School 07

Sylvia Ruth Chadwick

December 13, 2023

Sylvia Chadwick Obituary

Sylvia Ruth Chadwick, 88, Los Gatos, CA died peacefully surrounded by her children on December 13, 2023, at her daughter’s home in Lisbon, NH where she had been living since October. She had Alzheimer’s Disease for several years.

Sylvia was born in 1935 in Baguio, Philippine Islands to Marjorie Booker (Spring) and Harold Hill Booker who was employed there as a mining engineer. In 1941, shortly before the Japanese invasion of the islands; Sylvia, her sister, and mother returned to the US aboard one of the last civilian ships. Her father was later captured by the Japanese and did not return bringing early tragedy to young Sylvia.

Despite the hardships endured during WWII and after, family strength, friendships and perseverance brought Sylvia’s family to a happier time in Willits, CA. She was mature beyond her years. Helping her mother to run the household, she learned to cook and garden. Her mom instilled in her a love of nature, a sense of adventure, and independence.

She attended San Jose State University where she received a bachelor’s degree, met, and married her first husband. She was a member of the Alpha Phi sorority. She taught swimming lessons and was a life guard in Santa Rosa in the summer months during college.

Sylvia was a teacher and entrepreneur at heart. In the mid 1960’s, she established the childcare center at Alpine Meadows Ski area; the first ski area in the country to offer childcare. The center was so impressive that an executive from Walt Disney asked her to consult on the childcare center for the new theme park, Disney Land.

Upon moving to Saratoga, CA she joined St. Andrew’s Episcopal church. In 1972, Sylvia had the idea to start a pre-school program at St. Andrew’s (only K-8 at the time). She pitched the idea to the administration, and created the program where she remained Director of Pre-School until her retirement thirty years later. In the early years, as a single mother of three, she did this while also selling real estate and Shaklee. She was very focused on providing a good life for her children. For several summers she created and ran a program teaching the customs of various Western and Northwestern indigenous peoples to future St. Andrew’s preschoolers.

Sylvia was a lifelong learner. At the age of ten she began playing the piano, she learned to play the guitar in her forties, took art classes, and learned about the many places that she and her beloved second husband, Roy, traveled. Sylvia loved music. She loved to dance. She loved to laugh, be silly, and had a great sense of humor. She sang often. She enjoyed listening to whatever music her kids were playing. Hearing an interesting phrase, she would say, “that would make a great hit song!” She played tennis, skied, painted, and traveled around the world. She loved animals and always had at least one dog. Her creativity spilt over to her talents in the kitchen where she made many wonderful dishes often without using a recipe.

Sylvia was a teacher by profession and vocation; not only of ABC’s, 1,2,3’s, and proper grammar, but also of empathy, forgiveness, grace, and resilience. Her love of music, joy in all forms of creativity, and encouragement of self-growth positively affected all she encountered.

Sylvia is survived by her sister, Joan (Robert) Weller of North Plains, Oregon, her son, Bruce Barclay, of San Jose, California, her daughters, Kirsten Webb (Walter Kennett) of Searsport, Maine, and, Katrine Barclay (Robert Cook) of Lisbon, New Hampshire, her step-daughters, Carol Chadwick, Elk Grove, CA, Susan (Jon) Black, of Hillsboro, Oregon, Peggy (Mark) Frankewich, of Brandon, Florida, and Linda Chadwick of Portland, Oregon, many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, her niece, nephews, and their children. She was predeceased in 2013 by Royal Chadwick her loving husband of thirty-nine years.

The family would like to offer a special thanks to Team Sylvia, the lovely caregivers that assisted Sylvia everyday for several years providing companionship, meals, exercise, personal care, laughter and a lot of love. Her quality over the last nine years was exceptional due to each of you!

A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, April 6, 2024, at St. Andrew’s Church in Saratoga, California at 1:00 o’clock in the afternoon. In honor of Sylvia’s artistic flare please dress in a colorful manner. In memory of Sylvia, her love of teaching, and commitment to education, memorial donations may be made to the Excellence In Teaching Endowment Fund at St. Andrew’s School

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Memorial Service
April 6, 2024

1:00 PM
St. Andrews Church
Saratoga, CA 95070


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