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Sylvia Jo Smith
June 2, 1950 ~ July 4, 2023 (age 73) 73 Years Old
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Sylvia Jo (Grotjan) Smith, 73, of Bedford, Texas, passed away on July 4, 2023, due to complications of Alzheimer's disease, with family and friends by her side.
A joint memorial service will be held for Sylvia and Ron, her husband of 40 years, at 1 p.m. on Monday, August 7, 2023, in the chapel of the First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth, 800 West Fifth Street, Fort Worth, Texas, with inurnment in the church columbarium.
Sylvia was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 2, 1950, to James Louis and Aleta Jo (Houston) Grotjan. She grew up with her older brother, James, and spent summers visiting cousins on the family farms in Missouri. She was an enthusiastic student of the arts, taking piano and ballet from the age of five. When she was 11, her father’s career brought the family to Fort Worth.
She attended Haltom High School, playing flute in the marching band and becoming a charter member of the Haltom Highsteppers drill team. She earned high marks in classes and developed friendships with classmates that lasted her entire life.
After graduating, she studied at Texas Christian University and began a career in marketing and public relations at the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce. Later, she worked for a regional bank, a documentary film production company, and in residential real estate. She also continued her love of ballet, performing for three years in productions of Shakespeare in the Park.
Sylvia married Ronald Lynn Smith on December 31, 1982, and they raised one son, Russell, born in 1986. They were active in the First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth, where she served on committees and represented the church at the Central Texas Conference.
She also volunteered with charities and community organizations, serving on boards, chairing events, and leading fundraising efforts for United Community Centers, Jewel Charity, the Fort Worth Garden Club, and the Texas Ballet Theater, among others.
She enjoyed reading literary and historical fiction, and there was always a small stack of new books on her nightstand. Dance remained a deep source of joy for her, and she continued with ballet classes throughout her life.
Sylvia will be remembered as a loving mom, stepmom, grandma, sister, aunt, and friend. Her quirky Christmas gifts were unmatched. She could make any group get along, and she was a tireless advocate for family and friends in need. Her unwavering kindness lit a spark in everyone who met her.
Sylvia is survived by her son, Russell; stepdaughter, Sheri (Joseph) Parris; two stepsons, Gregory (Heather) Smith and Brenton (Lin) Smith; seven grandchildren; brother, James (Caroline) Grotjan; nieces, Anna Gulick and Jaimie Krycho; nephew, Edwin Grotjan; and many dear friends.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer's Association (alz.org) or First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth.