Sally Jo Michalko
June 21, 1952 — Nov. 20, 2016
Educator. Social activist. World traveler.
Following a courageous battle with a brain tumor, Sally began her final journey on November 20, 2016. She will rejoin her beloved parents, John and Ellen Michalko, previously of Waukesha, and her stepmother Evelyn Mack Michalko of Milwaukee.
She is survived by her brother, Daniel Michalko of Fort Worth, Texas; her stepbrother Robert Mack and family of Waterford; her two godchildren, Rachael and Tristan Siegfried, children of Richard and Susan Siegfried of Muskego; as well as numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and co-workers.
Sally was a 1970 graduate of Waukesha South High School where she is honored as a distinguished graduate on the “Wall of Fame.” Pursuing a lifelong dream to become a teacher, Sally graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 1974. During her college years, she was a member of Alpha Omicron Pi sorority.
Sally was pleased to be offered a position as a first grade teacher at Whittier Elementary and then spent 30 years teaching at Meadowbrook Elementary. During this time, she earned a master’s degree and spent seven years at the coordinator of elementary social studies for the Waukesha School District. She earned numerous professional awards throughout her career. Sally served as the executive director of the Wisconsin Council for the Social Studies, as well as on the Board of Directors for the National Council of Social Studies.
Early in her career, Sally began traveling. Over several decades, she proudly visited 53 countries on six continents. Through her travels she developed an abiding passion for other cultures and world issues. Sally documented her travels through artistic photographs, collecting artifacts and created cultural curricula for the Waukesha School District.
Following her retirement in 2009, Sally began to make up for lost time as a community and social activist. She was always an advocate and ambassador for numerous civic and professional organizations, such as Waukesha County Museum, Waukesha Civic Theater, SOPHIA, and the Guatemala sister city project. Upon retirement, she joyfully accepted the position of chair of the Board of Directors of Plowshare Fair Trade Marketplace of Waukesha. She was serving as president of the Waukesha Education Foundation at the time of her death.
Community United Methodist Church of Elm Grove was Sally’s religious home for many years, and in 2009 she became a dedicated member of the handbell choir. More recently, she had completed training as a Stephen Minister (a one-to-one lay caring ministry).
A celebration of Sally’s life will be held on Saturday, Dec. 3 at Community UMC at 14700 W. Watertown Plank Road, Elm Grove. Visitation will be held at the church from noon until the service begins at 3 pm. A reception will follow in Fellowship Hall.
In lieu of flowers, Sally requested memorial donations to Community United Methodist Church, Plowshare Fair Trade Marketplace and Waukesha Education Foundation. This honors her commitment to her environmental beliefs and her passions.
In celebration of Sally’s indomitable spirit, those attending are encouraged to wear bright pink, purple or teal.
Haase-Lockwood & Associates Funeral Homes and Crematory is assisting the family. For the online guest registry, please go to www.haaselockwoodfhs.com.