Yvonne Elizabeth (Berube) Sylvia died in her home on Sept. 7, 2018, at the age of 95. Yvonne was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, as well as an active member of the community. Her loss is keenly felt by all who knew her.
Yvonne was born in Edgartown on June 22, 1923. She spent her childhood in Edgartown, graduating as valedictorian from Edgartown High School. During high school, she won the Edward P. Worth Scholarship, the DAR Good Citizen Award, and the SAR Award for Excellence in History. After graduating from high school, she attended Faye Secretarial School in Boston. In 1943, she married Albert K. Sylvia Jr. The couple lived and worked in Boston during World War II, where Albert was stationed with the Coast Guard. After the war, they returned to Edgartown, where they both lived out the remainder of their lives.
For many years, Yvonne helped her husband run his electrical contracting business. She also worked for 18 years as personal secretary for Emily Post, serving Mrs. Post until her death in 1960. She worked part-time for many years as a sales associate for Fligor’s of Edgartown. After retirement, she and her husband enjoyed traveling with their friends to many different places around the world.
Yvonne was a very active member of her community. She served as secretary for the Edgartown Mother’s Club, treasurer of the M.V. Legion Auxiliary Post 186, trustee of the Edgartown library, member of the Edgartown Sign Committee, secretary of the Edgartown Advisory Board, president of the Friends of Edgartown Library, chairman of the annual Antiques Show, president of the Martha’s Antique Club, and trustee of the M.V. Preservation Trust.
As a faithful member of Saint Elizabeth’s Catholic Church, she served as Eucharist minister, charter member of the Saint Elizabeth Guild, and catechism teacher for many years. She received the Marian Medal from the Diocese of Fall River for dedicated service to the church.
Yvonne was a kind and generous friend, a faithful wife, and a devoted mother and grandmother. Anyone who knew her knew how much she loved her family, her country, her Island, and her home. She will be greatly missed.
Yvonne is survived by four of her children, Hanola Burnham of Maine, Kelsey Sylvia and spouse Deborah of Vineyard Haven, Brian Sylvia and partner Joanne of Edgartown, and Elizabeth Mello of Vineyard Haven. She leaves behind 14 grandchildren, Eric Steigelman, Christopher Steigelman, Kimberly Miller, Andrew Sylvia, Garrett Sylvia, Leigh Sylvia, Ariel Thomas, Craig Sylvia, Jacob Sylvia, Jeffery Sylvia, Adam Mello, Ryan Mello, Jason Mello, and Angela Mello. Seventeen great-grandchildren survive her as well: Tyler Steigelman, Bryan Steigelman, Gage Steigelman, Kara Steigelman, Brandon Steigelman, Noah Miller, Ian Miller, Chloe Miller, Audrey Miller, Jianna Miller, Joel Miller, Gabriel Miller, Nathan Miller, Benjamin Sylvia, Tysean Thomas, Dreydon Thomas, and Parker Sylvia, as well as great-great-grandson Nicholas Steigelman. She leaves behind many nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her parents Napoleon and Elizabeth (Averill) Berube, her beloved husband of 58 years, Albert K. Sylvia, brothers Donald, Edmund, and Rodney Berube, her son Edmund Sylvia, and her great-granddaughter Olivia Miller.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Good Shepherd Parish, P.O. Box 1058, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568 or Hospice of M.V., P.O. Box 1748, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.
Visiting hours will be held in the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown Road, Oak Bluffs, on Thursday, Sept. 13 from 5 to 7 pm. Her funeral Mass will be celebrated in St. Elizabeth’s Church, Main Street in Edgartown, on Friday, Sept. 14, at 11 am, and burial will follow in the Old Westside Cemetery in Edgartown.