Sylvia passed away peacefully at her home in Barrington, Illinois, surrounded by family, on Wednesday, April 17, 2019. She was born Sylvia Mary Thomas, on February 18, 1930, in Meadville, Pennsylvania to Robert and Beulah (Grauel) Thomas. As a child, Sylvia was full of life. She loved to horseback ride and spend time outside with her friends.
Sylvia attended college in her hometown at the esteemed liberal arts school, Allegheny College, where she met her college sweetheart, Stevenson (Steve) Mountsier. She graduated from Allegheny in 1951 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, then moved to Chicago where she continued education. She and Steve were married in 1954 upon his return from service in Korea.
Steve and Sylvia loved to travel, and through their years together explored many different countries. They also had the pleasure of making a home and great friends in several different places, across Texas, California, Canada, and Illinois.
Sylvia was always an artist at heart. Through the years she took up oil painting, water color, and eventually, through her love of jewelry and impeccable eye, became a metalsmith and jewelry designer. She was known for her exquisite earrings and wrist cuffs inspired by the organic, rugged shapes of seashells she found on the shore in Ocean City, New Jersey, each summer, which was showcased across the Midwest, including in high-end retail stores like at Saks 5th Avenue and Nieman Marcus.
As Sylvia’s vision declined, it never stopped her from cooking incredible gourmet meals for her family and friends, which she loved to do. When she fully lost her vision in 2007, she flew to California and trained with her guide dog, Estelle, who served as her loving companion (and her grandchildrens’ favorite cousin) for ten years.
Sylvia was a loving and devoted mother and grandmother, and is survived by her loving husband of 64 years, Steve; children, Thomas (Tracy Novogrodsky) Mountsier, and Amy Mountsier; grandchildren, Ryann (William) Brewer, Erin Wahl, Thomas Wahl, and Caitlin Wahl; nephew, Dr. Christopher (Charlotte) Thomas; nieces, Molly Thomas (Peter) Lundquist, and Janet Thomas (Pete) Kenney; and her beloved guide dog, Estelle.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother Robert (Louise) Thomas, Jr.
Graveside services will be Saturday, August 3rd at 10:30 a.m. at Greendale Cemetery, 700 Randolph Street, Meadville, PA with Rev. Sarah Roncolato, Pastor of Stone United Methodist Church, officiating.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to: Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc., 350 Los Ranchitos Road, San Rafael, CA 94903 (www.guidedogs.com), or Barrington United Methodist Church. 98 Algonquin Road, Barrington, IL 60010.
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