Sarah “Sally” Long Jobsis, 86, died after an extended argument with the ravages of time. She was born November 18, 1929 in Baltimore to William and Catherine (Mullen) Long. Sally graduated from the University of Maryland, where she majored in Sociology. After marriage (the late Frans Jobsis), her adult years began in Ann Arbor, MI and ended in Durham, where her children were raised. Growing up near water, Sally spent her youth on the Chesapeake Bay at the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Her love of the water continued at the North Carolina coast after relocating to Durham, and soon thereafter the beach would become her favorite place to travel; Sally found relaxation and peace simply gazing at the ocean.
After the Jobsis family moved to Durham in 1964, it took little time for Sally to immerse herself in advocacy work. She began with administering IQ testing for an education improvement program while becoming active in the NC Civil Rights Advisory Committee. After graduate studies in counseling, Sally was hired as the Assistant Director of Human Relations for the City of Durham, where after 5 years, she developed the Employee Relations section of the city’s Personnel Dept. She retired after nearly 20 years.
Sally was a lifelong humanitarian, and in many ways, a woman ahead of her time. She was outspoken and “hand to the plow” in race relations, political activism and any causes toward social justice and educational opportunity. With boundless energy she maintained a household with 5 children, a career and endless volunteer work, though her primary and most rewarding vocation was as a mother. In retirement Sally relished her time with family and friends, happily making journeys to visit her children and grandchildren.
Sally was people-loving, gregarious and lavishly hospitable. The open doors of the busy Jobsis household also drew in countless neighborhood youngsters who considered Sally their second mother. For them she was a “go to” person and a safe place. Her open mindedness, keen perception and worldly wisdom were the gifts Sally gave to adolescents seeking advice and dealing with challenges. Sally could discern their potential, affirm and encourage these young people, and dispense sound advice.
Sally Jobsis will be remembered as a woman with a broad smile, enormous spirit and vivid presence. Her keen intellect and progressive worldview enabled her to make a notable difference in many lives. Sally enriched her own soul with her natural curiosity, love of travel, art and music, good food and wine, and, in turn, lived generously to lift up the souls of others. Her family grieves her death but can now begin to celebrate Sally’s loving and productive life.
Surviving are her children, Catherine “Terry” Jobsis Hoernke and husband, Wayne of Poynette, WI , Gerrit J. Jobsis and wife, Vicki Bunnell of Columbia, SC, William T. Jobsis and wife, Sandy Petersen of Rosendale, NY, Maria “Mieke” Jobsis and husband, Larry Simms of Durham, and Paul D. Jobsis and wife, Rosalyn Rossignol of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands; her grandchildren, Richard, Sage, Shannon, Halley, Frans, Dylan, Sarah Grace, Robert, Annalies, Leo; her great granddaughter, Kyliegha; a sister, Sandra Shick; her godchild Genevieve; and special friends, June Johnson, Judy Jessop and husband, Gail Marsh, and Susanne & Keith Schneider.
Funeral services will be 3:00 PM Tuesday from the Chapel of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service. Friends will be received in the funeral home from 2-3:00 PM Tuesday. Private cremation will follow. Gifts in Sally’s memory may be made to the Southern Poverty Law Center, splcenter.org or Planned Parenthood, plannedparenthood.org. On-line memorials: hallwynne.com.
The Jobsis family expresses heartfelt thanks to Donna Hawkins, Gayle Jones and her other caretakers, and all the staff at Seasons of Southpoint for their tender, thoughtful and extraordinary care.