Sarah Beatrice North Hillyer of Kennett Square, PA, died suddenly and peacefully, surrounded by family on July 3, 2022. Always the loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend, she was 87 years old.
Born in New York City, Sally grew up in Hewlett, NY where she was a member of the Rockaway Hunt Club and the Lawrence Beach Club. Excelling in swimming, sailing, tennis and golf (to the point of winning multiple club championships), Sally attended Milton Academy and Vassar College, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Phi Beta Kappa, in 1956.
Sally is survived by Peter Norman Hillyer, MD, her husband of nearly 66 years. While Pete was attending the University of Rochester School of Medicine, Sally was an economics forecaster for the Eastman Kodak Company. After stints in Boston and California, Pete and Sally became lifelong Pennsylvania residents starting in 1962 and cherished the history and beauty of Longwood Gardens and Valley Forge.
Sally and Pete also shared a love of family, music, nature, travel and reading. Alongside her husband, Sally was a devoted mother to Christopher D. Hillyer, MD and Susan North Hillyer Petrocelli and mother-in-law to Ronald D. Petrocelli, MD; dear grandmother to Whitney M. Hillyer Baldwin, Peter N. Hillyer, Margot M. Hillyer, MD, Kirsten E. Petrocelli, Jackson L. Hillyer and James C. (Bobby) Hillyer; delighted great grandmother to Christopher Wyatt Hillyer, Sarah H. (Holly) Baldwin, Margot Emma (Emmy) Baldwin, and Joseph Bradley Hillyer. Sally was predeceased by her siblings, Cecil Jackson North, Jr. and Mary North French.
Sally was a woman of remarkable gifts and a force of nature; spiritually oriented, with boundless energy and enthusiasm. She was a brilliant conversationalist, passionate advocate, loved and was deeply loved by her family and friends. She made every person feel special, loved for who they are and hoped to be, and was a cheerleader for each and every one along the way. A committed and loyal friend to many, Sally cherished and nurtured many friendships for decades.
Sally made her mark as one of a generation of early, independent, professional women while creating a loving home and active life for her family. She was the founder of Management for Professionals, a company that specialized in back-office functions for medical and dental offices and was involved with the early development of Community Volunteers In Medicine (CVIM). In addition, Sally was a member and officer of the Board of the Women’s Medical College (later Medical College of Pennsylvania), where she was also President of the Commonwealth Board. She served as Executive Director, National Foundation for Women’s Health.
As a lifelong volunteer and one who believed in the call to service, Sally held numerous leadership positions at the Waynesborough Country Club and was a very active member and leader of the Junior League of Philadelphia, serving as President from 1970-1972. Sally was a significant contributor to the Vassar community and served as a member and officer of the college’s Alumni Board. Long an advocate for women’s equality and voting rights for all, she remained an active voice until she died, most recently in support of efforts to ensure equity and inclusion in the redistricting of congressional seats in the state of Pennsylvania.
In lieu of flowers, donations will be gratefully appreciated to the following: CVIM, the Junior League of Philadelphia, the St. James School in Philadelphia, Vassar College, and the Westminster Presbyterian Church.
A memorial service will be at 2:00PM on Saturday, July 16, 2022 at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 10 W. Pleasant Grove Road, West Chester, PA, followed by a reception.
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