Sylvia Sillers, longtime resident of Carlisle, passed away in her home on March 5, 2021, at the age of 81. Sylvia was the daughter of Hibbert Ludlow Sillers and Hildur Elvira (Lofgren) Sillers.
She was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and grew up in Watertown, a graduate of Watertown Senior High School in 1957. Sylvia graduated cum laude from Radcliffe College and went to work as a staff member at MIT Lincoln Laboratory before returning to Harvard for her master's degree in Applied Mathematics. She then worked for a succession of companies over a 40-year career, starting at AVCO Systems Division in Wilmington and ending with a 25-year stint at Raytheon where she collaborated on the functional design and software implementation of radar and communications systems procured from Raytheon under government contract. The highlight of her career was the installation of the COBRA DANE radar on the island of Shemya in the Aleutians in 1976, when women were foreign objects at remote locations.
From childhood Sylvia enjoyed handcrafts, both new and old, especially crocheting and knitting. Sylvia was an avid collector of antiques, particularly eighteenth-century American pewter made in the Boston area. She had become a lover of things "old" during her teenage years when she was initiated into the world of antiques by a cousin of her father. Her interests grew over the years. Sylvia bought her house in Carlisle because of its age and history and spent years in its restoration and filled it with the things she loved and collected.
In Carlisle, Sylvia also became an avid gardener, spending hours daily on the beloved daylilies she purchased from Bob and Love Seawright, hostas, spring bulbs and a final backdrop of viburnums. She loved the town of Carlisle and volunteered time to the Town, in serving 10 years on the Planning Board, 15 years on the Historical Commission, and stints on various ad hoc committees.
Sylvia cherished family and friends. She researched her family roots and maintained an online tree that grew to include generations of those who had gone before her. She was predeceased by her longtime partner, Richard Talayco, and is survived by her sister Sandra Schaider of Concord and her niece Laurel Schaider of Watertown.
Family and friends will gather to honor and remember Sylvia for a period of visitation on Wednesday, March 10, 6:00-8:00 pm at Concord Funeral Home, 74 Belknap St., Concord. Funeral service and burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Sylvia's memory may be made to:
Carlisle Historical Society
Carlisle, MA 01741