Sylvia, 1952 & 2002.

Photos provided by Sylvia's daughter, Barbara.



By Gloria Brinkmeier & Donna Mollaun.

Sylvia Sligar passed away November 5, 2007 at her home in Orange, California. For many of us who knew Sylvia, this was a great shock because she was so vibrant and full of life. Most of us met Sylvia over the Internet while researching our family histories or knew her because of the research she did, such as writing a book on the Stone Church Cemetery in Wheeling or posting information on the Marshall County website about her husband, Richard, who was from there.

Sylvia joined the service where she worked in Intelligence. That is where she met her husband, Dick, who was working with her. She fell in love with Dick because "he was a true gentleman." After they both left the Army, they went to college. Sylvia became a teacher of history/social studies in California. Dick entered grocery management.

Sylvia was the grandchild of of Immigrant Jews who escaped from Prussia and settled in California. Her maiden name was Burg. She spent most of her time researching her husband's side of the family. Sylvia was a genealogist who volunteered at the National Archives branch at the genealogy room of the Huntington Beach Public Library.

When personal computers hit the market, Sylvia learned how to use the Apple so she was assigned the pioneer job of teaching her students how to use the computer. She learned how the computer worked, inside and out. She continued to learn about computers after retirement by joining a computer club. She owned a dinosaur MAC G4 cube that she managed to keep going with her computer knowledge. Most of us would have junked it and bought a new one, but she knew what she was doing.

After 29 1/2 years of teaching, Sylvia retired in 1989. It was then she became interested in genealogy. Since her own roots were hard to trace in Prussia, she worked mostly on Dick's side of the family.

Sylvia did a lot of traveling to places most people wouldn't consider travel spots, such as Antarctica, remote places in South America, Northern Alaska and the Middle East, to name a few. A lot of these trips were scheduled to watch the eclipse. She chose the trips for the adventure, not the glamour. She shared her trips with her friends on the Internet by writing in detail about her experiences and sending pictures of the sights.

With so many accomplishments under her belt, she never grapsed the art of spelling and this was something that invited a lot of teasing from her friends and fellow teachers, but she always knew how to spell the many places she visited.

Sylvia loved nature, gardening, pets and wild animals and even had patience with rodents. In the mind and heart of Sylvia, they all had a right to exist. She loved tinkering in her yard and taking pictures of God's creatures when they would come in her yard. She shared many of those pictures with her Internet friends and newly found cousins.

Sylvia and her husband lived at Meade Avenue, Orange, Orange County, California and that placed her close to many seasonal forest fires, but through the years no fires ever touched their home. In the most recent forest fires in California, she told of the smoke and ash showers that fell on her home.

Sylvia was a very physical person who went to the gym 3 or 4 days a week and worked extremely hard at such things as clearing the dead brush and mulching it around her house to help protect her property from forest fires. She told stories of constantly clearing the dead brush and mulching up fallen branches; climbing on the roof of her two-story home to fix a leak in the shingles after a storm; and crawling under her house to fix a break in the water line. She was not afraid of hard, physical work and took over the house repairs after her husband became ill.

Sylvia was a true Liberal in politics, rare among family researchers. Her last day was spent having lunch with some friends because she had a craving for crab cakes. It was a lovely day followed by a nap from which she never woke.

Sylvia leave behind a husband and three living children. She was the mother of triplet boys: Craig Byron Sligar, who resides in Calif., Steve B. Sligar who lives in Virginia, and Mark Burton Sligar who died in 1955. Her daughter, Barbara, resides in Northern Calfiornia and is the mother of two children.

The Wheeling Area Genealogical Society sends their condolences to the Sligar family. Sylvia will be sadly missed by everyone she touched.