Thursday, January 7, 2010

Aunt Sylva

Dear One and All,

As some of you know, Our Wonderful Aunt Sylva died last night about 8PM. I know that so many of you felt lucky to see her this past August at the Baker Reunion.

As you see from the information below, Calling Hours for Sylva will be this Sunday in Edmeston, NY from 2-4PM at the Houk-Johnston-Terry Funeral Home.

The Funeral will be Monday at 11AM, at the same funeral home.

During the Funeral, Jeffrey Emhof, Freddy D's son and Sylva's grandson, will be playing three hymns on the organ per Sylva's request:
--My Hope is Built on Nothing Less
--Abide With Me
--The Church's One Foundation

Also, as Sylva requested, as the family leaves after the funeral, Frank Sinatra's 'I Did it My Way' will be playing. Aunt CB, or Mom to some of us, laughed and said to me 'Yes, that sounds like Sylva.'

Aunt Sylva, you will be missed!!

Sylva H. Emhof, 88, formerly of Edmeston, died peacefully at St. Lukes Hospital in Utica on January 6, 2010 with her family by her side.

She was born January 20, 1921 in Lisle, NY the daughter of Elmer M. and Lillian (Baker) Howland. She attended High School in Marathon, NY. Frederick F. Emhof and Sylva were married on April 8, 1936 in Lisle, NY, he predeceased her on April 28, 1998.
Sylva was a member of the Saint John's Lutheran Church, West Burlington, and had served as their organist for 36 years. She retired from Central National Bank after twenty-two years. First National Bank of Edmeston had previously employed Sylva.

Sylva was a member of the Wharton Valley Grange and was their Treasurer and pianist. She also was the Treasurer for Edmeston-Burlington-West Exeter Council of Churches, the Tops Club, Church Women United, and the Hobby Club.

Key highlights of Sylva's personality was her enduring wit, her passion for shopping, table bowling, Bingo, and the TV program Sewing with Nancy. With her day of birth coinciding with the Presidential Inaugural Ceremony, January was considered the Birth Day Month, with a special emphasis on the 20th every four years.

Sylva is survived by her children and their spouses Frederick D. & Linda Emhof of Burlington Flats, Linda K. & Norris Arnold of Edmeston, and Christine Jenkins of Edmeston; her grandchildren Michael (Donna) Emhof of Sodus, Jeffrey (Donalu) Emhof of Edmeston, Carol Arnold of Oneonta, Kathleen (Roger) Miller of Homestead, FL, Tim Arnold of Edmeston, and Virginia “Cookie” Jenkins of Greenville, NC; 13 great grandchildren; 8 great great grandchildren; her sister Leona H. Maffei; her special cousins Lucille “CB” & Jack Kinsella; Dawn Tuttle; her brother-in-laws Ernest and Stewart Emhof; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Her husband Fred, her sister’s Phyllis Mudge & Gladys Wood, and her great great grandchild James Messick predeceased Sylva.

Funeral services for Sylva will be held on Monday January 11, 2010 at 11:00 am at the Houk-Johnston-Terry Funeral Home, Edmeston with Rev. Paul Messer and Pastor Jay Henderson officiating. Calling hours are Sunday January 10th from 2 –4 at the funeral home.

Contributions may be made in Sylva’s memory to the Lutheran Home 108 Utica Road, Clinton, NY 13323.

Condolences may be sent via the Houk-Johnston-Terry Website at


Pat said...

I have hazy memories of reunions at Aunt Sylva and Uncle Freddy's place--lots of kids and cats and cows and barns....lots of great food and lots of laughter as stories were told.

Wish I was there to hear the strains of 'I Did it My Way'!

Love you Aunt Sylva,

Julie said...

I have many memories of going "down to the farm" every summer when we were kids. We took a one week vacation to Allegany State Park every year, and a week down to Sylva's. I'm not sure which place offered more to keep five kids occupied. At the farm we played endlessly in the hay of the barn. The boys all loved to help Freddie with haying. The creek out back of the cow pasture was perfect for those hot, muggy summer days, and on the way for a swim, my brothers blew up more cow pies with firecrackers than anything on earth! We'd go into Edmeston for some shopping, or visit the home there for folks with Downs Syndrome. I loved that visit because many of the participants there were so incredibly sweet, happy and "huggable." Back at the farm, we'd rise up early every morning to the smell of bacon and eggs, pancakes, homemade bread and fresh-out-of-cow milk. We'd troop on down to the huge country kitchen which was the warmest, best and most memorable place in the house, and stuff ourselves before beginning a busy day. Tractor rides where a given, and also helping Freddie milk cows, feeding the calves, playing with the barn cats, swinging off the hay mow. I can still see it all...feel it all. Such wonderful memories. Sylva, you'll be missed.

Kathryn said...

Just a little family history. When Sylva and Freddy went on their honeymoon, her baby sister (my Mom, Gladys)went with them. My Mom told me so.
Most of the time, when my mom had babies, the rest of us went to stay with Aunt Sylva and Uncle Freddy. When Laurie was born, I helped Aunt Sylva bake a really great cake. It was chocolate and had oil and vinegar in it, I loved it so much she shared the recipe. I made that cake for my parents 50th anniversary. I then found out that she had gotten the recipe from Esther. Esther was 'her' cousin. Like CB was Ma's.
When I was a teenager and clashing with my mom, I could talk to Aunt Sylva about it and she was always so understanding. She always loved me and Ma.
Aunt Sylva was the most wonderful person ever and I will miss her. But, I plan to see her for eternity.

Diana said...

In later years she was one of the 2 people (Aunt CB being the other - big surprise) who wrote my dad Arnon in the nursing home on a regular basis. Just daily happenings and remember whens... but so important to him and even as his health declined - he liked hearing about them.

I treasure that kindness.