BAR HARBOR – Sally Ann (Birkholz) Himes of Bar Harbor died May 15, 2016, at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth at the age of 86. She was born on Jan. 6, 1930, in Minocqua, Wis., the daughter of Alfred and Crystal Birkholz.
Sally attended nursing school at the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point and graduated from nurse’s training at Michael Reese School of Nursing in Chicago.
She soon traded a nurse’s uniform for a flight attendant’s, earning her wings with Ozark Airlines, and flew out of her hub in Chicago for several years.
It was in Chicago that Sally met her future husband, George Himes. They married in 1950, on her parents’ 25th anniversary in Woodruff, Wis.
Sally and George moved to Chadron, Neb., and Mapleton, Iowa, before moving to Guilford, where four of their five daughters — Cheryl, Tammy, Storey and Georgette — were born. The family later moved to East Millinocket, where Sally gave birth to their youngest daughter, Heather.
In 1968, Sally, George and their five girls moved to Bar Harbor.
Sally remained a stay-at-home mom until after she and George divorced. She then began working outside the home as a personal caregiver; worked at The Summit House nursing home; as a waitress at The Mary Jane in Bar Harbor, and then used her nursing degree once again as a caregiver for numerous families in the area.
Sally was, in a word, a character.
She had two fears, one of which was snakes.
Despite that fear, she never kept her girls from digging up snakes in the woods or bringing home just about any species they could find.
Sally’s other fear wasn’t dying, exactly. “I’m not afraid of dying,” she’d say. “I’m afraid of going to heaven because I don’t know if I’ll see anyone there that I know.”
The Himes girls kept a menagerie of animals, from dogs and cats, to guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, parakeets, a squirrel monkey named Crookey, a fawn named Dude and a special raccoon named Karma.
Even when she was doing housework, Sally always wanted to look her best. One of Sally’s favorite sayings was, “All dressed up with nowhere to go.”
Sally was something of a paradox; because despite never leaving the house without jewelry, some makeup and long, manicured, fingernails, her favorite foods were fried and her favorite kind of wine was cheap.
At every sleepover the Himes girls ever had, Sally cooked up memorable homemade french fries and popcorn.
It was always a holiday at Nannie’s house, as her grandkids called her. She never decorated for a holiday, because she never un-decorated. Depending on which corner of her house you looked, it could be Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter.
Sally was predeceased by her former husband, George; brother Richard Birkholz and his wife, Norma; sister Janet Yelton; sister-in-law Lee Birkholz and niece Sally Binger.
She is survived by her five daughters: Cheryl Curtis of Lamoine; Tammy Bloom and husband Terry of Bar Harbor; Storey Testa and husband, Tom, of Palm Beach, Fla., and Bar Harbor; Georgette Richardson and husband, Scott, of Bar Harbor; Heather Davis and husband, Arthur, of San Anselmo, Calif., and Bar Harbor; nine grandchildren: Donny Mace and girlfriend Taylor of Southwest Harbor; Kyle Damon of South Portland; Mackenzie and Benjamin Curtis; Sierra and Joshua Bloom; Thomas Testa; Luke and Hunter Davis; one great-granddaughter, Mirabelle Mace; two step-grandchildren, Jamie Richardson of Houston, Texas; Kyle Richardson and wife Nicole of Bar Harbor, and their son Walker.
She is also survived by her siblings Jack Birkholz, Jennie Lee Peterson and husband, Sam; brother-in-law Tom Yelton; special nieces Mindy Matz, Sue Wright, Kim Christensen, Jackie Duerst, Christine Garcia, Leann Wassgren, Teri Short, Tori Brunold, Traci McClintock and Tanya Previtt; and special nephews, Lance Birkholz, Hal Yelton and Ty Peterson.
In honor of Sally’s wishes, there will be no formal services. There will be an informal celebration of her life in July.
Arrangements in care of Jordan-Fernald, 1139 Main St., Mount Desert.
Condolences may be expressed at www.jordanfernald.com.