Beloved matriarch, and esteemed social worker, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, January 24, 2024, leaving behind a legacy of love, kindness, and dedication to helping others. Sally was the daughter of the late John and Eileen Emery of Gross Pointe, Michigan. She was a loving partner to Marc Belair and predeceased by her husband Wayne McMinn. A proud mother of Ashley McMinn (Cathy), Matthew McMinn and Sarah McMinn (Tim). A devoted grandmother of Mitchel McMinn, Madison McMinn, Shannon Solomon, Danika Edwards, Ashton Edwards, Blake Edwards, Brooklynn Edwards and Maythis McMinn. Special sister of Lauree Emery (Karen), Joanne Sintic (Rick), Mary Ellen Emery, John Emery and predeceased by Mark Emery (Judy). Sally will also be missed by her many special nieces, nephews and cousins.
Born on Palm Sunday, April 3, 1955, in Detroit, Michigan, Sally’s life journey was marked by unwavering compassion and zeal for life. Sally’s educational journey began at St. Paul Catholic School and Grosse Pointe South High School. She later pursued her higher education at Grand Valley State University, where she majored in Social Studies. With her keen intellect and passion for helping others, Sally continued her professional development, earning MBA and MSW degrees. Her commitment to excellence led her to travel widely, developing valued expertise in crisis management, trauma-informed care, aging, CBT (under the tutelage of the renowned Aaron Beck), play therapy, interpersonal violence, supervision, and community practice.
Throughout her life, Mackinac Island continued to be a source of joy and inspiration for Sally. From working at the iconic Grand Hotel to teaching at the local school, whether preparing meals for island residents or dispatching horse-drawn carriages, she embraced every opportunity on the island with enthusiasm and dedication.
Sally’s many passions included playing catcher in softball, biking, reading, shopping, learning, and helping others. Her greatest joy reflects a deep abiding love for family and friends. Sally’s contagious energy, fun-loving nature, and easy-going attitude endeared her to all who knew her. She remained connected to her childhood best friends and was steadfast in her support for loved ones.
As a mother and grandmother, Sally exemplified the essence of family devotion. Her unwavering kindness, infectious laugh, genuine smile, and steadfast love will be deeply missed by her surviving family members.
Sally’s legacy as an authentic, caring, and empathic social worker and caregiver lives on through the countless lives she touched. Her impact will be felt for generations to come, a testament to her remarkable spirit and unwavering commitment to serving others.
Friends and family are invited to visit at Northwood Funeral Home Cremation and Reception Centre on Friday, February 2, 2024 from 11:00 a.m. until the time of the Funeral Service in the Chapel at 1:00 p.m. with Mrs. Helen Smith officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the Algoma Family Services Foundation would be appreciated by the family.
She will forever remain in our hearts. May she rest in peace knowing that her love and light will continue to shine. www.northwoodfuneral.com