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Sylvia N. Martin

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Sylvia N. Martin Obituary
In loving memory of SYLVIA N. MARTIN Age 82, who died of a stroke on March 22, 2016 in Riverside, CA. Sylvia advocated for access to education, human rights and causes important to the African American community. She enjoyed meeting new people and could converse on a wide range of topics. Sylvia Naomi Lindsey was the fourth of five children born to Ruth and William Lindsey in Akron, OH on September 26, 1933. After receiving her B.S. in political science from Kent State in 1955, she became a military wife and lived in Dayton, OH; Elliott, ME; Okinawa, Japan and Riverside, CA. In the 1970's, she earned elementary and secondary teaching credentials and served as a curriculum specialist, program technician, and elementary teacher. She received her Master's degree in Education/Sociology from UC Riverside's Graduate School of Education in 1973. Sylvia Martin worked as an elementary school principal and high school teacher, served as a mentor to countless children and had a particular interest in working with disadvantaged youth and unwed mothers. A firm believer in the value of education, she participated on numerous scholarship committees and wrote countless letters of recommendations for students. She retired from Riverside Unified School District in 1999. Sylvia was extremely active in the Riverside community. She was the first woman and first African American to serve as the UC Riverside Alumni President and also served on the University task force and the UCR Concerned Citizens Committee. One of her proudest achievements was spearheading the building of the Grier Pavilion in 2008. Named for influential Riverside residents Barnett and Eleanor Jean Grier, It serves to celebrate diversity by honoring the contributions of Riverside residents from different ethnic backgrounds. Sylvia was an accomplished cook who could whip up a meal for forty people without reading recipes, loved to travel, and was a voracious reader. Sylvia's contributions have had a lasting effect on the community and she has forever touched the lives of all who knew her. Sylvia is survived by her three children, son, Kevin Martin (Carrie Hill); daughter Leslie Porter (Donald); son Lester Martin; Everett James; sister Ruby Bethel; nieces Tanya Bethel, Cecile Myers, Cheryl Kuntz, and Valerie Myers; cousins Leonard Ingersoll and Selma Smith, and a host of other family members. A memorial service will be held on Friday, April 1, 2016, 11am at Cross Word Christian Church. Contributions may be made to the Sylvia N. Martin Scholarship, payable to: The Riverside Community Foundation, Memo line: Sylvia N. Martin Scholarship, 3700 Sixth Street, Suite 200, Riverside, CA 92501. Flowers may be sent to Cross Word Christian Church, 21401 Box Springs Rd, Moreno Valley, CA 92557, (951) 275-5360.

Published in Press-Enterprise on Mar. 30, 2016
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