August 25, 1935 - January 14, 2021
Sylvia Boyd Westbrook, 85, passed away peacefully on Thursday, January 14, 2021 at Hospice & Palliative Care of the Piedmont in Greenwood, SC, with complications from dementia. She lived a generous and joyful life as a devoted wife, mother, and faithful Christian woman. She is survived by her brother, Wilton Boyd and his wife, Charlotte of Boaz, Alabama; her daughter Cynthia Westbrook of Lawrenceville, New Jersey; her son Andy Westbrook and wife, Mary Lynn of Greenwood; her grandchildren, Connor and Olivia Westbrook of Rock Hill, S.C., and Amber Lewis and Brandon Sumerel of Greenwood. Born in the town of Villa Rica, Georgia in 1935, Sylvia was surrounded by a large, loving family. She learned to play the piano at an early age, thanks in part to her many uncles, aunts, and cousins who played instruments and sang gospel and folk music. When her family moved to Atlanta, they attended a local church where she and her parents sang in the choir. Through those experiences of music and extended family gatherings, music made an indelible mark on her life. While playing the piano for a tent revival, Sylvia met a young preacher, Reuel Westbrook, and it was love at first sight. They were married in Atlanta in 1950 and moved to San Diego where Reuel was stationed in the Navy. They worked in several nonprofit organizations and began their lifelong partnership in ministry. Sylvia completed a Certificate in Religious Education at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia and studied organ and music theory at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. Throughout their college and seminary years, Sylvia and Reuel served churches in North Carolina and Atlanta. During that time, they were blessed with two children, Cynthia and Andy. The Westbrook family moved to Greenwood, SC in 1969 to begin a long and prosperous ministry at Callie Self Memorial Baptist Church. During their 30-year ministry, Sylvia worked with children and youth, taught Sunday School, was a member of the Women’s Missionary Union, played the organ and piano for various church services, and sang alto in the choir. She was a volunteer at the Greenwood County Bank Food Bank and involved in the Minister’s Wife Association of the Lakelands. She often took her children to musical concerts and encouraged them to take music lessons, and both currently play instruments professionally. She participated in the Greenwood High School Band Boosters and traveled to band competitions as a chaperone. In addition, Sylvia was a fabulous cook, baker, and loved to spend time with her husband in their garden. She made delicious casseroles and cakes for special church functions. Over the years, her family traveled together to almost all 50 states. Due to safety concerns surrounding Covid, the family will not have a public visitation, but they invite you to stop by Harley Funeral Home on Saturday from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. to pay your respects and kindly sign the register book or you may visit Sylvia’s life tribute page at www.harleyfuneralhome.com to leave messages for the family. A private family burial will take place at the Oakbrook Memorial Park, with Dr. Jay Collins presiding. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in memory of Sylvia Boyd Westbrook to Hospice and Palliative Care of the Piedmont, 408 West Alexander Ave., Greenwood, SC 29649 (https://hospicepiedmont.org) to support their remarkable work of palliative care in the region.
Sylvia Boyd Westbrook, 85, passed away peacefully on Thursday, January 14, 2021 at Hospice & Palliative Care of the Piedmont in Greenwood, SC, with complications from dementia. She lived a generous and joyful life as a devoted wife, mother,... View Obituary & Service Information
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