By Jennifer Ailor, Climate Change Committee Chair
The passing of Dr. Sally Hubbard—simply Sally as she preferred to be called—in July was an irreplaceable loss to the Schoolcraft Chapter and the greater Ozark Society. Throughout her career as a physician at the Missouri State University health clinic, she made her mark as a compassionate caregiver and an active supporter of Lady Bears basketball, other sports and causes.
But within Schoolcraft and the greater Ozark Society, anyone who “experienced” Sally knew she thrived on adventure and Nature’s challenges. The worse the rain or cold or mishap, the better the trip. She experienced all that and more on her first momentous river float in the 1970s; instead of saying “never again,” she asked, “when’s the next trip.” She went on to become a skilled river runner, and woe be you if you shared her canoe or raft and didn’t match her skills.
Sally became the business lynchpin of Schoolcraft, serving over the decades as secretary, treasurer, membership chair, newsletter editor and general organizer. Likewise, in the greater Ozark Society, she served at least 15 years as board secretary, as well as organizing and participating in numerous Buffalo River, Colorado and western river trips. The latter included the Grand Canyon, Selway, Main Salmon, Middle Fork of the Salmon and Rio Grande of Big Bend National Park. One story characterized Sally’s confidence in her rafting abilities. A raft powered by her and five other women overheard Oz Hawksley mutter that no women could navigate the Selway on their own. “Game’s on!” they responded and proved him wrong.
Hiking was another passion of Sally’s, and she volunteered for years with the National Park Service, building trail along the Buffalo, the river she loved best. She hiked and camped on many a trail there, in the process refining her famous camp cooking.
The stories and memories of Sally Hubbard are legend. She was a character you could not forget, one who knew who she was and marched confidently to her own drummer. Each person who knew her has a bucketful of stories and memories. That’s true, of course, for other beloved members of the Ozark Society who have passed on. Sally is with them, skillfully navigating the great rivers in the sky and organizing hikes and camping trips. Her philanthropic largess continues her legacy by supporting the causes she loved and facilitating other good works. This is the Sally we loved, and we count ourselves lucky that part of her march brought her into our lives. We miss you, Sally.