Sally Carroll: Pawhuska restaurant icon dies

Mike Erwin |
Sally Carroll visits with City Manager Michael McCartney during her 100th birthday celebration Oct. 22, 2016, at the Pawhuska Community Center.

Longtime downtown cafe owner Sally L. Carroll died Tuesday at Pawhuska Nursing Home.

When the local icon turned 100 last October, hundreds of persons attended her city-sponsored birthday party at the Pawhuska Community Center. In December, Sally served as marshal of the local Christmas Parade. (It was her second time in a little more than a decade to be chosen for that honor.)

Carroll was born Oct. 22, 1916, in Nebraska City, Nebraska, one of seven children born to Phillip and Luz (Cervera) Elias. Her family moved to Oklahoma when she was 2 years old and settled in Pawhuska a year later, in 1919. At age 7, Carroll began working in the kitchen at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. She attended the church school through the eighth grade and then started working full-time at Lazo’s, a restaurant/chili parlor located on Main Street.

In 1940, Carroll went to work for George James at a Kihekah Avenue sandwich shop which would become Sally’s Cafe. Sally started renting the building from James in 1949 and, shortly thereafter, took out a loan to buy it. She owned and operated Sally’s for more than six decades before retiring in 2014 at the age of 98. Generations of Pawhuskans and local visitors enjoyed Sally’s chili, tamales, burgers, daily specials and, of course, her beloved homemade pies.

She is survived by her daughter, Andrea Lawrence, of Bentonville, Ark., her son, David Carroll, of Pawhuska and a sister, Carmel Jenkins, of Pawhuska. Other survivors include sister-in-law Shirley Elias, six grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and friends, who will all miss her dearly.

She married Billy P. Carroll on April 17, 1958, in Bartlesville and he helped at the cafe until his death in 1997. She also was preceded in death by her parents and five siblings.

Rosary is to be recited at 7 p.m. Thursday at Kendrick McCartney Johnson Funeral Home. Father Sean Donovan will officiate a 10 a.m. Mass on Friday at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Interment is to follow in Pawhuska City Cemetery. Kendrick McCartney Johnson Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.