Mary H. Sylvia, 93

Jan 22, 2018

Mary Holy Sylvia, 93, of South Dartmouth died of natural causes on Wednesday, January 17.

Daughter of Louis Holy and Frances Zabojnik Holy, Mary was born on January 31, 1924 in Ennis, TX, a community of people largely from what is now known as the Czech Republic. There she grew up on a farm that raised corn and cotton.

In 1943 Mary began work as a household helper for Angelica Russell, who at the time was in Dallas with husband in the Armed Forces. When Angelica and her son Peter, returned to Dartmouth, MA, Mary came with them. Mary met and in 1949 married Manuel H. Sylvia, the love of her life, and lived the rest of her life on their farm in South Dartmouth.

Mary was known for her generous heart and soul, endless energy, humor, toughness when it counted, honesty, and faith. Although she had no children of her own, she nurtured one and all, including plants and animals, whether tame or wild. For over three decades she was the premier caterer in the community, often cooking for free. No one ever left her house without conversation, a chocolate chip cookie and a bit of wisdom wrapped in laughter.

She is survived by her sisters, Agnes Landsfeld and Victoria Vlk of Ennis TX, and many nieces and nephews in several states. Her other siblings, now deceased, were Theodore Holy, Frances Pleiner, Henrietta Salik and Dorothy Harrison. Mary is also survived by her surrogate children, Peter L. Macdonald, Lloyd Macdonald, Katharine Russell, Dorothy Shattuck and Victoria Cunningham and their children and grandchildren.

There will be a funeral service in Ennis, TX and a memorial service in South Dartmouth on dates to be announced. In lieu of flowers please send donations in honor of Mary to The Humane Society of the SouthCoast, 31 Ventura Drive, North. Dartmouth, MA 02747.

Funeral arrangements entrusted to Aubertine-Lopes Funeral Home, 129 Allen Street, New Bedford.

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