March 3, 1939 — Dec. 30, 2023
Shrewsbury – The vocations of nurse and mother go hand-in-hand. Sally Franchi was trained and educated in nursing but how blessed were her three children to have her as mother as well the countless number of patients who crossed her path.
Sally passed peacefully after a battle with dementia in the comfort and wonderful care of her daughter’s home in West Boylston on Saturday, December 30, 2023. In the liturgical calendar of the Church, we celebrated ‘Holy Family’ this past weekend. And…Sally’s kids lived the gospel in caring for their mother in these past years that were challenging and as the roles reversed…her children became her nurse. It is a wonderful blessing and testament to a life well lived.
Sally Ann Stimets was born March 3, 1939 in Worcester the daughter of George and Mary (Clifford) Stimets. Her dad, a Burlington, Vermont native and her mother, native of Co. Cork, Ireland had the wonderful union of the color green. Sally attended parochial schools in Worcester and graduated from Saint Peter’s High School in 1957. She earned her degree in nursing from Worcester City Hospital School of Nursing in 1960 and earned her Master’s degree from Assumption University.
Upon graduation from nursing school, she worked at Worcester City Hospital on Queen Street and became an instructor in its department of surgery. Nurses were the life-line and front people of that hospital. Sally took leave from nursing to take on the role of mother full-time and raise her three children in her much-loved Shrewsbury. After they were well into their school years she returned to work and was the Agency Manager of Superior Care Agency Co. in Worcester.
After a long career in nursing, Sally transitioned to sales for New York Life where she easily earned recognition from the million dollars round table.
Sally’s home on Francis Avenue was a place where all were always welcome. Her kids’ friends adored ‘Mrs. Franchi’ as they always admired her kindness, ability to quietly mentor, advise and guide all peppered with genuine love and affection. Sally loved summers in Maine, Hampton Beach and countless hours locally by the Franchi pool.
All who knew Sally know she loved a game of cards. Sally was ruthless and competitive, and many fell to her success and wild competitiveness. A night owl she played bridge religiously and really loved any kind of game.
Throughout her eighty-four years her faith was a constant. A longtime member of Saint Mary’s Parish she taught in their CCD program and had a life-long devotion to Our Lady.
No doubt Sally will be missed but she is now free from the restrictions, paralysis and confusion of dementia. Her family is eternally grateful for the care extended by JHC hospice so that Sally could die the way she lived…with dignity. Her smile and spirit remain in the faces and hearts of all whom she knew.
She leaves her children, Karen L. Girardi (Angelo) of Virginia Beach, Virginia, Kimberly C. Pizzarella (Steven) of West Boylston and Robert T. Franchi of Shrewsbury; her grandchildren, Steven and Katarina Pizzarella, Nicholas, Alexander and Isabella Franchi, Joshua and Abigail Girardi; her siblings, Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Joubert (Frank) of Northborough, Ruth McCue of Shrewsbury and John Stimets (Karen) of Bonita Springs, Florida; also survived by many nieces & nephews. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her brother-in-law, Sean McCue; in-laws, Diane and Michelle Franchi.
Family and friends will honor and remember Sally’s life by gathering for visitation on Friday, January 5th in Saint Mary’s Church, 640 Main Street, SHREWSBURY from 10 to 11 a.m. followed by her funeral Mass celebrated at 11 a.m. Burial will follow in Mountain View Cemetery, Shrewsbury.
Please omit flowers. Expressions of sympathy may be made to Alzheimer’s Association, 309 Waverley Oaks Road, Waltham, MA 02452 or https://www.alz.org/.
Arrangements by James & John Heald of The Joyce Funeral Home, 245 Main Street, Waltham.