Dr. Sally Sarles dedicated her life to caring for County patients

Editor’s Note: Longtime family physician Dr. Sally Sarles passed away Thursday. Dr. Sarles was part of an early cohort of local family doctors that started their practice in Prince Edward County without any of the advantages of modern supports. Below is a note submitted by Dr. Leroy Hall eulogizing his friend and colleague.

Dr. Sally Sarles was the consummate family doctor. Sally knew and loved her patients. She knew each patient’s family, relatives and friends.

She knew their homes-she had made house calls to care for them in their homes. She knew how they lived and where they worked. From birth (she had delivered hundreds of babies) to old age she looked after them. She always learned and understood their problems and knew how best to find solutions.

Sally’s abilities as a physician were unmatched and she gave her all helping her all male colleagues keep up-to-date in providing the best possible care to the people of Prince Edward County.

She, along with Dr. Fred Murphy and I, started weekly Saturday 8 a.m. medical education rounds with frequently visiting Queen’s University consultants participating in discussing patients problems and management. Nursing staff and hospital administrators were invited. We initiated having medical students from Queen’s see patients in our offices, hospital outpatients and patients in hospital as part of their training.

We started a schedule of doctor coverage for weekends and holidays. Sally wasn’t just a physician she was a great person. She always spoke frankly and honestly whether to a patient or colleagues keeping everyone in line. One time she received a 2 a.m. call from a patient stating he had decided to change doctors (We answered our own phones). Sally’s unhesitating response was “You chose a hell of a poor time to change doctors.”

Sally was a great sportsperson. She loved to ski, she loved the water and enjoyed many hours on their sailboat and later their home-built tug boat. Sally loved life. She even took up guitar playing. Would you believe the medical staff used to take Christmas cheer to our patients? We even had a couple of fundraising concerts the whole hospital staff participating from administrator Gladys Lehigh to doctors, nurses, staff and even a Kingston consultant Dr. Jim Wilson.

Yes Dr. Sally Sarles was an all-around lady and physician matched by no other. Her life was rounded out by marrying veterinarian Dr. Robert Clapp. Bob and Sally were a great couple and never stopped giving to our community. There are not many of our vintage left but many whole lives were touched by Sally’s ever loving, concerned care will remember Dr. Sally Sarles.

Dr. LeRoy Hall