Sarah Cytherea Webb passed away peacefully on Wednesday, September 6, 2023, at the age of 76, in Midlothian, Virginia, surrounded by her loving family.
Sarah, known as “Sally,” was born in New York City, on December 19, 1946, to Herbert St. John Webb Jr. and Sarah Ross Webb. She was the youngest of three children, including brothers Herbert St. John (“John”) Webb, III, and Henley Ross Webb.
Sally grew up in Montclair, NJ, where she attended The Kimberly School, now Montclair-Kimberly Academy. In 1966, she graduated from Pine Manor College, where she enjoyed making new friends as well as traveling on weekends to visit friends at other schools.
Sally had a joie de vivre. Her bright smile and joyful laugh were memorable, as were her grace and poise in the face of adversity. She was kind to everyone and always happy to see a friend, old or new.
The Webb family spent summers in Nonquitt, MA. They enjoyed sailing on “Arachne,” the family’s sailboat, named in homage to the family’s surname. Sally was a star swimmer at Camp Nonquitt and amassed a group of lifelong friends both there and at the New Bedford Yacht Club, where she learned to sail. Her love for golf began in Nonquitt and continued throughout her life.
Sally had an affinity for the French language, a love for children, and a giving spirit that inspired her first job, working for UNICEF, an agency at the United Nations responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide. Sally also volunteered at the New York Foundling Hospital where she read bedtime stories to the children. It was during her time in New York City, living with friends, that Sally deepened her love for music and theater. By her own admission, she was not an especially talented singer or dancer, but she was delighted by the many musicals and operas she attended in New York. Her love for music and dancing brought her great joy throughout her life.
Sally met John Michael “Mike” Armstrong, an Arizona native and graduate of Yale University while living in New York City, and the two were married in December 1969 in Montclair, New Jersey. They initially lived in New York City before relocating to Phoenix, Arizona, Mike’s home state, where they welcomed two daughters, Leigh and Katherine, whom they adored. After seven years of marriage, Sally and Mike divorced, and Sally and her daughters moved back east, where they settled in Marblehead, MA, to be close to the Webb family. Sally prioritized her daughters above all else throughout her life. There was never any doubt that her daughters came first.
In Marblehead, Sally was a member of the Eastern Yacht Club. She was also a member of the Chilton Club in Boston and was deeply involved in volunteer and philanthropic work for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Pingree School, which her daughters attended. Sally worked for a law firm in Boston and later at Marblehead Handprints for many years.
In 1991, Sally met and married James “Jim” Muncaster Brown, III, and enjoyed fourteen years of marriage. They spent winters in Florida and summers in Cape Cod and enjoyed boating along the east coast. Although they divorced, Sally and Jim remained friends and cared for one another until Jim’s death in 2017.
Sally loved living in Naples, Florida. She was an active member of the Port Royal Club and Trinity-By-The-Cove Episcopal Church. Sally surrounded herself with a loving group of friends and also enjoyed welcoming family into her home for extended visits.
Sally adored being a grandmother to her six grandchildren who called her “Mandy,” inspired by a 19th-century children’s book, Sally Mandy and the Shiny Penny. Mandy was a very hands-on grandmother. She even delivered her 5th grandchild when his arrival came more quickly than expected at her daughter’s home. Mandy was deeply involved in her grandchildren’s lives, singing with them, building forts, attending school events and recitals, and doting on them.
Following her diagnosis with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014, Sally lived in Westwood, MA, to be close to Leigh and her family, before relocating to Midlothian, VA in 2018 to live near Katherine and her family. She faced her Alzheimer’s diagnosis with grace.
Sally is survived by her two loving daughters, Leigh Armstrong Hebard (Charles Warren Hebard) and Katherine Armstrong Layton (Timothy William Layton), and her six beloved grandchildren, Nicholas Armstrong Hebard, Timothy Alden Hebard, Katherine “Kate” Claiborne Hebard, Benjamin Michael Pace Layton, William James Oliver Layton, and Evelyn Sarah Cole Layton. Sally’s brother, John, predeceased her. She is survived by her brother, Henley, seven nieces and nephews, as well as her extended Webb family.
A memorial service to celebrate Sally’s life will be held at St. Aidan’s Chapel in South Dartmouth, MA in the summer of 2024 (date to be determined).
In lieu of flowers, donations in Sally Webb’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association via Walk to End Alzheimer’s events.
Katherine’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Virginia: http://act.alz.org/goto/TeamMandysMarchersRVA
Leigh’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Florida: http://act.alz.org/goto/MandysMarchersForSallyWebb