Obituaries: Sally Kish


The family of Sally Kish would like to share with you our memories and celebrate the life she led, touching so many others and making a positive impact on her community.The story really begins in snowy Rochester where a young and callow Les Kish fell head over heels with the elegant Sally Goulding.  Sally succumbed to Les’ charms and they were married in 1961.  Children soon followed: Steve, Laura, and Paul; and family became central to Sally’s life.  The early years saw several moves, following the twin pulls of the Air Force and Les’ medical career.  But in 1975, Sally decided that the family was going to return to her ancestral homeland – the Northeast.  And so it happened.  Sally loved having the family together whatever the setting or occasion.  Having everyone around the table, whether for a weeknight meal of Pine Valley Hots or an elegant patio dinner in Bermuda, made Sally the happiest and in turn spread joy to everyone else.  And when grandkids came (Emily and Sophia and Max and Peter), the holidays and birthdays kept the tradition going and growing.  Sally lived and imparted innumerable life lessons to her family, of being kind and conscientious, drinking coffee black, and never, never, never settling for cheap white wine.  Not to mention a love of music.  (Did someone mention music?) If you cast back to the first meeting of Les and Sally, a not small part of the attraction was Sally’s already enchanting creation of almost all things musical at the University of Rochester campus.  But she really hit her stride within six months of her arrival in Bristol, starting with an enduring partnership with Ken Ferris.  In short order, Sally brought her top notch musicianship, high standards, and care for singers, players and performers to the Congregational Church, Page Park plays, Eastern High School, Bristol Theater, St. Matthews, the OM Show, Bristol Choral Society and of course the annual Christmas Eve party.  And if that wasn’t enough, a generation of piano students received the gift of her instruction and a lifelong appreciation of music.  If you were lucky enough to work with Sally (even as a smart alecky teen choir member), you almost forgot how amazing her musical talent was, as if transposing a piece of music two and half steps up on sight was easy – it’s not!  Certainly the community of Bristol recognized how singular her contribution was as Sally was the receipt of a “triple crown” of awards: The Boys and Girls Humanitarian Award, the Plus Award, and the ACE (Arts Culture and Entertainment) Award.  But if you were lucky enough to work with Sally, you also experienced the exhilaration and pride in delivering a well-rehearsed and beautifully presented musical performance. Sally’s life was enriched by the many deep friendships she made and nurtured in and outside of Bristol.  Especially treasured were her friendships started through music partnership.  She enjoyed following the sport that is our politics today with a special fondness for MSNBC.  And she enjoyed the actual sport of golf along with Les and Paul.  Lest you think that Sally was always sweetness and light, she also had a tougher side.  She was unyielding when advocating for what she felt was right and opposing her was not always a pleasant or victorious experience.  But most of all, we remember Sally as a wife, mom, friend and musician who made us feel more lyrical and more loved.   Sally is survived by her husband Les, her children Steve and his wife Sarah, their children, Emily and Peter, Laura Kish and her husband Tom Spring and their children Sophia and Max and her youngest child Paul. Also remembered are her brother in law Gary Kish, nephews David and his wife Liz and Ryan and her niece Dana Cook.  A memorial service will be held on Saturday November 23 at 11:00 at St. Matthew Church in Forestville.  No gifts or flowers please but donations may be made to the Bristol Hospital Development Foundation – Bristol Hospice (  Sally was a thirty-one year survivor of cancer and we want to make sure that others can benefit from the excellent care she received.  Also, the care we received from the Hospice nurses and all the professionals at the Bristol Hospital Cancer Care Center is deeply appreciated.   Sally’s family invites you to send a condolence message in Sally’s guestbook at