Thursday January 16, 2014
Sally Gail Fox, age 62, died peacefully Jan. 10, 2014, with her loving family by her side. She was born Jan. 30, 1951, in Omaha, Neb., to Delores and Philip Fox. She married her husband, Michael Sirotkin, Oct. 7, 1979 in North Ferrisburgh. Sally and Michael resided in Essex Center until relocating to South Burlington in 2006. Sally was raised in Omaha and attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Following college, she earned a JD from State University of New York, Buffalo. She worked as an attorney and director of the Vermont Disabilities Law Project of Vermont Legal Aid before being elected in 1986 to the Vermont House of Representatives from the town of Essex. She was re-elected six times before retiring from office in 2000. While a state representative, she was the chair of the Judiciary Committee, House Majority Assistant Leader, and by the time she retired she had risen to become the 2nd woman in Vermont history to chair the House Appropriations Committee. Sally held several leadership positions over the next decade before returning to politics. She was director of Family Courts for the Vermont Judiciary, policy director for Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, Coordinator for the City of Burlington Offender Re-entry Program, and Governmental Affairs Director for the Vermont State Colleges. In 2010, Sally was elected to the Vermont State Senate from Chittenden County and was re-elected in 2012, despite having been diagnosed that same year with a rare form of sarcoma. She was working hard to be able to fill out her term when she passed quickly during the opening week of the 2014 legislative session. Sally loved the Vermont Legislature and serving the people of Vermont. She was a politician without an ego or personal agenda, and was a tenacious fighter for children’s rights and other progressive causes. Even though she was a public figure for most of her professional life, Sally’s family came first. She was a devoted wife and mother, and nothing made her prouder than her two sons, Jacob and Jesse. She gave more than 100% to them and loved them dearly. Every holiday and family event or activity was special to Sally. She would do everything she could to gather the family and to make these occasions memorable. She loved boating on Shelburne Bay with her family, walking with her dog Ruby, and her friends in Red Rocks park, visiting with friends and family, doing New York Times crossword puzzles, playing Angry Birds, and going to the movies. She was also an avid reader. Survivors include her husband, Michael Sirotkin; son, Jacob Sirotkin, New York, N.Y.; son, Jesse Sirotkin, New York, N.Y.; sister, Marsha Fox and husband, Michael Greene; brother, Rick Fox and wife, Shelly; brother, Michael Fox; mother-in-law, Beverly Sirotkin; brother-in-law, Andrew Sirotkin and wife, Amy; and many nieces and nephews and grandnieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her very dear parents, Philip and Delores Fox; and by her caring father-in-law, Joseph Sirotkin. Funeral Services were held at Temple Sinai, South Burlington, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014. Memorial Contributions in Sally’s honor may be made to Vermont Cancer Network, c/o VCCM, 792 College Parkway, Suite 207, Colchester, VT 05446; and to Voices for Vermont Children, 149 State St., Montpelier, VT 05602.