Nilafa Graves "Sylvia" Modlin

Nilafa "Sylvia" Graves Modlin

Nilafa "Sylvia" Graves Modlin was called home to the Lord on Saturday, November 3, 2012 in a local hospital.

Sylvia was born in Selma, LA on March 17th, to Ethel and Lee Rushing. She graduated from Tioga High School. As a young woman, she participated in numerous beauty pageants and played on many basketball teams in the Shreveport area while working for the telephone company.

An artist and poet, Sylvia led a very full life and was involved in a number of activities. She had been the president and co-founder of the Monroe Arts Association. She participated in numerous art shows at Masur Museum and other area festivals. Sylvia's paintings are held by patrons from as far away as Turkey. She was also the assistant director for the West Ouachita Senior Center, where she taught art and art appreciation. She sang with a local group called "Cinnamon and Sugar." The group performed at local restaurants, fairs and civic functions. She was a member of Grace Episcopal Church in Monroe since 1966.

Sylvia was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. Her home was often the gathering place for her friends and her children's friends, who still refer to her as "Mama Sylvia." Birthday parties and holidays were always a special time in her home. She brought great joy to others and instilled in them the love of music and art. Her motto was to "keep on keeping on." This positive attitude and sense of humor even in adversity will be missed by her family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her first husband, Carl Graves; her second husband, Don Modlin; two sons, John David Graves and Jeffrey Modlin; and three brothers, Lee, Travis, and Chester Rushing.

Survivors included three daughters and their spouses, Celia Neitz (Tom), and Carla Vincent (Carl) and Kristi Hendricks (Greg); grandchildren, Carly Neitz, Kaitlin Graves, Emily Vincent, Ramsey Vincent, Curtis Rogers, Nickolas Rogers, and Hanna Doty; and great-grandchildren, Kaden and Conner Doty; as well as many nieces and nephews.

"Youth cannot die; it's just a world away riding on a star…we'll catch it some sweet day"

Funeral services will be at 4:00 PM, Wednesday, November 7, at Grace Episcopal Church under the direction of Kilpatrick Funeral Home. The Rev. Frank Hughes will officiate. Burial will be in Mulhearn Memorial Park Mausoleum.

Pallbearers will be Earl Bond, John Deal, Curtis Rogers, Nickolas Rogers, Tom Neitz, and Carl Vincent.

Online condolences may be made to the family at

Kilpatrick Funeral Home

Monroe, LA

Published in The News Star on Nov. 6, 2012