Sylvina (DesRoches) “Syl” Mahar
LEWISTON -- Sylvina (DesRoches) “Syl” Mahar, 89, of Rumford, died peacefully on Feb. 25, 2011 at Central Maine Medical Center, surrounded by her family following a brief illness.
Sylvina was born September 23, 1921 to Emeline (Gallant) DesRoches (Theriault Richard) and Edward DesRoches. She was the oldest of seven children.
As a child of the depression era, the family moved frequently when she was young. Sylvina graduated from Stephens High School in Rumford in the Class of 1939. While in high school, Syl was a member of the National Honor Society and was head cheerleader.
On June 18, 1942, she married the love of her life, John Patrick Mahar, Jr. They made their home in Rumford, where they raised a family of five children.
Sylvina worked for the Oxford Paper Company during World War II, while John was serving in the Army in the Pacific Theater. She served the Rumford area as an Air Raid Warden during that time.
Sylvina worked for the Oxford Federal Credit Union, becoming manager in the mid 1960s. She retired from the Credit Union in 1983. Sylvina was a lifelong communicant of the Parish of the Holy Savior, St Athanasius- St John’s Catholic Church. She was a member of the Daughters of Isabella.
John and Sylvina spent many memorable hours square and round dancing. They spent many happy days traveling throughout the country and to Bermuda dancing. Her only disappointment in life was when she and John did not make it to Hawaii to square dance at a convention.
After John passed away in June, 1991, Sylvina discovered line dancing. She often said she lost the greatest partner anyone could have when John passed she never thought she would dance again, but she found joy in dancing with the ladies of the Methodist Church in Virginia.
Her joy in life was her family. She loved summers when everyone would gather at the pool. Syl lived in her swimsuit all summer, except for the hour she went to church on Sundays. Sylvina stayed active until the hour she was taken to the hospital.
Sylvina is survived by her children, Timothy E. and wife, Karla of Manchester, TN, Thomas N. and wife, Roni of San Francisco, CA, John P. III and wife, Lorna of West Bethel, Elizabeth M. and husband, Raymond Doherty of Rumford, and Joseph of Andover; grandchildren, Kaitrin T. Mahar of Norfolk, VA, John P. Mahar IV of West Bethel, Linda and husband, Josh Yates of Greenwood, Amy Jane Mahar of Rumford and Adam Mahar of Andover; great-grandson, Lukas Yates; brothers, Edward DesRoches and wife, Rody of Fort Myers, FL, and Paul Theriault and wife, Judy of Wells; many nieces and nephews; sister-in-law, Dodie Mahar of Rumford; brother-in-law, Louis Mahar and wife, Claudette of Somersworth NH; sister-in-law, Elinora Mahar of Lady Lake, FL; sister-in-law, Nancy Theriault of Bryant Pond; and special friends/adoptive children, Jerrold. H Cohen, Michelle Belanger and Jeannine Law.
Sylvina was predeceased by her parents; her husband, John; her sisters, Ella (DesRoches) Derrah and Pauline (Theriault) Gordon; and brothers, C. Victor DesRoches, and Adrian Theriault.
The family is deeply grateful to the Rumford Hospital Emergency Room staff and the Central Maine Medical Center ICU staff for their expert care and their support of us as a family through Sylvina’s illness. Please wear purple to the service, it was Syl’s favorite color.
Visiting hours will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday at SG Thibault Funeral Home, with visitation by the Daughters of Isabella at 6 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 11 a.m. Thursday at Parish of the Holy Savior. Interment will be in Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Syl’s memory may be made to Maine Credit Union’s Campaign for Ending Hunger, P.O. Box 1236, Portland, ME 04103.