Sylvia M. “Syl” Uttech, age 84, passed away peacefully at her home surrounded by the warmth of loved ones on Friday, February, 19, 2016. She was born in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin on May 10, 1931 to William F. Sr. and Della (Rex) Hemling. She was baptized, confirmed, married, and a lifelong member of St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church (Wisconsin Synod), and graduated from Beaver Dam High School in 1949.
She was united in marriage with the love of her life, Raymond H. Uttech, on October 3, 1953. They celebrated over 61 years together in a happy and committed marriage blessed with children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and many pets.
After serving as a bank teller, Sylvia spent the majority of her remarkable career as a legal secretary with family practice law firms in Beaver Dam. While working and during her retirement years, she also supported her husband in operating their family-owned business, Uttech Plumbing and Heating.
An avid piano player and talented vocalist, Sylvia dedicated her life to music. She sang in St. Stephen’s Church Choir for decades, directed Hand Bells Choir, and graced life events with solos for many people over the years with her beautiful alto voice. Sylvia often played piano accompaniment for her children and grandchildren (and their friends) as they prepared for or performed in music festivals. She took pride in passing down her love for music to her children and grandchildren and watching them perform. Lovingly known as “Grandma Piano,” music was her inspiration, comfort, and joy, and a gift she shared with others.
Sylvia also loved to tend to her flower gardens; feed and watch birds in her backyard; pick fresh raspberries and strawberries; and take care of her pets. Her favorite bird was the Cardinal. While she had a number of wonderful pets over the years, her beloved Whiskers held a special place in her heart. During the past few months, their pet cat, Harley, never left her side. She was especially fond of knitting and crocheting, and made special blankets and Christmas stockings for her loved ones. She enjoyed making jams, canning garden produce, and hosting large family meals.
Sylvia treasured her family more than anything. She never missed the many school and community events her children and grandchildren participated in, such as hockey, baseball, softball, basketball, soccer, football, band, chorus, volleyball, wrestling, and more. She would drop everything to pick a grandchild up from school. She lived for family gatherings and was the life of the party. She worked alongside her husband to chop wood and clear brush. A faithful mother, spouse, aunt, and friend, with a deeply generous spirit, warm hug, and quick wit, she was loved by all those who knew her.
Sylvia left behind many family and friends. She is survived by her loving and deeply caring husband, Raymond; her children, Paul (Susan) Uttech, Lori (John) Uttech-Hanson, and Nancy Uttech (special friend Jerry Friday); sisters-in-law, Inez (William J. Jr.) Hemling, Ethel (Carl) Uttech, and Virginia (Arthur) Drevlow; son-in-law, David (Cynthia) Wuesthoff; grandchildren, Rachel (Adam) Loomans, Zachary (Lindsey) Uttech, Alex Lesher, Elijah Uttech, Emily Hanson, Dayna Braaksma (fiance’ Nick Schneider), Hanna Braaksma (special friend Trevor Lee), Chloe (Jason) Komorowski, Adam (Colleen) Wuesthoff, Broc (special friend Nicole DeJager) Wuesthoff, and Chelli (Kurt) Roeder; great grandchildren, Esme’, Elena, Jax, Evan, Blythe, Sutton, and Rhett; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and other relatives.
She was preceded in death and joins in Heaven her parents, brother William J. Hemling Jr., and daughter Cynthia Marie. While she will be greatly missed, her strength, determination, loyalty, generosity, and loving-kindness will be remembered and serve as an inspiration forever.
In honoring Sylvia’s wishes, a private family service will be held on March 18.
The family wishes to thank Hillside Hospice for providing wonderfully palliative and comforting care to Sylvia in her time of need.
In lieu of flowers, contributions to help take care of Sylvia’s medical expenses and care would be greatly appreciated, and can be sent to: Uttech Family, N8271 Edwin Lane, Beaver Dam, WI 53916.
Cornerstone Funeral & Cremation Services, 135 Keller Blvd., Beaver Dam is honored to be serving the family. You can send private condolences or sign the family’s guest book at www.cstonefs.com