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The Star Press
Sallie Sue Watt Nye passed away at home on February 6, 2023 after an extended illness. She was born in Muncie on November 14, 1934 and was a life-long Hoosier. She graduated from Royerton High School in 1952. As a mother of four in the sixties, she completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work at Ball State University accompanied by her youngest child, Lisa. Sallie began her career as a juvenile probation officer in Muncie, then became the Executive Director of Cambridge House, a group home for troubled adolescent girls. Sallie continued to expand her impact in the field through leadership positions in the Indiana Juvenile Justice Institute Task Force Clearinghouse, as well as serving as a program writer for the IU School of Social Work. She finished her social work career as the Executive Director at IARCCA – the Indiana Association of Residential Child Care Agencies. While at IARCCA Sallie worked with the State Department of Public Welfare and the Indiana General Assembly to improve services to children and their families. Sallie received many awards for her contributions to children and families, including the highest honor bestowed by a sitting Governor of the State of Indiana, the Sagamore of the Wabash. Through it all, Sallie is remembered for being so steady, so patient yet determined, so calm in the face of sometimes cranky commentaries and stiff challenges. Of Sallie it may be truly said that she came, she cared, she made a difference that helped thousands of children and families lead better lives. Sallie was a trailblazer in her professional career and a role model to many women in social work and many other professions. She was affectionately known as “Big Sal” by many who knew her… not for her stature but for her outsized “personal presence”. As a mother, grandmother and great grandmother, she demonstrated how to be caring, strong, independent and resilient. She was the family matriarch with a capital “M” and will be greatly missed. Sallie’s survivors include her sister, Barbara Lacey (Jim Lacey); four children, Jeff Nye (Jennifer Nye), Steven Nye (Alma Salas Leon), Linda Heitzman (Neil Berman) and Lisa Nye (Robert Forbes). She also leaves behind ten grandchildren and many great-grandchildren; as well as her close friend and neighbor, Helen Boyatt. She was preceded in death by her husband William Richard Nye; her parents Rosemary Ruth Watt and Frederick Keener Watt; and her brothers, Donald Watt and Joseph Watt. The family will gather for a private memorial and her cremated remains will be carried by a hot air balloon over her childhood home. Memorial contributions may be directed to: Prevent Child Abuse Indiana https://www.pcain.org/get-involved/donate/. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.meeksmortuary.com.