Sylvia Cuomo died on January 8, 2021, which was her 89th birthday.
She was a beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother; she was also an artist, an educator, and a passionate advocate and volunteer.
Sylvia was devoted to her family and never missed a chance to attend a family gathering, enjoying numerous get-togethers with her rambunctious grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and hosting and attending many Thanksgivings and other occasions with her immediate and extended family.
Born Sylvia Epstein in Brooklyn, NY to Hyman and Helen Epstein, she attended Midwood High School and Alfred University, where she began her life's work of creating visual art. She started creating with ceramics, eventually building a body of sculptural works in clay, wood, and other mixed media. She maintained her broad and deep love for the arts throughout her life, and was always up for visiting museums or interesting sites with friends and family and attending intriguing performances. She also worked in development for arts organizations including the University of Massachusetts radio station WFCR and the theater group Shakespeare & Company in the Berkshires.
Sylvia got her PhD in Education from the University of Massachusetts and began work throughout the state of Massachusetts as a freelance educational consultant, specializing in testing design and evaluation of educational programs. She was passionate about parity in education and protecting those with special needs.
She was also committed to building a better world and helping those in need. She worked hard for political causes and politicians she believed in, and she was a state electoral delegate and a very active member of the Amherst Democratic Committee. She volunteered as well at Survival Center in Amherst.
Sylvia married the late George Cuomo in 1954; they divorced in 1992. She lived in many places throughout her life, including Tucson, Arizona, Victoria, B.C., and Castro Valley, CA, but spent the last decades of her life in Amherst, MA and her last few years in Kittery, Maine at Kittery Estates.
She is survived by her children: daughter Celia Cuomo and her husband, the late Maurice Weitman of New Paltz, NY; son Douglas Cuomo and his wife Sharon Guskin, of Brooklyn, NY; son Gregory Cuomo and his partner, Linda Nagel, of Fort Collins, CO; daughter Rosalind Cuomo and her partner, Faith Pritchard, of Abingdon, England; and son Michael Cuomo and his longtime companion, Judy McCarthy, of York, ME.
Sylvia is also survived by her eight grandchildren: Osa Cuomo, Douglas Cuomo, Erin Burton and her husband Harrison Burton, Stephen Cuomo and his wife Amber Cuomo, Eli Cuomo, Ben Cuomo, Lauran Fell and her husband Mike Fell, Anthony Balliro and his wife Samantha Balliro, and her three great-grandchildren, Lily Cuomo, Lucas Fell, and Natalie Fell. She is also survived by her cousin, Linda Stein, as well as her three nephews, Joe, John, and Tommy Sexton and their families.
Donations in her honor can be made to the Survival Center in Amherst, MA which provides food and other basic services to people in need, or any local food bank.
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