Published September 28, 2006
Sally K. Grubbs, retired personal secretary for the first five archbishops of Atlanta, died on Monday evening, Sept. 25. She was 87 years old.
Mrs. Grubbs served for over 40 years of continuous service to the Catholic Church in Atlanta, beginning in 1961 with Archbishop Paul J. Hallinan, through the years of Archbishop Thomas A. Donnellan, Archbishop Eugene A. Marino, SSJ, Archbishop James P. Lyke, OFM, and Archbishop John F. Donoghue. She served as personal secretary to each successive archbishop until 2003.
At her retirement luncheon in 2003, Archbishop Donoghue paid tribute to the contributions made by Mrs. Grubbs to the archdiocese. “For over 40 years, Sally has directed business for the Archbishops of Atlanta in a way that wasted no one’s time and respected everyone’s needs. And added to the monument of 40 years of service is the fact that it was done for not one, not two, but for five archbishops of Atlanta, all of whom found her to be essential to their lives and irreplaceable in managing their business.”
Priests of the archdiocese and parish staff people looked to Mrs. Grubbs for her wide knowledge of the archdiocese and its history, church protocol and church people. She was always willing to help those in need.
On Dec. 20, 1994, she was presented the papal medal of a Dame of St. Gregory with the rank of commander in an investiture ceremony at the Cathedral of Christ the King, Atlanta. In honoring her contributions as an “indefatigable servant” at the ceremony, Archbishop Donoghue commented, “Her zeal has never flagged for an instant, and those who knew her have certainly felt the reliable glow of her energy. She has served her Lord through the best and worst of times—she has been a friend to literally thousands of people here and abroad.”
Mrs. Grubbs was a member of St. Thomas More Church, Decatur, until her move to Jefferson, when she became a member of St. Catherine Laboure Mission in Commerce.
She was preceded in death by her husband, T. Ralph Grubbs, and a son, Tommy Grubbs. Her surviving family includes daughter and son-in-law Betty Lou and Joe Martin Sr. of Jefferson, brother Alexander R. Krol of Cary, N.C., four grandchildren and their spouses, seven great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, Sept. 28, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Evans Funeral Home and Memorial Gardens, located at 1350 Winder Highway, Jefferson. A vigil service conducted by Father Liem Nguyen and Deacon John Burke will begin at 7:30 p.m.
The funeral Mass will be celebrated by Archbishop Donoghue at 10 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 29, at St. Thomas More Church, Decatur.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the St. Catherine Laboure Mission Building Fund, P.O. Box 1472, Commerce GA 30529. Cards and condolences may be sent to her family in care of: Betty Lou Martin and Family, 127 Lakeshore Drive, Jefferson, GA 30549.