Sylvia Slotkin

Sylvia Slotkin, died October 25, 2010 at the age of 94. Sylvia’s intelligence, kindness, courage, independence, and sparkling wit will be remembered by all who knew her; her lively, interested and engaging spirit and energy were amazing at her age. Stories about her are legion. Widow of Morris Slotkin, a long-time activist in Scouting in St. Louis County; Born in Brooklyn, New York, May 15, 1916, Sylvia was the daughter of the late Sam and the late Tillie Stevens, a shoemaker and a farmers’ daughter from Austria and Poland. Mother of Ira Slotkin of Denver, Colorado, and Joanna Baymiller and her companion Robert Berkowitz, of Guilford, Ct.; grandmother of Luis Slotkin and MariaZoe Rimar of Denver, Colo.; sister of Sol Stevens of Fort Lauderale, Florida. Over the past year, fighting cancer, she continued to astonish and inspire everyone who knew her with her ability to cope with a life threatening illness as well as with the lifelong disability of being blind. She continued her favorite activities and remained independent and self-reliant. She enjoyed literature and ‘read’ books on tape, eagerly absorbing news of world events, dancing, making chicken soup, and shopping at thrift shops for bargains in designer wear. As a young working woman in New York, she was briefly employed by the Governor of New York and once had to work past midnight on an important assignment. She was driven home in a police car, because the New York City subways were no longer running. Just before she reached her block, Sylvia asked the officer driving if he would turn on the sirens as they neared her home in the wee hours of the morning. To her delight, he did, and her return was an event on her block. Her sense of mischief and her witty nonconforming led her family to describe her life, at her 90th birthday celebration, as a series of “blows against the Empire.” Sylvia wrote stories, poems and a memoir, completed in her late 70’s, recalling her experiences in the Depression, as a war bride, and as the mother of baby boomers. She was a 10 year resident of the Crown Center in University City, where both residents and staff both looked to her and looked out for her. A celebration of her life will take place later this year. Contributions to the Crown Center, 8350 Delcrest Drive, St. Louis, Mo. 63124.