The Life of Sara Bartley

Sara “Sally” Armstrong Bartley, 95, died at her home in Alexandria, on April 18, 2022.  Sally was born in Alexandria, VA to parents Sarah “Lal” Cunningham and Robert Armstrong.  She was a proud “native” Alexandrian, having resided in Alexandria most of her life.  After graduating from George Washington High School in 1943, she attended Virginia Intermont College, majoring in Dance.  Following college, Sally attended the Washington School for Secretaries.  She then began a career as a personal secretary to many:  Helen Arny Macan, Headmistress of St. Agnes School, broadcast radio leader Carl Lindberg, owner of WPIK , and Robert New, investor.

Sally retired from Columbia University-based, Riverside Research Institute, (RRI) having managed its Arlington office’s administrative function for 15 years.  At RRI, she earned the Ralph J. Mastrandrea Memorial Award, recognizing significant achievements and practical devotion, reflecting immense respect of the management team.

Sally had a keen interest in community activities that began with her membership in the Girl Scouts of America. She was a member of the Junior Women’s Club of Alexandria, Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), and served on the Altar Guild of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Sally loved her home of 45 years at Place One Condominium, and volunteered her services to numerous committees there. She had a love for animals, but certainly was partial to her cats.

Sally made lifelong friends wherever she was. She loved to cook, garden on her balcony and entertain at home.  

She is survived by her son, Robert Armstrong Simmons, her daughter Ann Hepburn Webb (Bill), grandson, Andrew Hepburn Webb, and step son J. T. Martyn Zimmerman (Cynthia), all of Alexandria. She is predeceased by her husbands, John Francis Hepburn, Eugene W. Zimmerman and Edward L. Bartley.  Her first marriage to Ruffner Simmons ended in divorce.  Her sister, Barbara Armstrong Anderson of Atlanta, passed away in 2014.

A Funeral Service will be held on Sunday, May 1st at 1:00pm at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 228 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Private interment to be held at Ivy Hill Cemetery, Alexandria, VA.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution, in Sally’s honor, to St. Paul's Foundation or the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.


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My friend Sally

God Bless you Sally, I'll miss you my lovely, gracious, elegant, kind, and generous friend! I know you are in a beautiful heavenly place now and reunited with all your loved ones but those of us left on earth who knew you will miss your companionship, your humor, and your kind and caring friendship! You always knew just the right thing to say and you will always be a great lady   My only regret is that I didn't get to meet you until 20 years ago! To me you embody that old saying: “When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.” I’ll always think of you when I see beautiful spring flower arrangements, tuxedo kitties, and red vintage Cadillacs. It is an honor to be your birthday neighbor and on our days in July I'll raise a glass of your favorite Gentlemen of Virginia on crushed ice and cheers to your amazing life! Love always, Sparkle

Posted by Elizabeth P on 04/26/2022