Sylvia  Garza
Sylvia  Garza

Graveside Service

11:30 am - 12:00 am
Wednesday, April 24, 2024
Houston National Cemetery
10410 Veterans Memorial Drive
Houston, Texas, United States

Obituary of Sylvia F. Garza

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Sylvia F. Garza, born January 10, 1923, in St. John’s, Newfoundland, to Haiman and Alberta Brown, died on Thursday, April 18, in Houston, Texas, at the grand old age of 101.

Sylvia was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Rufus M. Garza; her parents, Haiman and Alberta Brown; her brother Ralph Brown; her sister, Lillian Brown; her brother, Max Brown, and her sister-in-law, Sadie Brown, who were partners in many adventures.

She is survived by her daughter Carol Garza and her son-in-law James Thompson, her daughter Barbara Zsenyuk and her husband John, and her daughter Joan Stedman. She is also survived by her grandchildren Jimmy Podhorsky, his wife Claudia, and family, granddaughter Sherrie O’Hearn, and her great-granddaughter Savannah O’Hearn. Finally, she is survived by Eddie, Bobby, and Gary, her nephews, and their families in St. Johns.

Sylvia was part of the Greatest Generation. After she graduated from a music conservatory, one of her first jobs was at Pepperrell Air Force Base in St. John’s. She lived through the Great Depression and WWII. She met and married Rufus and lived in Michigan, Alabama, and Florida together before being stationed in Germany. Sylvia and Rufus danced to Big Band music all throughout Europe, went to the World’s Fair in Brussels, Belgium, and introduced all three of their daughters to the cultural sights and delights of France and Germany, including Berchtesgaden beer halls and the Champagne region of France. Life was not without perils for the girls, though, as they were made to wear matching dresses in Paris and lederhosen in Germany. The sounds of Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey followed them to Cheyenne, Wyoming. Sylvia worked for Boeing in Cheyenne for a brief time. Still, she spent most of her time teaching her youngest how to ice skate and knit, watching both of her oldest girls graduate from high school, attending University of Wyoming football games in Laramie, and watching too many rodeos and parades to recall while still dancing to the music of Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, and Count Basie.

Those great sounds followed them to Houston, Texas, where Sylvia lived the rest of her life. She made countless trips to Las Vegas, meeting her “Newfie” family there to gamble away their hard-earned coins, embarked on many voyages and cruises with all her Houston pals, some of them lifelong friends of her husbands, and added line dancing to country music to her repertoire. Almost once a month, Sylvia and Rufus would wear formal or cocktail wear and join all their friends at dances at the Shriners or other venues in Houston. She loved the buffet at the Galvez Hotel in Galveston; you would find her there on countless Sundays. Sylvia did not really slow down until she reached 100. Her loving family will miss her forever, and all the memories she helped create will be cherished.

Donations may be made in her honor to the charitable organization of your choice.

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