Sally Jo Swift, 65, of Phoenix, Ore., passed away at her home May 13, 2012. Sally was born August 8, 1946, in Sacramento, Calif., to Albert B. and Marion E. Durr Swift. After growing up in the Sacramento area and moving to Alaska for a short time, Sally graduated from Southern Oregon College with both a Bachelor's and Master's of Science in Education. Sally was a school teacher for many years, including teaching special education. She was a supporter of 4-H and Future Farmers of America programs, and she was active in Republican politics.
Sally was happiest on her ranch, working or riding her horses with her dogs, cats, and goats trailing along. She raised and showed registered Dorset and Corriedale wool sheep and was proud of the quality registered herd she built over the years. Sally has been described as "Mother Earth," caring for many animals, including countless "rescues" no one else wanted.
Survivors include her sisters, Susan (Marty) Reiter, of East Haddam, Conn., Sheryl Swift, of Rogue River, Ore., Shannon (Bryan) Bergstedt, of Bellevue, Wash., and Megan (Paul) Bartels, of Walla Walla, Wash.; nieces and nephews, Tara, Trienne, and Brandon, and their spouses and children; cousins, Rod, Nancy, and Lance; and special friends who will miss her, including Barbara Decker and Don Ellsworth; Johanna, Scott and God-daughter, Jordin Scholer; Frank Tucker; Don and Janelle Hill; Jose Flores; and Jennifer Marvin; in addition to the numerous other friends that were especially kind, caring and helpful in the last phase of Sally's life.
Friends and family will gather at her ranch for a celebration of her life, Monday, June 18, 2012, at 2:00 p.m. Her instructions were to "have a party" and reminisce about the laughter you shared with her and each other. Sally, always a "giver," donated her remains for medical science research.
Donations in Sally's memory can be made to the charity of your choice, Rogue Valley Medical Center Hospice, 2960 Doctor's Park Drive, Medford, OR 97504, or to the Jackson County 4-H Leaders Association, c/o OSU Extension Service, 569 Hanley Rd., Central Point, OR 97501.