Sylvia Ormiston thumbnail

Sylvia Ormiston

February 8, 1913 -
July 31, 2020

Born February 8, 1913 in Witt, Illinois. She is the daughter of George and Rose (Sellett) Rushford. She married Emmett E. Ormiston “Ormy” on December 21, 1940 in La Salle, Illinois. Ormy passed away March 15, 1996, in Urbana, Illinois. Sally is survived by her two sons, George E. Ormiston of Villa Rica, Geo…read more

Born February 8, 1913 in Witt, Illinois. She is the daughter of George and Rose (Sellett) Rushford. She married Emmett E. Ormiston “Ormy” on December 21, 1940 in La Salle, Illinois. Ormy passed away March 15, 1996, in Urbana, Illinois. Sally is survived by her two sons, George E. Ormiston of Villa Rica, Georgia, and Fred I. Ormiston of Montgomery, Texas, 8 grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren. She was proceeded in death by her parents and brothers Dr. Gene Rushford, Dr. Lou Rushford, Dr. Irwin Rushford and many relatives.

Sally graduated from La Salle-Peru High School and La Salle-Peru Junior College. Attended the University of Illinois and Illinois State University and thereafter taught 4 grades of students together in a one room school house at Grand Ridge, Illinois before her marriage, and continued teaching in La Salle County during World War II while Ormy was in the U.S. Army overseas.

Sally and Ormy belonged to Grace United Methodist Church in Urbana, Illinois. Prior to her move to Texas to be near her son, Fred, she lived at Parkview Senior Apartments in Savoy, where she started a church service. On her 100th birthday, she received a letter congratulating her from the President of the United States. Always involved in the Urbana community, Sally was a longstanding member of Champaign County Nursing Home Auxiliary, the Carle Foundation Hospital Auxiliary (RSVP) Retired Senior Volunteer Program, where she dedicated thousands of hours of service time. She was several times a past President of the Urbana Women’s Club, and the Auxiliaries. Sally lived in Fred’s home in Montgomery, Texas for a couple of years before residing at Colonial Oaks assisted living center in, Katy, Texas for the past 1-1/2 years, where she became acquainted with many new friends, played cards, dominos, and enjoyed the regular musical entertainment. She became genuine friends with many of the staff, who cared for her as their own. Fred visited her and ate lunch or dinner with her nearly every day, often accompanied by her granddaughter Ava. Although the distance was great, George as well as her grand kids were able to visit several times during her stay in Texas. Her granddaughter Raquel lived with her while attending college in Illinois and never missed a birthday. All of her friends and staff enjoyed her warm winning smile, and conversing with her. On her 106 birthday ABC news network came to the party and interviewed her, then broadcast the interview on the evening news.

In 1981 Sally was nominated for Illinois State Mother of the Year. For 56 years she was married to Ormy until his passing. She went with him and Fred and George to India in 1961 for 2-1/2 years where Dr. Ormiston worked with the Agricultural College at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India teaching cattle crossbreeding, feed and nutrition and processes for better milk production. During this time Sally used her teaching skills to home school Fred and George. In 1968 Sally and Ormy returned again to the Uttar Pradesh Agricultural University in Pantnagar U.P., India for an additional 3 year assignment. During their stay they met with Prime Minister Nehru, India’s Presidents, and many other dignitaries. Going to and from India, she experienced travel to many countries around the world.

Sally enjoyed throughout her lifetime, reading, playing cards with friends, knitting and crocheting. Knitting afghans for family members was a favorite pastime. She always wanted to know what colors we liked in our next afghan. But not only did she knit for the family, she also knitted for friends and for the ‘bazaars” where the auxiliary would sell her handiwork to make money to support their various charitable projects like the Carle Auxiliary Guest House. Her large wall crocheting of The Last Supper still is displayed at the Champaign County Nursing Home. She was the most “giving” and “caring” person you would ever meet.

Sally became the adopted Mom for many of Fred’s friends. Alex, who “adopted Mom” always stopped on his way to and from Houston from his summer farm in Michigan to visit in Urbana, and he brought a huge special cake to her 106 Birthday party. She was called Mom not only by George and Fred, but also Alex,, Steve, and Mark, who knew her for the past 45 plus years. She had friends from several generations, and could relate to them all. While residing in Texas she gained many new friends who cherish the experience of visiting with her at Fred’s home and later at Colonial Oaks in Katy.

Any time you visited her it was a fulfilling experience. No matter who you were, she would insist on you eating something, whether it be a piece of homemade cake or pie, glass of tea, a full blown meal, or a great piece of chocolate (which she loved).  And upon leaving, she would always cheerfully say “come when you can”. She was always available to lend a hand, or listen with compassion. Sally left a lasting wonderful impression with whomever she came in contact. Always a steadfast, honorable, caring, extremely generous, loving mother and friend to all. She will be greatly missed not only by her family who loved her dearly, but also by the many friends and persons she encountered throughout her 107-1/2 year lifetime. On July 31, 2020 Heaven gained a very special Angel.

Entombment will be held at 10:00 a.m. Monday, August 10, 2020 at Mount Hope Cemetery, 611 East Pennsylvania Ave., Champaign, Illinois.        

In Lieu of Sending Flowers please make a donation to:  Carle Auxiliary Guest House, 611 West Park Street, Urbana, Illinois 61801.  Online:, Click  on “giving” Click on “Make a Donation” (red box), Under “Please choose the program you wish to support” scroll down Carle Auxiliary Guest House and enter this item, then follow the form.

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Service Information

Service Information

Date: Monday, August 10, 2020

Time: 10:00 am

Mt. Hope Mausoleum


611 E. Pennsylvania Ave.
Champaign, IL 61820

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