Sydney Nicholette Mavis

WESTFIELD – Sydney Nicholette Mavis, 27, passed unexpectedly on Saturday, November 12th. However, her death will not define her.

Sydney was born in Northampton, Massachusetts on August 2, 1995. She grew up in Suffield, Connecticut and Southwick, Massachusetts attending both Suffield and Southwick schools. Sydney had an old, eclectic soul and cared deeply for others. She loved to dance! Sydney attended The Dance Slipper in Westfield from the age of three. From the age of four she also began ice skating with her mom, Kerre, whom she loved deeply.

Sydney loved her grandmothers dearly and they loved her as only grandmas could. She made fairy houses with her loving grandma Sande and was a frequent visitor at her great-grandma Lilly’s.  Sydney was one with nature and loved the quiet wonder of the woods where she walked often as a child, stopping to pick up sticks, twigs, and leaves.

Sydney was a fashionista! At the age of five Sydney attended a Shania Twain concert with her older cousin dressed to the nines in a full-length leopard print skirt and a high bun. Always vying for the older kids’ attention and approval. Cousin Kait, five years her senior, although slightly jealous, always admired her budding style. One of young Sydney’s favorite board games was Kids Say the Darndest Things. The room always held its collective breath when Syd pulled the “make your own question card.” Then regaled in laughter later, out of earshot, at the audacity of her precocious questions. She loved giving gifts. Her cousin still fondly recalls the fairy dust necklace that Sydney gifted her at her twelfth birthday party. Which Sydney promptly took back because Kait “didn’t play with her enough.” Sydney was a beautiful mixture of strong willed and bold yet soft and searching for acceptance. She knew the power of her own voice. An admirable trait for any young woman.

Sydney was deeply empathic. Her mind sparkled at the wonder of “things.” Her kindness glowed and her essence remains eternal. She is now at rest and held close to our hearts. While we miss her terribly, we take comfort in the knowledge that we will someday meet again. Let us find and encourage within ourselves, within our society, those gifts that make us special. The ineffable mystery and the extraordinary beauty of the simple, and fragile, human heart. We weep her loss; however, she lives safely in our hearts where no storm or night or pain can reach her. We will not search for her in our memory. We will find her in presence, beside us when beauty brightens.

Although her time with us has been painfully short, it is comforting to know that she was greeted with love by family who have gone before her. Her Auntie, Jessica Mavis. Her grandfathers; Stephen Mavis, Eugene Mavis, Richard Paroline, Fredrick Bolliger, and James Stopa. Her great-grandmothers; Lillian Gluck and Virginia Mavis.

Sydney is survived by her parents, both of whom will forever struggle with the promise of what could have been; Kiersten Stopa and Christian Mavis, both of Westfield, Massachusetts. She also leaves her brother Nicholas Mavis of Manchester, Connecticut. Her grandmothers; Susan Mavis of Westfield, Massachusetts and Sande Bolliger of Port Saint Lucie, Florida. Her great-grandmother; Joyce Paroline of Westfield, Massachusetts. Her Aunts and Uncles; Jennifer and David Wetherell of Jefferson, Maryland. Sarah Mavis and Thomas Craig of Groton, Connecticut. Sean and Sheila Stopa of Montgomery, Massachusetts. And cousins; Kaitlin, Nathan, Jacob, Kiari, Kareem, Tasheem, Jillian, and Hayden.

Donations in Sydney’s name may be made to the Westfield Homeless Cat Project which was an organization close to her heart and to which she donated every year on her birthday.

Services will be private at the request of the family. Additionally, a celebration of Life is planned for the Spring.

Her family requests that you honor Sydney by reaching out to anyone who may be struggling. Offer hope, compassion, comfort. A simple smile and your full heart.

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