CAMDEN — Our beloved mother and grandmother, Sally M. Enggass, 90, passed away peacefully October 29, 2021 in Oberlin, Ohio with her two daughters at her side, holding her hands.

Sally was born May 3, 1931, in Detroit, Mich. to Martha (nee Gunnells) and Laurence Masselink. From an early age, Sally was a knowledgeable, skilled, creative and dedicated gardener. If Sally could have worked in her gardens 24 hours a day, she would have done so.

Sally graduated from Redford High School in Detroit, and from Vassar College in 1952 with a degree in Plant Science. Sally enjoyed her college years and stayed in touch with many of her Vassar classmates.

Sally married her high school sweetheart, John W. Shy, in June 1952 and they started a family. In the course of John’s service in the U.S. Army, followed by his graduate studies in history at the University of Vermont and Princeton University, Sally and John lived in Fort Benning, Ga.; Beppu (Kyushu), Japan; Jericho Center, Vt.; and Princeton, N.J., before relocating to Ann Arbor, Mich. in 1966. Sally’s year in Japan sparked a lifelong love of travel in general, and Japanese culture in particular. When the marriage ended, Sally enjoyed living and working independently in Ann Arbor, and engaged in many activities with her youngest daughter — judo, canoeing, and auto mechanics, to name a few.

In 1977, Sally met and married her second husband, Professor Robert H. “Bob” Brower, and they enjoyed a decade of world travel — including a year in Tokyo, Japan — and adventure, culminating in their exciting big move to Camden in late 1986 after Bob retired. Sadly, just days after moving to Camden, Bob was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Despite the unhappy news, Sally and Bob stayed in Camden, determined to live out some of their dreams of long walks, new friends, and great cooking — one of Bob’s many talents. They quickly discovered a welcoming and supportive community in Camden, including their neighbors across the street, Mary and Robert Eddy, who provided much friendship and support during Bob’s final illness. After Bob’s passing, Sally continued her many community activities and service, including participation in the Camden Garden Club, Monday Club, the committee to restore the Camden Village Green and the Historic Resources Committee of the Town of Camden.

Sally found happiness with another beloved partner, when, in June 1997, she married retired professor Peter M. Enggass of Spruce Head. Together, Sally and Peter spent many contented years enjoying beach rambles and sunsets on Rackliff Island and traveling the world together to — among other places — Morocco, Egypt, the Seychelles, Cuba, Belize, the Galapagos Islands, and many countries in Europe. In her final years, Sally moved to Oberlin, Ohio to live closer to her eldest daughter.

A serious gardener since she was a child, Sally lived for the stunning gardens she created wherever she resided. Most recently, Sally painstakingly crafted a true Garden of Eden out of the woods in her backyard in Camden — a stunning work of botanical art as can be attested by those lucky enough to wander through her garden. Weeds, deer, voles and even the woodchuck knew better than to violate Sally’s green sanctuary, at least most of the time. Sally also freely shared her knowledge and love of gardening with others, young and old, informally teaching all who came to her garden.

Sally is survived by her loving daughters, Elizabeth Manderen (Michael) of Oberlin, Ohio, and Jennifer Shy (Michael Feiner) of Albany, Calif.; grandchildren, Benjamin, Hannah, Gabriel and Daniel; her husband Peter; and her first husband John. She is also survived by many of the friends she made during the years she lived in Princeton, London (England), Tokyo, Ann Arbor, Camden, and Oberlin.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother, Larry, her second husband, Robert H. Brower, and — most sadly — her son, Timothy Shy (Inna Shapiro) of Albuquerque, N.M..

Sally’s family wishes to express their deep appreciation and gratitude for the three decades of loving assistance — and local knowledge — provided to Sally by fellow gardener Cathy Roberts of Hope — truly Sally’s “Maine daughter.” Sally always looked forward to Cathy’s contribution of joy to her day.

We also wish to thank the caring, thoughtful and simply wonderful staff of Kendal at Oberlin where she lived for the last few years of her life.

Sally loved her family, and she will be deeply missed by all. Although we are saddened by Sally’s loss, we are comforted knowing that somewhere Sally is transforming a plot of land into an oasis of exceptional beauty. We will think of her always whenever we squish a garden pest or admire a particularly stunning specimen conifer. Sally’s adventurous spirit lives on through her children and grandchildren.

For those wishing to make a contribution in her memory, Sally, ever down-to-earth, would ask that you please consider a contribution that would benefit others in your community, such as the Good Shepherd Food Bank of Maine, Merryspring Nature Center (Camden, Maine), the Kendal Staff Education Fund (Kendal at Oberlin, 600 Kendal Drive, Oberlin, Ohio 44074), or a charity of choice.

Services were private.

Arrangements are in the care of Dicken Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Elyria. For online condolences, visit

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