We do not yet know who will be attending the ANC Class of 1942’s 80th reunion next year. Classmates Ruth Lynch, Bea Herder and Sylvia Cooper have been meeting regularly for years, and all three plan to be there, whether in this world or the next. A few days ago, Sylvia joined the part of the class that is in the spiritual world, leaving her friends Ruth and Bea to celebrate on their own. On Saturday evening, Rev. Solomon Keal, Sylvia’s great-nephew, gave a wonderful address, a fitting and moving tribute to the last of the Donald and Marjorie Rose family to leave this world. Most of Sylvia and Rey’s children were near my age, including Kent in my class. I enjoyed many happy occasions in their home. Sylvia was also my step-aunt since Will Cooper married my grandmother, Gertrude Simons, in their old age. My class had frequent activities at the Coopers’ house, which was located right next to the school. The favorite was undoubtedly the waffle breakfasts that Sylvia cooked for us during exam week in high school.
In recent years, Sylvia did many things at the Cathedral, as Solomon noted last Saturday. Her contributions there were so appreciated, whether arranging flowers, greeting visitors, guiding tours, or planning events. For one program featuring WWII veterans, she told what it was like to be a USO hostess during the war, entertaining the soldiers and sailors. In the year 2000, she helped with a program about marriage in heaven, part of a series of angel festivals that the church put on over several years. The program told the story of the marriages of several senior members of the community, such as Kent and Ann Hyatt, Peb and Mace Adams, and Sylvia and Rey. In the program, Sylvia is quoted as saying “From the time I was a child I was told that angels were married, and that I too might someday be married to an angel. I always believed this.” Now she is seeing it with her own eyes.
Just a few weeks ago in March, while visiting in her living room, Sylvia was laughing at stories and sharing bits of information about the past, missing her sister Donnette, and wondering what the next step of her life would be like. Now she is finding out, and her large and talented family - children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren -- is more than adequately filling in for her here. Thank you to Solomon for telling her story so beautifully.