Obituary: Sally Joann Rycroft

Sally Joann Rycroft (née Fraser), April 19th, 1948 - June 9th, 2020 - It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of our beloved Sally. She leaves Glen, her loving husband and partner of 45 years, daughter Lori Klear (Darsh), grandchildren Hayley and Tej, former neighbour and special friend Zoe, sister Nora Scherger, brother Bill Fraser, many dear friends, and much loved dog Magee.

Sally was born in Winnipeg. Her father worked as a station master for the railways and the family lived in a succession of small prairie towns. However, Sally considered Sylvan Lake, Alberta, where she graduated from high school, to be her hometown. She was very popular at school, it must have been that impish smile, energy, enthusiasm, sense of fun and willingness to get involved. She was also good at numbers.

In 1967, Sally moved to Calgary where she got a job with an accounting firm. This was the beginning of a long career path. Sally worked hard to gain her CGA, RFP, CFP, PRP designations. From 1979 to 1981 she worked for Keenleyside Bardal Accounting. In 1982 she moved to Patterson and Associates, and in 1989 she started her own financial planning company, S J Rycroft and Associates Inc.

Quietly unassuming, yet with a steely determination Sally was a pioneer; she forged a career in an area in which, at that time, few women held senior positions. Her contribution to her field and inspiration to colleagues was acknowledged in 2013 when she was awarded the FP Canada Fellow distinction in recognition of her significant contribution to the advancement of professional financial planning in Canada.

Sally was a long-time volunteer with FP Canada. She was part of the review process for the first iteration of the examination syllabus at FP Canada’s inception in the mid-1990s. From 1998 to 2007 she was a member of the Panel of Examiners, CFP professionals responsible for vetting the CFP examination, and served as Chair from 2004 to 2006. She was a member of the Academic Advisory and Certification Scheme Committees providing insight into the development of the CFP Professional Competency Profile, a principal document in the development of the financial planning profession in Canada. Sally was elected to FP Canada’s Board of Directors from 2007 to 2012. Her colleagues remember Sally as someone who always brought a great sense of humour, positive outlook and, most importantly, a reminder to all that accomplishing great things and having great fun are not mutually exclusive.

Sally was also successful in her own business and held in high regard by her clients. This was due in part to her knowledge and financial acumen but also because she always maintained that to understand a client’s financial situation and needs one first had to understand the person. It is no surprise that many of her clients became good friends.

Always an independent spirit Sally loved to travel. 1969 saw Sally and three friends travelling to Europe. Six weeks away wasn’t enough for Sally. She stayed on and worked in Berchtesgaden, Germany, and took the opportunity to explore more of Europe. Her love of travel continued. Sally and Glen enjoyed a trip to Maui every year, often with friends, and Sally went with friends to Ireland, to Mexico and one of her best adventures, a safari in Kenya.

In the 70s Sally moved to Vancouver and found a job based in the Standard Building. It was in 1975, in the stairwell of this building, that Sally first met Glen. A few weeks after their first date they moved in together, they could see no point in wasting time! In December 1980 they were married.

Glen and Sally moved from North Vancouver to Maracaibo on Salt Spring Island in 1998, where they built their home. Sally continued to put her financial experience and knowledge to good use serving as Secretary Treasurer on the Maracaibo Board and Strata Council and chairing the Investment Committee for eight years from 2000 to 2008. She also served on the Land and Stewardship Committee for many years.

Always an avid reader it was appropriate that Sally should serve as a long term volunteer at the Salt Spring Library. Sally served on the Library Board from 2011 to 2017, initially as Vice Chair and then as Treasurer, and on the Finance Committee from 2011 to 2020. On the Board Sally played a key role in the development of the new library in the critical few years following its opening. She was also instrumental in securing a budget for the acquisition of local art to be showcased in the space. After stepping down from the Board Sally continued to be a popular library volunteer. Friends would often time a visit to the library to coincide with her shifts on Monday mornings.

Sally loved animals, birds and nature. She loved to walk. She could be found every day, in every weather, walking her dog on the trails. She was delighted when she discovered the first fawn lilies of spring or spotted some newly fledged owls. She had a gentle heart. She would bury a baby bird found dead in the forest, or move a snail from the middle of the road to prevent it from being squashed. On her Kenyan safari she found the hunt at the waterhole impossible to watch; she preferred the majestic giraffes.

Sally’s passing, all too soon, will leave a big hole in all our lives. She was a force of nature, kind and generous, a loving wife, a proud Mom and Grandma Sally, she was the very best of friends.

We will miss you Sally, we raise a glass to you and remember your huge smile and your wicked mischievous sense of humour; you could always make us laugh.

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in Sally’s name to the BCSPCA.

There will be a small family gathering to honour Sally’s life.

A Celebration of Life for friends will be announced at a later date.

June 24, 2020 12:29 PM

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