Cover photo for Sally Bay Bartlett's Obituary
Sally Bay Bartlett Profile Photo
1948 Sally 2021

Sally Bay Bartlett

April 1, 1948 — March 26, 2021

Sally Bay Bartlett died on March 26, 2021, following a brief hospitalization.  Her daughter Melissa Kathryn Bartlett and her son John Hamilton Bartlett were by her side.  Born in Webster City, Iowa, Sally grew up in Algona, Iowa.  Her parents Melvin John Bay and Ruth Margaret Kuehl predeceased her.


 Sally was a graduate of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota (1969), where she majored in English literature with a minor in Spanish and was active in campus activities.   Upon her marriage to Dr. William G. Bartlett (Bill) in 1969, the newlyweds moved immediately to Des Moines, Iowa, where they would live for almost 39 years.  Upon Bill’s death in 2008, Sally settled in Orange Park, Florida while keeping homes and friendships in West Des Moines and in Table Rock Lake, Missouri.


Sally taught Advanced Placement English at Urbandale High School in 1970-1975.  She continued her teaching career at Urbandale Middle School in 1992 and retired in 1998.  Her love for teaching continued through the years as she taught piano.


Sally was deeply engaged in the civic life of Des Moines with memberships in the Junior League and PEO.  She was co-chair of Festival of Trees in 1988.  A board member of the West Des Moines Library, Sally was an avid reader.  In every community in which she was a part, she would start a book club.  She was a member of Faith Lutheran Church in West Des Moines and served as president of the Church Council.  She inaugurated and directed handbell choirs at Faith Lutheran Church, Hope Lutheran Church, and St. Francis of Assisi.  Music was another love of her life.  A multi-instrumentalist, she encouraged young artists and delighted friends.  In later years she had great pleasure participating in the Clay County Band and Recycles Band in Florida.

She was particularly supportive of Drake University, the Greater Des Moines Foundation, and the Blank Children’s Hospital.


Sally’s travels took her all over the world.  She and Bill participated in medical missions in Jamaica, West Indies several times.  Sally led several trips for Des Moines friends to Costa Rica, Mexico, and Ecuador sharing her love of bird watching and the cultures of Central America.  Her travels took her to five continents.  Of special significance was her trip to Rwanda where she looked into the face of a Giant Gorilla.  She spoke often about the humanity and wisdom behind those eyes.


Sally will be sorely missed by her friends and family.

A Memorial Service is planned for the family at Faith Lutheran Church in Clive, Iowa.


Gifts in Sally’s memory may be donated to Drake University under the memo field: Bartlett Scholarship in memory of Sally Bartlett.

Send to the attention of Pam Pepper, Drake University, 2507 University Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50311.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Sally Bay Bartlett, please visit our flower store.


Visits: 5

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree