Cover photo for Sylvia Lewis's Obituary
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1930 Sylvia 2023

Sylvia Lewis

December 9, 1930 — November 21, 2023

I called my mother, “mommy”, but others may know her as Sylvia Lewis, Ms. Lewis, tanty, sister, cousin, aunty, grandma, great grandma, or friend. When mommy and I traveled from Trinidad & Tobago to America, she always stood by my side. However, when I first branched off, she made sure to tell me, “Your room is always here for you”. Her loved ones always had a place in her heart and a space in her home. Many of us, not just her children, but nieces and nephews, cousins, and friends had a room in her mom at one time or another. That was my mommy. She was always loving, dependable, positive, empathetic, and righteous within her relationship with God or anyone who encountered her. She was our gentle matriarch, but still strong enough to have captained the ship that carried these beautiful family members you see here in this room today.

 

Mommy was the second of nine children. The siblings that she will reunite with in heaven are Fitzgerald, Paul, Eileen, Kathleen, and Paul Urick, as she leaves behind Rosita, Earl, and Pearl. She also left behind her children Carl, Anthony, June, Carlyle, Andrew, Allison, and Brandon. Including 26 grandchildren and many great grandchildren too numerous to name. 

 

Mommy started working at the age of 17 as a maid within the servant corridors for a white family in Trinidad and Tobago. Mommy dealt with many battles at a young age, as she often experienced colorism. During The Great Depression, she faced discrimination for having darker skin and even denied the basic need of buying food. She spoke of being repeatedly pushed to the back of the line, while simply trying to buy flour and sugar. She continued to work in maid corridors for decades, until she became a furniture factory worker during her midlife. Life was challenging, as she lived in a rented 20x20 ft apartment without a husband, supportive parents, electricity, a toilet, running water or even a refrigerator. But she never complained, or at least we never heard it. Except if I came home late from school or Andrew was “knocking about”, which was often.

 

At age 50, she started her life all over again, as she migrated to the United States of America with sponsorship from her now deceased brother, Paul Lewis. She worked at Midtown Hotel in Boston as a housekeeper for many years. Then she continued in this position at HRI hospital for some years to follow. Against her will, she was forced to retire at the age of 62 because they changed her position to night shift. This allowed her to become a care take for her grandchild and friends. Her grandchildren experienced the blessing of having their grandma at home. We benefited from her abundantly, for many years, and are still reaping the blessings of her labor. In her later years, dementia started to unfold, and her family was there to uplift every limb. We continued being blessed by her presence, caring for her at home on Millet St, the home she created for us, until her last breath.

 

Please allow me to share with you some loving memories of mommy:

I remember holding her trembling hands, as we brought her back to the ocean.

I remember watching her be scared, as we tried to get her on the escalator.

I remember her dancing to the beat of her own drum, as her favorite tunes played.

I remember the pots she left unattended, and the keys she left behind.

I remember her leaving guests inside because she forgot she let them in.

I remember sharing 1 dinner mint, with multiple other children. 

I remember her big, beautiful smile every time she saw her grand & great grandchildren.

I remember being told that she wasn’t being fed, just to get that extra piece of cake.

I remember her thinking people were stealing from her, poor Carl.

I remember her joining the backyard parties, as she danced the night away.

I remember her last trip to the movie theater, as she spoke what she believed to be Chinese, to Asian guests walking by. 

I remember her opening her home to anyone in need, many have stayed and went.

I remember the blue tins of cookies that never had cookies in them.

I remember the proud look in her eyes, as she came to my graduation from university.

I remember chasing her around Aunty Pearl’s house, on our first trip to Europe.

I remember her going to church every Sunday, this was an absolute.

But most of all, I remember her being loving and supportive no matter what. We all know that mommy would want us to end this portion with a scripture. Thus, I leave you with these final parting words from Proverbs 12:28. “In the path of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death.” So now mommy, enjoy your rest, for you have lived a righteous life.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Sylvia Lewis, please visit our flower store.

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Friday, December 1, 2023

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Funeral Service

Friday, December 1, 2023

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Friday, December 1, 2023

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