlawn Cemetery, New York City.
Sally was committed to supporting the study of history, art history, and children’s literature. The family invites memorial contributions to any the following:
Sims Scholarship, Department of History, Marshall University
By check: Marshall University Foundation, 519 John Marshall Drive, Huntington, WV 25703.
Maier Museum of Art, Randolph College
Online: Randolphcollege.edu/give/online. (Designate Maier Museum of Art.)
By check: Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College, Randolph College, P.O. Box 3215, Lynchburg, VA 24503
de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection, University of Southern Mississippi
Online: https://www.degrummond.org/donate. (Specify fund #0679.)
By check: The de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection, University of Southern Mississippi, 118 College Drive, #5148, Hattiesburg, MS 39406. (Check should be made out to the USM Foundation. Note fund #0679 on the memo line.)