WATERTOWN, NY — Sylvia L. Westcott, 94, Watertown, passed away Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019, at the Samaritan Keep Home, after a long illness.
Sylvia was born Nov. 14, 1925, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to the late Alfred O. and Ellen (Hansen) Ness. She was raised in the Twin Cities area and, after high school, attended and received a diploma from North Central Bible College.
She worked as a secretary and administrative assistant in several positions before obtaining a civilian job with the U.S. Army during the Korean War. The Army sent her to Yokohama, Japan, where she met her husband, the late Frank V. Westcott, a corporal in the Signal Corps at the time.
Frank and Sylvia were married in September 1957 in Minneapolis, after which they returned to Watertown. Sylvia worked for the Agricultural Insurance Company for a time before she and Frank started a family.
Even while raising three children, Sylvia was active in her church, Watertown Assembly of God (now Mercy Point), where she faithfully taught Sunday School for many years and sang duets with Frank. When her kids were grown, Sylvia got a job as a 911 dispatcher for Jefferson County, where she won the affection of police officers and firefighters alike for her calm demeanor and friendly disposition.
Sylvia was creative and talented and enjoyed reading and writing, but didn’t devote much time to hobbies because her primary passion was serving others. She spent hours in the kitchen lovingly preparing meals for her family – her apple pie is legendary – and often welcomed visitors into their home to share in the fruits of her labor.
Sylvia loved God and had an unfailingly positive attitude. She never had an unkind word for anyone and always had a prayer, hymn, or scripture verse ready to offer those needing encouragement. Even as dementia took its toll on her mind and body in recent years, she remained optimistic until the end. “I can’t complain,” she would say if asked how she was doing. “God is good.”
She is survived by a brother, Alfred Ness, Jr., of Minneapolis; three children: Jeff (and wife Concetta), of Jacksonville, Florida; Kathy, of Watertown; and Dale, of Raleigh, North Carolina; and four granddaughters: Rachel Moenning, Sarah Westcott, Brooke Westcott and Victoria Westcott.
She was predeceased by her parents; two sisters, Myrtle (Portinga) and Vivian (Nantz); and her devoted husband, Frank, who passed away in November.
A celebration of life service will be held 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, at Mercy Point Church in Watertown. Calling hours will be at 2:00 p.m. the same afternoon, also at the church.
Arrangements are with the Reed & Benoit Funeral Home.
Online condolences may be made at www.reedbenoit.com.