Memorial for Sally Hite Casey ’43
Former resident of San Jose
Our beloved Aunt Sally passed away peacefully in her sleep, from cancer. Sally was born in Charleston, IL and grew up on the family farm. She was preceded in death by parents Kate and John Hite, and sisters Mary Jane Wisner and Johnny Faith. She earned her degree in music from Millikin University and taught music in Rantoul, IL. She married the late William J. Casey in 1944 and had a son James, in 1951. They moved to California and opened an import/export store in 1953. In 1973, she received her Bachelors degree in Botany and Masters in Biological Science in 1978 from San Jose State. She taught classes at San Jose State, Foothill College, and Mission College in Santa Clara. Being a founding member of the Santa Clara Valley Chapter of California Native Plant Society, she was known as an expert on native grasses. Sally was also a community resource with U.C. Cooperative Extension Master Gardener program, California Rare Fruit Growers, and Western Horticultural Society. She earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from U.C. Cooperative Extension. She had a native plant nursery in her backyard and donated her plants to various local fundraisers. Her son James unexpectedly died in 1985, leaving Sally a granddaughter, Jaimie. They shared a close relationship which lasted until Jaimie's untimely death in 2017. In January 2018, Sally moved to Henderson, NV to live with nephew Joel Wisner and wife C.J. Sally is also survived by nephews John and Jay Wisner, Steve and Alan Faith, and nieces Kathy Grams and Carol McCray. Sally is sorely missed and will always be lovingly remembered by her many friends and family members. A memorial will be held in San Jose this Spring. Contributions in her memory may be made to CNPS (Santa Clara Valley Chapter) or Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County.
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on Feb. 16, 2019