Sylvia Nila Flood, 88, of Englewood, Fla., died peacefully Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013, in her sleep at the Tidewell Hospice House in Bradenton, Fla., after a brief struggle with cancer.
She was born Sept. 12, 1925, in South St. Paul, Minn., the daughter of Herman and Hulda (nee Riedel) Rabold.
Even though hard times in the Great Depression limited her formal education to the eighth grade, Sylvia was well-read, well-spoken, well-dressed, an avid fan of crossword puzzles, a lover of life and a disappointed Cubs fan. She spent much of her adult life in the Chicago, Ill., suburb of Norridge, Ill., where she was active in civic affairs and the local PTA, serving as president for a term. Sylvia loved winter weekends spent snowmobiling in the Wisconsin Dells, and adored snow until the moment she retired to Florida.
As one of the pioneering residents of Polynesian Village in Englewood, Sylvia enthusiastically embraced the Florida lifestyle — collecting sharks’ teeth on Manasota Beach; growing citrus trees in her backyard; catching shrimp in Lemon Bay; entertaining her grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and, above all, playing golf and playing it well. For years she led exercise classes for area residents, and was a faithful member of Curves, right up to her cancer diagnosis in September. She was a member of and active volunteer with Christ Lutheran Church in Englewood.
Sylvia is survived by two sons, Terry (Carolyn) Hedstrom of Sarasota, Fla., and Steven (Marti) Larsen of Rockford, Ill.; brother, Clarence (Ellen) Rabold of St. Paul, Minn.; three sisters, Elfa Brenke of Le Sueur, Minn., JoAnn (Bill) Guerin of St. Paul, and Bernice Shellenbarger of Inver Grove Heights, Minn.; six grandchildren, Nancy (Larry) Wigley of Minnetonka, Minn., Scott (Libby) Hedstrom of Williamsburg, Va., Lanette (Jayson) Lemmer of Rothschild, Wis., Vanessa (Charles) Strada of Lake in the Hills, Ill., Krista Larsen of Milwaukee, Wis., and Cameron Larsen of Rockford; four great-grandchildren, Benjamin and Zachary Wigley, and Eric and Alex Hedstrom; and three nieces, Gloria Farringer of Redwood Falls, Minn., Susan (Leon) Berg of Starbuck, Minn., and Nila (Miguel “Mike”) Parages of Miami, Fla. She was preceded in death by her parents; husbands, Reuben Hedstrom, Edwin Larsen, James Flood and Thomas Lans; her son, David Larsen; grandson, Davey Larsen; two sisters, Esther Krause and Agnes Krause; and two brothers, Oscar and Edmund Rabold.
Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, please leave memorial gifts to Tidewell Hospice, Sarasota, at www.tidewell.org. You may express your condolences to the family at www.lemonbayfh.com.
Arrangements are by Lemon Bay Funeral Home and Cremation Services.