Sarah ‘Sally’ DeSanto

Sarah ‘Sally’ DeSantoSarah Ann DeSanto was born March 21, 1950 in Trona, Calif. to James Daniel DeSanto and Mary Fredrique Ehnbom, where she “Sallyied Forth” into life. She was the second of four children.

Sarah, better known as Sally, grew up at China Lake, then known as the Naval Ordinance Test Station. She was able to enjoy the desert environment and also enjoy being surrounded by the Sierra Nevada Mountains. When she was nine her family bought a cabin in the nearby mountains where many summer days were spent exploring the forest. Her summer vacations included cross country train trips to New York and road trips to Colorado and the surrounding states.

As a young girl, Sally developed a life-long joy of reading. She usually had her nose stuck in a book. During her high school years, Sally was Head Cheerleader, Homecoming Queen and chosen Best All Around for the Yearbook. She also was an excellent student and member of the California Scholastic Federation. Sally had a feisty personality and a quick, sharp wit, always ready with a timely joke. Upon graduation she attended the University of California Santa Barbara to study art. Life took her on many journeys, she moved to Northern California before returning to China Lake/Ridgecrest to live and work.

She started her career with the Department of Defense in 1982 in the Security Department at the Naval Weapons Center, China Lake. She then moved to Alaska for her career where she made many personal connections with people and the wilderness. She eventually moved to Virginia to advance her career and work for the Pentagon. During this time, she earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Information Systems as well as taking many other courses in furtherance of her career. Sally’s title before her retirement was “Information Technology Specialist” for the Department of Defense.

She was the lead for all Joint Force Headquarter Department of Defense Information Network cyber security coordination responding to real world cyber threat responses. Her work put her at the highest level of government service employees. Her career with the Department of Defense spanned 37 years. Upon her retirement she was presented with an American flag that was flown over The Capitol building in Washington DC in her honor.

She passed away suddenly following emergency heart surgery on Jan. 16, 2020. Her passing has left a great void in the lives of all who knew her.

Sally was predeceased by her mother and father, James and Mary DeSanto and also her two brothers, James DeSanto and Michael DeSanto. She is survived by her beloved sister and her husband, Mary and Dan Anders and their children and families. They are, Dan, Katlyn and Taj; Mike and Linsy; and Katie and Joey. She is also survived by a sister-in-law Gail and her daughter, Gina.

Services will be held at a later date due to the current situation with the Corona Virus lockdown. Anyone wishing to make a donation in Sally’s honor can do so by donating to the American Heart Association. Also, anybody wishing to share a fond memory of Sally can be sent to Dan and Mary Anders at 300 Valley Street, Ridgecrest, CA 93555.

— Submitted by the family of Sally DeSanto

Story First Published: 2020-06-12