On Friday, October 22, 2021, Sylvia Sirignano of Westborough, MA passed away peacefully at UMass Memorial Hospital at the age of 73 after a courageous battle with lung cancer. Her husband, sister, daughter, and son were by her side.
Sylvia was born on September 8, 1948 in San Diego, CA to William Paul Sirignano and Verna Davis Sirignano; however she spent the rest of her childhood in Mount Vernon, NY and her summers at her family’s summer home in Oak Bluffs, MA. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Lesley College and later moved to Chicago where she received her Master’s degree in early childhood education from the Erikson Institute. Shortly after earning her degree, she met and married Charles Wolfson.
Sylvia and Charlie moved to Westborough, MA and had two children, Zachary and Elissa. Soon after, she completed her PhD in developmental psychology at Brandeis University and opened her own private practice. She did various work with her clients, including teaching, workshops, and therapy. All of it was directed toward the goal of helping children have the best childhood possible.
Sylvia’s true passion in life was children. They were the subject of her professional life, and being Mom to her own children was her most important and treasured role in life. As her children are in fact writing this obituary, we can attest to the fact that she never stopped Mom-ing us, even up until the very end.
Sylvia also loved spending time with her siblings and their families. She was active in her church, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Westborough. She also enjoyed gardening, cooking and baking for her family, music and dancing, practicing yoga, keeping up with current events, and reading books of all sorts. Being near the ocean, particularly on Martha’s Vineyard, is where she felt happiest and most at peace. She believed deeply in the importance of the well-being of all people and wanted nothing more than for us to treat each other with kindness and love.
A few years after Sylvia and Charlie divorced in 2002, she reunited with Vincent Aquilino at her 40th high school reunion, and the two were married in 2008. The highlight of Sylvia’s last few years was becoming a grandmother; besides raising her own children, being a Nana was the greatest joy of her life.
Sylvia is survived by her husband, Vince; her son, Zach Wolfson, and his wife, Erin Betters; her daughter, Elissa Schulman, and her husband, Scott Schulman; and her two granddaughters, Eleanor Morgan Wolfson and Annabel Hope Schulman. She is also survived by her brothers, David Sirignano of Saint Michaels, MD and Michael Sirignano of Waccabuc, NY, and her sister, Judith Maresca of Plymouth, MA. Her brother, Paul Sirignano, passed away in 2019.
A Memorial Service celebrating Sylvia’s life will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Westborough, MA on Saturday, October 30, 2021 at 10 AM. Space is limited due to Covid restrictions, but all are welcome to attend virtually via Zoom. If you would like to attend on Zoom, please reach out to one of Sylvia’s relatives.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to UNICEF to honor Sylvia’s love of children.