Sylvia Panceta Thompson (née Sylvia Brown), daughter of (the late) Mae Isabella Cordella Thompson Brown and Festus Mywood Brown, was born on April 18, 1952 in Seaforth, St. Thomas on the Island of Jamaica in the West Indies. Twelve children were born as a result of her parents’ matrimonial union. Sylvia was the sixth child.
In 1968, she migrated to New York with her family. Sylvia attended Clara Barton High School for Health Professions, and later Brooklyn College to study early childhood education. Back home in Jamaica, she found love with John Thompson, and the two married at Trinity Church in the St. James parish in Montego Bay on June 21, 1975. They have two daughters and one son. Last year marked their 42nd wedding anniversary.
Sylvia was very ambitious and multi-talented. To know her was to love her. She was a phenomenal chef. Feeding her family, friends, and anyone else she encountered filled her heart with joy. Some of her best dishes included Escovitch Fish, Oxtails, Roti, Curried Chicken, Curried Goat, and Red Pea Soup. She will especially be remembered for her infamous Rum Cake (only her youngest daughter knows that secret recipe … along with many others). Highly independent and determined to take care of her family, she held several jobs throughout the years … as a waitress, seamstress, and cosmetics sale representative for both Avon and Mary Kay just to name a few. In her spare time, she volunteered at her children’s elementary school as a Parent Coordinator.
In the early 1990s after completing higher education and becoming licensed by the City of New York and Department of Health, Sylvia decided to open her own business as a child care provider. SYLVIA’S TINY TOTS DAYCARE CENTER became a fixture in her neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Sylvia or “Mommy Sylvia”, as her tiny tots affectionately called her, played a critical role in supporting the development and successful upbringing of several generations of children. She was personally invested in the lives of the children she raised, and was someone that their families could trust without a shadow of a doubt.
Sylvia lived a life committed to the service of others. As the daughter of a prominent minister, her roots were firmly planted in the church. In the summer of 1998, she made the decision to formally give her life to Christ, and was baptized at Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, New York. She was a devoted member of the Church of God 7th Day in Roosevelt, Long Island. Sylvia will be remembered as a kindhearted person who always offered sound advice and words of encouragement to anyone in need. On Monday, February 19, 2018 while at the New York Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn, New York, Sylvia Thompson answered the call to be with the Lord. She went from labor to reward, leaving to cherish her memory, her husband John; her children: Michelle, John Micheal, Sr. and Rachelle; four grandchildren: Saniya, John Micheal, Jr., Christian Festus and Kyah Michelle; four surviving siblings, her only godchild Satin; and a host of other relatives, church members, tiny tots and friends.