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25 Bellevue Ave
Bristol, CT 06010
Phone: (860) 582-8129
Fax: (860) 589-9944
Sally Kish

Sally Kish (Goulding)

Thursday, November 14th, 2019
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Obituary

The family of Sally Kish would like to share with you our memories and celebrate the life she led, touching so many others and making a positive impact on her community.The story really begins in snowy Rochester where a young and callow Les Kish fell head over heels with the elegant Sally Goulding. Sally succumbed to Les’ charms and they were married in 1961. Children soon followed: Steve, Laura, and Paul; and family became central to Sally’s life. The early years saw several moves, following the twin pulls of the Air Force and Les’ medical career. But in 1975, Sally decided that the family was going to return to her ancestral homeland – the Northeast. And so it happened. Sally loved having the family together whatever the setting or occasion. Having everyone around the table, whether for a weeknight meal of Pine Valley Hots or an elegant patio dinner in Bermuda, made Sally the happiest and in turn spread joy to everyone else. And when grandkids came (Emily and Sophia and Max and Peter), the holidays and birthdays kept the tradition going and growing. Sally lived and imparted innumerable life lessons to her family, of being kind and conscientious, drinking coffee black, and never, never, never settling for cheap white wine. Not to mention a love of music. (Did someone mention music?) If you cast back to the first meeting of Les and Sally, a not small part of the attraction was Sally’s already enchanting creation of almost all things musical at the University of Rochester campus. But she really hit her stride within six months of her arrival in Bristol, starting with an enduring partnership with Ken Ferris. In short order, Sally brought her top notch musicianship, high standards, and care for singers, players and performers to the Congregational Church, Page Park plays, Eastern High School, Bristol Theater, St. Matthews, the OM Show, Bristol Choral Society and of course the annual Christmas Eve party. And if that wasn’t enough, a generation of piano students received the gift of her instruction and a lifelong appreciation of music. If you were lucky enough to work with Sally (even as a smart alecky teen choir member), you almost forgot how amazing her musical talent was, as if transposing a piece of music two and half steps up on sight was easy – it’s not! Certainly the community of Bristol recognized how singular her contribution was as Sally was the receipt of a “triple crown” of awards: The Boys and Girls Humanitarian Award, the Plus Award, and the ACE (Arts Culture and Entertainment) Award. But if you were lucky enough to work with Sally, you also experienced the exhilaration and pride in delivering a well-rehearsed and beautifully presented musical performance. Sally’s life was enriched by the many deep friendships she made and nurtured in and outside of Bristol. Especially treasured were her friendships started through music partnership. She enjoyed following the sport that is our politics today with a special fondness for MSNBC. And she enjoyed the actual sport of golf along with Les and Paul. Lest you think that Sally was always sweetness and light, she also had a tougher side. She was unyielding when advocating for what she felt was right and opposing her was not always a pleasant or victorious experience. But most of all, we remember Sally as a wife, mom, friend and musician who made us feel more lyrical and more loved. Sally is survived by her husband Les, her children Steve and his wife Sarah, their children, Emily and Peter, Laura Kish and her husband Tom Spring and their children Sophia and Max and her youngest child Paul. Also remembered are her brother in law Gary Kish, nephews David and his wife Liz and Ryan and her niece Dana Cook. A memorial service will be held on Saturday November 23 at 11:00 at St. Matthew Church in Forestville. No gifts or flowers please but donations may be made to the Bristol Hospital Development Foundation - Bristol Hospice (https://www.bristolhealth.org/Why-Bristol-Health/Bristol-Hospital-Foundation). Sally was a thirty-one year survivor of cancer and we want to make sure that others can benefit from the excellent care she received. Also, the care we received from the Hospice nurses and all the professionals at the Bristol Hospital Cancer Care Center is deeply appreciated.
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  • Service

    Saturday, November 23rd, 2019 | 11:00am
    When
    Saturday, November 23rd, 2019 11:00am
    Location
    St. Matthew Church
    Address
    120 Church Ave.
    Forestville, Connecticut 06010
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

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John Rotunno

Posted at 11:55am
My deepest sympathies on the loss of Sally. She was a remarkable woman. As a young child I absolutely adored her. I would like to share some memories from my experiences with her from my early childhood.
Because I'd been thinking of her a lot lately, I googled Mrs, Kish which brought me here. I was immediately flooded with emotion. I was a student of hers from 1958 – 1964 at John Walton Spencer School #16 in Rochester, NY. When she first joined the staff she was Sally Goulding. She is responsible for exposing me to Broadway music, which today remains my mainstay. In music class, we sang tunes from Oklahoma, The Music Man, Carousel, West Side Story and many other shows. She would bring in the original cast recordings and play them. Then she taught them to us while she accompanied on the piano. We would sing and act out the various roles in class. We had “music appreciation” once a week where we studied the music of famous composers. She would explain each classical piece before playing the recording. Her descriptions were vivid, alive with passion for the music, and her voice ethereal as she explained what we should listen for. She would tell us to rest our heads on our desks with our eyes closed. Those inner journeys were magical. Mrs. Kish was the teacher that everyone adored!
Each year our school held a “Spring Concert” that was created and organized by Mrs. Kish. The band performed, the choir, boys choir, girls ensemble and barbershop quartet sang. And each year she hand picked twelve girls for the ensemble and four boys for the quartet. I had to repeat seventh grade due to missing a great part of the previous school year. I had childhood polio and needed to have leg surgery at this critical time in my growth. In fact, I believe it was Dr. Gary Kish who assisted on my surgery at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY! My second go round in seventh grade I was honored that Mrs. Kish chose me to be part of the barbershop quartet. I think she knew how heartbroken I was to not have moved on to junior high. All my fellow classmates had journeyed to another school. Outwardly I was a bit timid about having been chosen because of my leg limp. I never liked calling attention to myself. Inside I was both terrified and thrilled. I also wrestled with a stutter, and as outgoing as I tried to be, it was oftentimes a source of embarrassment. I sang okay and blended well in the choirs, but I definitely had pitch problems at times. In hindsight, I think Mrs. Kish knew how self conscious I was, and felt my lack of self confidence. I did feel different from the other kids but tried hard not to show it, doing my best to blend in. She worked with me and took special care to make me feel included. Many evenings she would stay and coach me after school – working on my tendency to sing flat. I can recall vividly, her sitting at the piano, singing the notes while hitting the same keys over and over and over while I strove to match it. I would see and feel her frustration sometimes, but I knew it was because she wanted me to shine! I felt this in my heart. I worked extra hard for her. At twelve I had a mad crush on her and loved that little bit of extra attention!
Sally Kish was that one teacher who would stand out for me my entire life. I am now seventy, and forever grateful that she helped shaped my musical taste. I'm also deeply grateful that she recognized my childhood fears and insecurities, and lovingly helped me overcome some of them. She was a gentle, very kind and gracious woman.
I've been very emotional the past few days since learning of her passing. It's as if I'm still twelve and found out she was gone. Time and distance have no meaning. She is etched in the memory of my twelve year old self. Again, I'm so sorry for your loss and offer my deepest condolences.
Sally Kish, you were loved by many children more than you know. Bless you and may you forever rest in peace.
With love and gratitude,
John Rotunno
San Francisco, CA

Gmansf@comcast.net
Facebook: John Rotunno
 

John Rotunno Posted at 11:56am

Please let me know if there is a preferred charity that I can donate to in Mrs. Kish's name. Thank you!
D

Debbie Adams

Posted at 09:30pm
We had Mrs Kish as our music teacher at #16 and #37 schools in Rochester NY in the 1960’s. We have just found out about her passing and many people are remembering what a wonderful music teacher she was and how she made music come alive through RPO concerts, singing show tunes or performing In choir. She was a gifted teacher and many of us wondered what happened to her. We are happy to hear of her full life but sad to hear of her passing and give our condolences to the family. In another time, in another life, she meant a lot to us too.
JG

Julianne Giancursio

Posted at 04:13pm
I remember her picking me to song at my 7th grade graduation. the song was All Through The Night. She slsonput me in the girs ensemble and the 6th grade play she really believed in me I did not believe in myself. She really knew how to build character. When she believed in you there was no getting away from her
 
JG

Julianne Giancursio Posted at 04:17pm

Picking me to sing at my 7th grade graduation the song was All through the night, she also put me in the Grls ensemble. Sorry for all my mistakes. In the first post.
NK

Nadia Koski

Posted at 07:47am
I was a piano student of Sally's from the ripe age of 8 until 18. As a spunky kid who didn't always have the longest attention span, Sally helped me focus and learn to love Chopin, Rachmaninoff, and yes, even Bach (although I wasn't a fan at the time). She made me play those scales over and over again until I got it right. I'm thankful for her encouragement and the discipline she instilled in me. Learning to play piano with her sparked my lifelong love for music and led me to where I am today as a professional musician in Italy. I cherish the memories of my two very own recitals with Sally before I went off to study music at NYU. She believed in me when I wasn't sure if I was ready. She taught me so much, not only on the piano. I will always be deeply grateful for her love, guidance, and wit. - Nadia Koski
SL

Susanne LaFrance

Posted at 06:07pm

I had the pleasure of meeting Sally twenty years ago when my 8-year old daughter auditioned for a part in a high school musical which prompted her to go on to participate in local theater and seek her Master’s in Business Music. For the past three years, I have had the honor and the privilege of spending time with Sally in the Bristol Chorale where I have watched first hand as her fingers would glide effortlessly and flawlessly across the black and white to produce beautiful music for all of Bristol. She knew how to live each day to the fullest and we are all richer for that lesson well taught. The good Lord has Sally in His loving arms and those who had the privilege to be part of her world, have our memories and our gratitude to her for her gift of music to the faith filled and to the arts in Bristol. Sally will be missed and remembered by many for decades. My prayers are with her family and friends at this difficult time. May she rest in eternal peace.
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