NEWPORT, N.H – Sally McCrillis Eldredge passed away peacefully after a long illness on the afternoon of Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Sally was born on August 31, 1927 in Newport, New Hampshire to John W. and Hester McCrillis.
Sally grew up in Newport, where the McCrillis family has roots going back generations to 1796, when John McCrillis, a captain in the colonial militia, and his wife Sally settled in Goshen.
While growing up in Newport, Sally and her brother John were introduced to skiing at a very young age by their father. At a time when relatively few young women skied, Sally was a notably proficient skier who tackled many of the best known ski areas in the northeastern U.S.
After attending local public schools, Sally attended private school at Chatham Hall in Virginia for several years before enrolling in Smith College in 1945, where she was a collegiate swimmer. Upon graduating from Smith in 1949, Sally found a job at Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital in Hanover, New Hampshire.
At a Dartmouth Mountaineering Club meeting in Hanover, Sally met H. Newcomb Eldredge, a Dartmouth College senior and World War II veteran. Sally and Newc were married in Sunapee, New Hampshire on August 31, 1950. They immediately moved to Denver, Colorado, which was a skiing and mountain climbing mecca for young people in the 1950s. Sally and Newc’s first two children were born during the family’s seven years in Denver.
In 1957, Newc and Sally moved to Newport, New Hampshire where their third child was born and where Newc joined his father-in-law in the McCrillis Insurance Agency. Sally was an attentive, full-time mother to her three children during their younger years. As her children began to enter middle school, Sally joined the school board of Supervisory Administrative Unit 43 (encompassing Newport and several neighboring towns). During her tenure, Sally became board chair for several years, and also became president of the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association…the first ever woman president of a state high school athletic association in the country.
Sally was very bright and intellectually curious. She was an ardent bird watcher and a dedicated crossword puzzle solver. She loved spending time with her children and grandchildren, was always very supportive, and remembered every holiday and everyone’s birthday with a thoughtful card. She was an engaged and dedicated member of the Newport community, and felt her greatest sense of peace and connectedness when spending time at the family cottage on Lake Sunapee. Sally and Newc traveled extensively in their later years, and always returned with an array of great stories and photos.
Sally was predeceased by her parents, her husband H. Newcomb Eldredge, and her brother John C. McCrillis. She is survived by three children, John Eldredge and wife Arabella of Brunswick, Maine, Sandy Eldredge of Salt Lake City, Utah, Chris Eldredge and wife Sophie Sparrow of Sunapee, New Hampshire; and five grandchildren, Iain Eldredge of Portland, Maine, Macgill Eldredge of Boston, Massachusetts, Kai Eldredge of Denver, Colorado, Silas Eldredge of Denver, Colorado, and Cali Mayer of Salt Lake City, Utah.
A memorial service celebrating Sally’s life will be held in the Newport area this summer on a date to be determined.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Richards Free Library, 58 N. Main Street, Newport, NH 03773 or the South Congregational Church, 20 Church Street, Newport, NH 03773.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Sally (McCrillis) Eldredge, please visit our floral store.
Richards Free Library
58 N. Main Street, Newport NH 03773
South Congregational Church of Newport
20 Church Street, Newport NH 03773