Elise Wylde

July 31, 1943August 19, 2010

Elise Sweet Wylde ‘Sally’ died August 19th, 2010 of breast cancer. She was surrounded by her family at home in South Dartmouth MA. She was 67.

She was the daughter of the late Alfred Jay Sweet Jr. and Elise Sortwell Sweet and was raised in Beverly Farms, MA with her five siblings.

She was a graduate of Westover, attended Barnard and received her BA from U Mass. Dartmouth. She received her MFA from Tufts University/Museum School of Fine Arts and a MTS from Candler Theological Seminary at Emory University.

She Married Cecil C. I. Wylde an artist and teacher in 1964 and they raised two daughters in South Dartmouth MA. They both were members of the District 2 Volunteer Fire Department. She started painting here and was instrumental in organizing a collective of women artists. Her own work depicts her belief that she—we—can be healed and redeemed by the powers of nature and spirit.

Sally was widowed in 1987.

In 1993 she moved to Decatur, GA where she became a community organizer and activist. She married Robert ‘Britt’ Dean a teacher, in 1996. It was here that she combined her love of nature, people and art in the Oakhurst Community Garden Project, which she conceived with Louise Jackson, her neighbor and friend. Sally acquired a lot that was threatened by development and transformed it into a vital green space that now provides environmental education to children and the community at large. Both Sally and the garden have left an important, lasting imprint on Decatur. The Atlanta Journal Constitution describes the garden and Sally as a “ . . . remarkable and open place created by a remarkable and open woman, whose energy and passion for education will be missed.”

Sally is survived by her husband, Britt, daughters Michaele P. Wylde and Caitlin I. Wylde, son-in-law Michael Thomas, grandchildren Alex, Miles and Ella Thomas and step-children Desha and Amanda Dean.

There will be a memorial service on Friday August 27th at Great Neck Trust, 307 Barney’s Joy Road, South Dartmouth MA 02748 at 5:00 PM.

Donations in Sally’s memory can be sent to the Oakhurst Community Garden Project, 435 Oakview Road, Decatur, GA 30030.

Arrangements in the care of the Waring-Sullivan Home of Memorial Tribute at Dartmouth.


  • Memorial Service Friday, August 27, 2010

Elise Wylde

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Elizabeth Sweet

August 23, 2010

My love and thoughts are with all of you as we remember Sally who was much loved here and undoubtedly rests peacefully in the next realm.

With much love,