The world lost a bit of its sunshine on Friday, October 6, 2023. Sally Wheelock passed away after a hard-fought battle with Alzheimer’s at 69 years old.
Harvey and Florence Reynolds gave birth to Sally on May 6th, 1954, in Vermillion, SD. She grew up in Vermillion alongside her sister Rene (Lee Vernon) and Brother Dale. Alongside Sally and her siblings, you could usually find a couple of what would be Sally’s lifelong friends, Donna Haukaas and Lynn Myron (Korel). While attending Vermillion High School, she met her future husband Randy Wheelock while popping popcorn in DECCA. After graduating from VHS in 1972 Randy and Sally married the following year on February 24th, 1973. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this past February.
Most of Sally’s work life was spent at the University of South Dakota in The Provost’s Office for Academic Affairs after starting in The Office of Criminal Justice & Social Behavior Department. Her famous unofficial title was, Future President Trainer, as many Future University President’s came through that office. Her actual title was far too long as after 42 years she usually said it was around 15 words long, shortened to Assistant to the Provost of Academic Affairs. As most anybody would tell you, Sally was never short of a smile or a good laugh. Her report cards always said, “avoid unnecessary talking,” clearly, she never really listened, and her family and friends would not have changed a thing! No matter what the situation she made sure everyone had fun because she was sure going to. After her Alzheimer’s diagnosis approximately 7 years ago Sally retired from The University of South Dakota to spend time with family.
When Sally and Randy decided they were ready to, “settle down,” Stacy was born on March 29, 1984. As many of their friends had a couple of kids already, from experience Sally and Randy decided they did not want to mess with perfection and were content with their family of three. Sally was an amazing mother, she was not just a mom, but a best friend to Stacy. They had many excursions and trips where they famously would, “lose,” track of time or would be talking so much they would get lost. The family of three expanded on September 11, 2010 when Stacy married Bryce Kauer in Rapid City, SD. Bryce was brought into the fold quickly as Sally had certain requirements; birthday weeks are a requirement; holiday decorating is not minimal but in excess and laughing is a must!
Sally always said she could not wait to be a Grandma. Sophia was born September 21st, 2012 and Isabelle on August 6th, 2014. She treasured every minute with them and had special rules just for Grandma and Grandpa Days; basically everything was negotiable; the kitchen was meant to get messy; spoiling was in the job description; dancing, singing, games, and story-telling will be constant activities and lastly dessert comes first! She loved her grandkids and took every chance she had to brag about them.
Sally was preceded in death by her Mother Florence Reynolds, Father, Harvey Reynolds, and Brother Dale Reynolds. She leaves behind her husband Randy Wheelock, their daughter and son-in-law Stacy and Bryce Kauer and their children Sophia and Isabelle all of Vermillion, SD. She also leaves behind her sister Rene and brother-in-law Lee Vernon of Dallas, NC and several nephews and nieces; Chad and Kara Brunick of Vermillion, SD; John and Amber Brunick (Isaiah, Elijah, and Olivia) of Gastonia, NC; Robert Vernon of Dallas, NC; Stephanie Vernon and Nate Burns (Sia) of Dallas, NC; Mother-in-law Jeanette Hackney of Vermillion, SD; brother-in-law Jim Wheelock; niece Whitney and Darren Mast (Hudson, Barret, Ivy, Kaylie, Kendall, Barret) and niece Caitlyn and Lee Mcbride (Aidric and Tate) all of Port Angeles, WA; sister-in-law Teresa & Dennis Wessling of Sgt. Bluff, IA; niece Shawna and Jessie Taylor (Christopher and Karma) of Sioux City, IA; niece Trista and Jason Linton (Theodore) of LeMars, IA; Kimberly and Toby Twait (Serenity, Dominic and Dante) of Sgt. Bluff, IA; brother-in-law Kevin and Teresa Wheelock; nephew Tyler and girlfriend Savannah all of Omaha, NE.
A visitation is being held at Hansen Funeral Home on Wednesday, October 11th, 2023 from 5 – 7 PM.