Sarah W. Dempsey
Wanamassa - Sarah Woodford Dempsey, 94, of Wanamassa, Ocean Township, known as Sally to her friends and Bama to her family, died peacefully at home on Friday, April 27, 2018.
Born and raised in Union Springs, New York, Sally was a lifelong student, performer, and teacher of music. She received a Bachelor of Music from Crouse College of Music, Syracuse University in 1946, after which she taught music at Wesley Junior College in Dover, Delaware.
Sally moved with her husband, Joseph N. Dempsey, to Monmouth County, where they settled, raising six children in Interlaken. Sally taught piano to numerous students from the area, sang in the Monmouth Civic Chorus, and was a long-time member of the Ariel Club. Highly skilled with the needle, she joined a sewing club with some of her best friends, which met for many years. She worked in the library at Monmouth University in West Long Branch for 20 years, retiring in 2000. In her retirement, she traveled widely and enjoyed an active life with her beloved companion, Francis X. Crahay, who died in 2013.
Sally was a lifelong fan and supporter of Syracuse University sports, especially the lacrosse and basketball teams, as well as the New York Yankees. She stopped to greet every dog she came upon while out for a walk. She had many loves she gladly shared with all: chocolate in all its forms, the novels of Angela Thirkell, and the music of Cole Porter, especially as performed by Bobby Short.
She loved hosting dinner parties for her friends, and her hospitality and humor are remembered by all who knew her - including the many friends of her children and grandchildren who had the pleasure to meet her.
Sally was predeceased by her son, Joseph N. Dempsey, Jr., and her sister, Norma W. Ziegler. She is survived by her sisters, Claire W. Buchsbaum and Mary Elizabeth W. Kotite; her children: Claire W. Dempsey of Medford, MA; Deirdre E. Dempsey-Rush and her husband, Robert Rush, of New York City; Tim Dempsey and his wife, Julie Ogilvie, of Newmarket, NH; David Dempsey and his wife, Barbara Niccoli Dempsey, of Wanamassa; and Katie Dempsey and her husband, Greg Armknecht, of Oak Park, IL; her grandchildren, Ian Dempsey, Sam Dempsey, Sarah Keljikian, Joseph Dempsey, and William Dempsey; and her step-grandchildren, Wylie Rush, Pelle Vastano, and Eric Vastano. Memorial donations may be made in Sally's name to Monmouth Civic Chorus or Planned Parenthood. A memorial service will be held on Thursday, May 24th at 10 am at the Elberon Memorial Church, 70 Park Avenue, Elberon. For condolences, please visit www.fiorefuneralhomes.com.