Meet Sylvia. Sylvia has a wonderful story.

Meet Sylvia. Sylvia has a wonderful story
Meet Sylvia. Sylvia has a Wonderful Story

Meet Sylvia. Sylvia has a wonderful story about her life to share. She was born October 7, 1932 in Peoria, Illinois. Her father worked for Hiram Walker Distillery making barrels and her mother stayed at home raising Sylvia and her sister. They lived in town on a dead-end street for 10 years until the City began developing the neighborhood and more homes were built. During her school years, she remembers playing outside a lot with neighborhood friends. They would play Tag, Simon Says, Red Light Green Light, and many the other childhood games. She also played volleyball. Some of her fondest memories are of spending time on both her grandparent’s and her aunt’s farms. While her cousins thought of the chores as work, Sylvia and her sister had great fun working with the animals, gathering eggs, playing on the haystacks and wading in the creek. Although their favorite farm activity was feeding and playing with the 300 chicks they got each year.

The neighborhood Sylvia grew up in is also where she met her husband, Mendal. He lived across the street, five houses down from her. They started dating when Sylvia was in 8th grade and he was a junior. They got married in 1951 after Sylvia graduated from high school. Mendal made his living working for Caterpillar. They had two children, Patrick who is 63 and lives in Arkansas with his wife Nadine and Sandy who is 50 and lives in St. Cloud. Sylvia also has one grandchild, Danielle who lives in St. Cloud and works at Walgreens, and one great grandchild, Cheyenne who lives with her mom. Family is everything to Sylvia and together, she and her family (all who can make it) celebrate birthdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas every year.

Sylvia worked in the food industry for about 21 years. She worked 11 years at restaurants in Illinois and 10 years in Florida. She would make soups, chili, salads, deserts and more. She recalls a time in Florida when her boss hired a boat to take them fishing. She thought that was great!

Sylvia did a little traveling within the States. She saw Tom Sawyer’s Cave in Hannibal, Missouri, visited a great, great aunt in Kentucky on her way to Florida and also went to the Wisconsin Dells. While traveling, Sylvia collected rocks from Arkansas, spoons from the states and shells from Florida.

Sylvia spends her free time crocheting, doing embroidery, reading, listening to CDs, watching “Chopped” on the Food Network and playing games with a close group of neighbors. Crocheting has been a lifelong hobby as her neighbor growing up taught her when she was very young. Sylvia has made a lot of doilies, baby blankets, shawls and large afghans.

Sylvia followed her niece to St. Cloud after her husband passed away. She lived in an apartment on Benton Drive for about two years before moving into Good Shepherd. She had heard about the Good Shepherd Community through a woman at her church and has lived here for 19 years now and says “Everyone is so friendly and I love how everything is under one roof. There are so many things for us to go to and enjoy every day.” Some of the activities Sylvia is currently involved in include: Growing ART-full Chorus (through the Paramount Theatre), making greeting cards, helping hands (a volunteer group that does special projects) and helping with craft and bake sales. “I try to go to nearly everything; I love to stay active and busy doing the things I love to do.” Every Wednesday night, Sylvia and a group of her neighbors get together in the evening to play games like Tripoli, Play Nine, Aggravation,  Phase 10 with Dice, Farkle and Dominoes.

We are proud Sylvia calls Good Shepherd home.


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