In Memoriam: Sally Faletti

Clients who entered treatment in the early days of Skyland Trail became a part of the history of the organization. One of those clients was Sally Faletti, who remained involved in the community for years, continuing to both receive and give support. The following collection includes photographs from Sally’s life that were generously provided by Paul and Judy Faletti, her brother and sister-in-law. By sharing Sally’s story, the Faletti family hopes to raise awareness for mental illness and illustrate that having a mental health diagnosis does not prevent one from pursuing their hopes and dreams. Sally was proof of this, as she continued to live a rich and full life after being diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Sally Faletti as a young child

Sally Irene Faletti was born to Fred and Mary Faletti in February 1942. She was raised in Decatur, Georgia, and was the eldest of three children alongside her younger siblings, Paul and Pamela.

Sally attended St. Pius X High School, where she was a member of the glee club, homecoming court, and cheer squad. Sally grew up during the days of dance cards, sock hops, and Varsity letters, and she was popular and well-liked among her peers. She had a passion for all things art.

As a senior in high school, Sally was named the runner-up in the Miss Dekalb County Pageant. For the talent portion, Sally painted a horse live on stage.

Following high school, Sally attended the Atlanta Art Institute to pursue her dream of becoming an artist. While there she honed many of the techniques that she used in the drawings and paintings that she produced throughout her life. Over the years, Sally’s art was featured several times in the annual Georgia Artists with DisAbilities show, and she received numerous awards.

At the age of 56, Sally began treatment at Skyland Trail in the late 1990s at the recommendation of her psychiatrist. As a client, she gravitated to art therapy classes, where she shared her knowledge and skills as a talented artist with staff and other clients.

After graduating from Skyland Trail, Sally stayed involved in the community through Arts in the Garden, the alumni program, and attending other various Skyland Trail events. Sally was always admired for her soft-spoken, humble manner, and her caring ways. She was quick to offer her artwork or other handmade gifts to family and friends. 

An undated photo of Sally.

In 2013, Sally passed away at the age of 71. She continues to live on in the hearts of many staff members, and some of her art even adorns areas of the Skyland Trail campuses to this day.

The Faletti family has been a strong supporter of Skyland Trail for more than 20 years. “Mental illness can be a lonely disease that’s difficult to understand. Skyland Trail offers love, hope, and compassion. Skyland Trail helped Sally and our family so much, and we are grateful for what this organization does,” said Paul and Judy Faletti.

Sally (far left) with family.