Sally Nan Brooks Smith of Canton passed away unexpectedly at her home on Sept. 4, 2022.
Sally, known to those closest to her as Sally Nan, was born on Jan. 29, 1956, to John Earl Brooks and Sallie Dwade Cabaniss Brooks in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. She was raised in Oklahoma and in Texas, graduating from Palo Duro High School in Amarillo in 1974 and then from West Texas State (now West Texas A&M) in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and chemistry. She returned to her family in Clinton, Oklahoma, and taught science at Clinton High School for 26 years, where she remains admired and fondly remembered by students and fellow educators alike. She attained National Board Certification in 1999, maintaining it through 2009 when she ultimately retired from teaching.
After retiring from teaching, Sally went to obtain an associate degree from Southwestern Oklahoma State University as a physical therapist assistant, applying her love of anatomy and working as a PTA at East Mountain Physical Therapy near Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she cared for patients requiring rehabilitation, easily utilizing her instinctive compassion and natural humanity to most often work with the elderly, for whom she had a special fondness.
Sally was also a kind spirit who loved and rescued animals her entire life, especially dogs, cats and horses, but would take in any creature that needed help and never met an animal of whom she was afraid. Sally was a naturally gifted artist who sketched and painted animals and landscapes throughout her life, much to the wonder of others, especially her decidedly unartistic and mischievous (but nevertheless incredibly protective) older brother, Randy Brooks of Clinton, with whom she remained close and typically chatted with almost daily.
She gave birth to her pride and joy, a daughter, Sondra Dwade Healy (nee Hutcheson) now of Mesquite, on Feb. 25, 1982, of whom she was endlessly proud, as demonstrated by her regular mentions of Sondra’s academic and professional achievements. Sondra later married Chad Healy in 2004 and gifted Sally with her youngest grandchild, Avelyn, in 2018, bringing Sally back to Texas in 2019 to be closer to Sondra, who is grateful and now devastated by the loss of her mother.
Sally was preceded in death by her parents, John Earl and Sallie Dwade Brooks, and various aunts, including Nancy Esther Cabaniss Lewis, for whom she was partially named.
Sally also has two daughters by marriage, Stephanie Moore (nee Smith) (wife of Wes) and oldest grandchildren, Jake and Caitlin, as well as Carrie Roberts (nee Smith) and middle grandchildren, Ashley and Colby, all of whom she loved. She recently celebrated her 27-year wedding anniversary with their father, Paul Howard Smith, Jr., now deceased.
In addition to her aforementioned brother (and his wife, Gail), she is survived by a nephew, Matthew (Amie) Brooks and family of Amarillo, and niece, Lezlie (Justin) Masters and family of Amarillo, all of whom are heartbroken.
In lieu of plants and flowers, the family welcomes donations to one of Sally’s favorite charities, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, or to the mental health division of the Disabled American Veterans.