Sylvia Maren Rystrom was born October 5, 1919 in Willows Creek, South Dakota to John “Jack” Jensen and Shelda Deardorff Jensen. Sylvia passed away on September 25, 2006. She is survived by her loving husband of 68 years, Parl Rystrom. Together they had 4 children: Alice Maren Holder (deceased), David Wesley Rystrom of Seattle, Washington, Marcena Parl Rystrom of Neptune, New Jersey and Rebecca Faye Young of Puyallup, Washington.
The Rystrom family includes 16 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren. Sylvia is also survived by her 5 sisters and 1 brother: VaLora Jettie Miles of Johannesburg, South Africa, Shelda Jane Flynn of Ellensdale, North Dakota, Marcena "Bud" John Jensen of Wapato, Washington, Doral Iris Dunn of Ocala, Florida, Margarette Aloha Lentz of Illinois and Marcella Jo Beck of Morton, Washington.
Sylvia’s big heart also added a multitude of “Brothers & Sisters” and “Sons & Daughters” and “Grandchildren” ‘adopted’ by her over the years.
She leaves behind an enormous legacy. We will remember her fondly for her strong faith, her sense of humor and her love for her spiritual family.
A few months ago when her granddaughter, Yvonne Thomas, interviewed her she was asked what she wanted people to remember most about her. The answer was that she “always tried to be peaceable”.
When asked what she was thinking about when she and Parl were getting married her reply was "What am I getting into?" When asked, “How do you feel after 68 years?” she answered, "I like what I got into!"
Sylvia grew up in a time before TV, e-mail or cell phones and she didn't care for most of these modern conveniences. She did love “going to the movies”, especially musicals with Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. However, mostly she'd rather knit a blanket for a newborn in the congregation, sew a memory quilt for a long married couple, crochet tablecloths & doilies as gifts or hand write an encouraging poem for someone. She rarely watched TV, except for “Watching the Ball games” with Parl.
As a young woman she loved to dance and went to most of them held in and near her hometown, even splurging occasionally to enjoy Lawrence Welk and his band. In her later years she could dance circles around most of us. Just 6 years ago at the young age at 80, she danced the Charleston at her grand¬daughter Jaime's wedding. We have the video to prove it!
She also dearly loved her family and remained very close with her siblings. They maintained an on-going family letter. They called it the “Round Robin”. The letter has been passed from sibling to sibling across the United States and into Africa where one of Sylvia’s sisters and her husband served as missionaries for about 50 years. As the letter arrived each family member would remove their last set of photos and letter and put in new ones. Sylvia’s letters were often written in poetry.
But the thing that was most important to Sylvia was her Ministry. She was a faithful Witness of Jehovah for over 71 years. She learned and taught Bible truths to many, such as Matthew 6:9, 10 which shows that God’s will was to be done here on earth, like in heaven. She also learned from the Bible that God’s will has always been for us to enjoy a paradise here on earth where there will be no more crime, sickness or death, as promised in Revelation 21:3,4. It was her greatest desire to share this with as many people as possible during her life.
Because of her faith in this promise, she died with great peace of mind. She firmly believed in the resurrection as promised by Jesus in the Bible at John 5:25-29 and that one-day we will be together again. If you would like to learn more about what Sylvia knew of the promises in the Bible of a wonderful future yet in store for mankind, ask Jehovah’s Witnesses the next time they come to your door.
The memorial services were held at the Puyallup Assembly Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, 11515 62nd Ave E, Puyallup, Washington, on October 7th at 6:30 p.m. The attendance count was 495 friends and relatives.
Arrangements by Edwards Memorial Center 253-566-1008