CAPE ELIZABETH – Sally O’Malley, a retired cook in the Cape Elizabeth Middle School cafeteria, who was known for her smile, warmth, and Irish temper, died Friday. She was 57.

Mrs. O’Malley worked for the school department for 23 years. Her partner, Allen Westberry of Cape Elizabeth, said she loved interacting with the students and teachers. He said her three sons attended the middle school and went on to graduate from Cape Elizabeth High School.

One of them, Chad O’Malley of Sanford, said that as a student, he felt better knowing his mother worked at the school.

“I’m a Type 1 diabetic,” her son said. “It was ridiculously comforting knowing that if I had an issue, she was there. I saw my mom all the time.”

Mrs. O’Malley grew up in Portland and attended local schools. At age 15, she married John O’Malley, a serviceman who died in 1968. Soon after, she had a son and bought the Farm Hill Road home where she lived in Cape Elizabeth. Her family said she lied to the bank about her age to get the home.

“She wanted to be a mother, a homemaker,” her son said. “She wanted to be a good person and she was.”

Mrs. O’Malley worked part time at Cumberland Farms in Cape Elizabeth for nearly 10 years. Westberry said during her shifts, on Mondays and Fridays, her customers talked to her for hours.

About 20 years ago, Westberry did the same thing. He met O’Malley on her first day of work. At the time, he was a Cape Elizabeth police officer.

“I walked in and saw her and fell in love with her,” Westberry said. “I can still see her standing behind that counter. She was a beautiful woman. She had a great personality and smiled all the time.”

Mrs. O’Malley was remembered by her family Sunday as a positive, honest and happy person. Westberry said she liked socializing with neighbors.

“I’ll miss her smile,” he said. “She had the prettiest smile in the world. I’ll even miss her temper. She had an Irish temper that was out of this world. When she was mad, look out. Her face would turn red. Her eyes looked like an arrow was shooting at you.”

Mrs. O’Malley became ill Wednesday. She went into the hospital Thursday and died Friday. As Westberry shared details of her life Sunday night, he wept over the phone.

“Three days and she’s gone,” he said. “I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

 

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at:

[email protected]