John W. and Eva (Knowles) Ramsey, 10N 48W
Sylvia Tacker passed away peacefully in her sleep on November 24, 2003 at the age of 84. In her lifetime, what did she accomplish? Her extensive group of friends described this dynamic individual as mentor, educator, writer, weaver, humorist, scholar, traveler, a wife and mother. "Learn from the past, live for today, and look to the future" was her motto.
Growing up in Colorado, she spent her summers in Estes Park exploring the mountains on horseback or in hiking boots. In winters, while attending school in Denver, she lived with her influential grandmother who impressed her with, "be honest, treat people well and otherwise do what you want to do". Her love of the fine arts came from her parents, Adele and Dean Babcock, both artists and musicians. Sylvia's interest in dance led her to the University of Oklahoma where she also immersed herself in journalism classes and eventually met her husband Harold.
At the end of WWII Sylvia, Harold and their young daughter moved to the Seattle area where she soon became a writer for the East Side Journal. She found weaving to be her artistic medium when she took an adult education weaving class in 1957. He husband, a photographer and artist, shared her love of weaving and developed an interest in spinning and dyeing. She was a member of the Northwest Designer Craftsmen, past president and member of the Seattle Weavers' Guild and a regular contributor of articles to fiber arts magazines. She and her husband Harold, co-authored the book, Band Weaving in which she wrote the text and he photographed the illustrations. As a team, they toured Canada, Australia and New Zealand giving seminars, workshops and collecting samples of weavings indigenous to cultures around the world. She founded the East Side Writers Association, was past president and advisor for the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference and a member of several book clubs. Her connection with the North Shore Senior Center was one of the most important aspects of the last 25 years of her life. Her own interests in the wonders and value of technology drew her to become an assistant in the computer classes. She saw that computers could open the doors to communication for people with arthritis and disabilities through e-mail and Internet search capabilities. She volunteered to assist with many of the Senior Center's programs including the Outreach and Adult Day Care Programs. However, her Wednesday Creative Writing Class was the spark in her life. Here, she was a master facilitator nurturing latent talents. "It doesn't matter whether you have never written a sentence in your life or have Ph.D., you are welcome here". Her classes followed many themes such as poetry. limericks, grammar, discovering words, and writing "one's life story". Her low-pressure style allowed her to share her enthusiasm in a sensitive and gentle manner. She co-edited Vintage Northwest, a senior literary magazine designed to showcase senior talents. The next time you visit the North Shore Senior Center, you may catch out of the corner of your eye, an image of a very short silver haired lady, black cane in one hand and a large canvas bag overflowing with flyers, sign-up sheets, lessons and student's work in the other hand. Her spirit will live there forever.
She is survived by her sister, Evajo Reed of Bella Vista, Arkansas; her daughters and their husbands, Jo Ann and Ted Jonson of Palos Verdes, California; Meegan and Karl Haleamau of Whidbey Island, Washington; and her grandsons, Karl Jonson of Hermosa Beach, California and Hal Jonson of Los Angeles, California.