Longtime Valley resident selected as Distinguished Nevadan | RecordCourier.com
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Longtime Valley resident selected as Distinguished Nevadan

by Joyce Hollister

Sallie Springmeyer, 97, has been named a Distinguished Nevadan by the University and Community College System of Nevada Board of Regents.

The Distinguished Nevadan award is the most prestigious award conferred by the Board of Regents and is bestowed on individuals who have made significant achievements that have contributed to the cultural, scientific or social advancement of Nevada.

“I’m surprised,” Springmeyer said when she learned of the award. “I don’t really deserve these honors, but I accept with gratitude.”

She was nominated by Jill Derby, a member of the Board of Regents and Valley resident.

“Sallie is not only an inspiration to us, but a saint who has extended her life of service to others into her 90th decade,” Derby said.

Springmeyer worked with her husband George Springmeyer, an attorney, to reform parts of the Nevada prison system. A lawyer herself, she was admitted to the Nevada State Bar in 1937 and focused on water law.

She came West in 1931 from New York City, where she was born Sallie Marie Ruperti Aug. 22, 1903. She attended Miss Chapin’s School for Young Ladies and Vassar College, where she concentrated on social services.

She was married shortly after graduation, and the dissolution of that marriage brought her to Nevada in 1931.

Springmeyer’s stint as her husband’s chauffeur quickly convinced her that she should seek a law degree of her own, and she spent two years at Stanford University where she completed a bachelor’s degree in law. She completed her law studies at the University of Southern California.

After her husband died in 1966, she moved to the family ranch in Carson Valley, where she still lives. She has offered her time for many community programs, including Carson Valley Hospice and the Douglas County senior center.

She has befriended seniors and provided comfort and companionship for residents of rest homes. She has taught occupational therapy to the elderly, taken the home-bound to church, fed sick infants and tutored schoolchildren.

She is an active supporter of Coventry Cross Episcopal Church and has been an advocate of women’s rights issues, progressive political issues and the Equal Rights Amendment.

Springmeyer and other Distinguished Nevadans, as well as recipients of the 2001 Regents’ Awards, Academic Advisors’ Awards and Regents’ Scholar Awards will be honored at special regents’ receptions and at graduation in May.

Other Distinguished Nevadan award recipients are Dr. Marvin Moss of Sparks and Dr. Elias F. Ghanem, Wayne Newton and Dr. Anthony Saville of Las Vegas.

Western Nevada Community College teacher Marilee Swirczek is a recipient of the Regents’ Teaching Award. She will receive a $5,000 stipend and a medal.