TICONDEROGA — Sylvia L. "Sally" Downing, 72, of Ticonderoga, passed away Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, at her residence. Born in Binghamton, New York, Aug. 6, 1941, she was the daughter of the late Eugene and Viola M. (Gower) Nesbitt Sr.
Sally graduated from The New York State School for the Blind in Batavia, N.Y., as Valedictorian of her class. She attended the Jewish Guild for the Blind in New York City for training as a switchboard operator. She also took a number of classes at Fordham University and earned a New York State Emergency Medical Technician Certification.
She was employed as a transcriptionist at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens, a receptionist at Recording For the Blind in New York City, a medical transcriptionist at St. Agnes Hospital in White Plains, an aide in the CETA Head Start Program in Essex County, was employed as a receptionist at WIPS, and was a certified public safety dispatcher for the Town of Ticonderoga.
Sally also volunteered for the Head Start Program and was a volunteer dispatcher for the Ticonderoga Emergency Squad and Ticonderoga Fire Department prior to the formation of the local 911 dispatch. She was a former member of the Ticonderoga Emergency Squad Women's Auxiliary, and also volunteered for the Walk Against Drugs Program and the Girl Scouts.
In September of 2007, Sally was part of a group of emergency services workers recognized in a proclamation by the Ticonderoga Town Board for her actions during a tragic early morning fire in Ticonderoga. The proclamation reads in part "Ms. Sally Downing, performing her duty as a dispatcher in a very difficult environment, flawlessly coordinated all emergency personnel in an exceptional manner, and Whereas Ms. Sally Downing, by keeping her composure through trying times, and acting in an extremely professional manner was able to balance and prioritize each and every department."