Sylvia Jane East: She left ‘like a sudden swift breeze’
This section includes both obituaries and memories. Honoring our loved ones who have died does not end immediately after their passing. We recognize that… so we’re extending our obituary section to include individuals who may have left a long time ago. If you want to remember someone who is gone, either recently or longer ago, please send a photo and a few sentences to email@example.com.
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
Our hearts are forever broken as our sweet little girl has been called away from this world much too soon. Sylvia Jane East entered our lives like a bolt of lightning on a sunny summer day in June 2009, in Fortuna, California, and left us on April 21, 2018, like a sudden swift breeze. We knew she was a special girl from the beginning. Our Syl was incredibly kind, gentle, empathetic, and always sought to bring comfort to others. She was always humming and singing and made friends easily. She was generous, clever, spirited, full of opinions, and possessed a decided sense of style which she referred to as “Sylvia Style.” She loved all animals, even skunks, but especially cats and her dogs Roxie and Gunter and her dog friends Mo, Harry Potter, Sadie, and Angel. She was a prolific and talented artist with words and with images and she created art every day.
Sylvia loved playing with her older brother Freddy, riding bikes with her Daddy, and cooking and cuddling with her Mommy. She loved reading, even if she had to break the bedtime rule and use a flashlight under the covers. She had a rich imagination and spent many hours playing with toys and dressing up, making up stories in all her favorite genres – action, adventure, comedy, drama.
She loved camping, and would always bring at least one suitcase full of stuffed animals to play with in the tent. She loved helping her Boppa plant the garden each spring, sometimes showing up ready to help out dressed in a tutu and her rubber boots. She loved going out to eat at Star’s and Liu’s and going to Booklegger or the County library to find a new book to read. Syl also loved playing the video game Terraria.
Sylvia is survived by her loving Mommy and Daddy, Julie and Robert East; by her adoring big brother Freddy; by Mimi and Boppa, Judy and Larry Moranda; by Nana and Papa, Barbara and Jack East; Aunt Susan Moranda; Aunt Frances and Uncle Bruce Tjarnstrom; Aunt Kaycee Cook and Uncle Michael East; Uncle Tim East; cousins Justin Moranda, Emily Scilacci, and Nora and Vincent East; Aunt Tracy East; and by great aunts, great uncles, and cousins locally and across the country. She will also be missed by the teachers, staff, and many friends of the Pine Hill/South Bay School community and her Humboldt Crossfit family. She had too many friends to list, but some of her most cherished were Larissa and Alicia, Abby and Rosie and Sarah, Aubrey, Violet, Claudia and Ronnie and Charlie, Scarlett, Alyssa, Lilly, Isabella, Mia, Citlaly, Gabriella, and Sophia.
To honor Sylvia, please hug your loved ones a little bit tighter. Smile. Laugh. Be kind. Paint your toenails. Dress up in fancy clothes or a Halloween costume for no reason. Don’t be afraid to get dirty and muddy. Reread your favorite books. Pick flowers and give them away or wear them in your hair. Eat berries by the cupful. Love with abandon.
A memorial celebration of Sylvia’s life will be held Saturday, May 5, 2018, at 2:00 PM at the Sequoia Conference Center in Eureka. If you plan to attend, please wear something pink or purple. And if you have some pink flowers blooming in your yard, please bring one or two to share. We will have vases.
Sylvia’s family would like to thank the US Coast Guard, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department, the St. Joseph Hospital Emergency Room staff, and all the first responders and caring bystanders who tried to help save our girl. You are all heroes. Special thanks to St. Joseph Chaplain Larry Beck, Deputy Sheriff/Coroner J. Barney, and Chuck Ayres for their compassion.
Contributions in her memory may be made to the Sequoia Humane Society, Doctors Without Borders, Heifer International, or a charity of choice. In addition, a memorial fund in Sylvia’s name is being established at Humboldt Area Foundation to help local children.
Rest well, little one, we love you and will miss you forever.