The children of Sylvia Anna Lolli are heartbroken as they share the news that their extraordinary mother passed away on November 17. Sylvia’s brilliance shone throughout her life through the many roles that she filled - daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, cousin, friend, encourager, and confidant. Her genuine, unscripted, fierce, joyful presence will be deeply missed by those who loved her. We take solace in knowing that her light shines on through the kind acts and thoughtful wisdom she shared throughout her life.
Sylvia was born on November 12, 1931, in Leominster, MA to parents Ralph Lolli, Sr. and Filomena “Fannie” (DeFelice) Lolli. She grew up on Lancaster Street in Leominster, where she enjoyed sneaking into the basement pantry with her cousins to take jars of olives and playing hide and seek in the cemetery. She graduated from Leominster High School in 1949 and attended Burbank Hospital School of Nursing where she graduated as a registered nurse.
She lived and worked in many places after her graduation, including Fort Belvoir, VA, upstate New York, Hampton Beach, NH, and Newburyport, MA. No matter where she was, she created a loving home for her family, filled with warmth, faith, and song.
Sylvia returned to Leominster in 1965, where she raised her six children. She provided nursing care for many during her night shifts at Mt. Elam and Fairlawn nursing homes, but was probably best known for always giving a warm welcome to whomever came through the front door of her home. If you were lucky enough to have sat at her kitchen table, you know that she was a gracious hostess who always had a cup of coffee ready to pour and could whip up an impromptu meal for a crowd. She hosted lively conversations, Bible studies and spirited debates.
Sylvia brought her optimistic outlook, quick wit and beautiful smile to every situation. She had a discerning eye for style, embracing open-concept living before it was in vogue (aka taking a sledge hammer to walls), repainting a piece of furniture, or selecting just the right pair of shoes or earrings.
She retired to Marco Island, FL, where she lived for several years until she was drawn back to the New England coast and Newburyport, where she enjoyed Atlantic Ocean breezes and spoiling her adoring grandchildren. Nothing gave her more joy than surprising them with a card with a five-dollar bill in the mail or stashing a special treat in a drawer for them to find at their next visit.
Sylvia was easy to love and was loved by many. She is survived by her son, Michael Hannigan and wife, Dawn, of Leominster; her daughters, Sheila Markham and husband, Jerry, of Naples, FL; Michelle Erickson and husband, Drew, of Newbury; Colleen Hannigan of Newburyport; Leslie Hannigan of Newburyport; Kelly Hoppe and husband, Ryan, and grandchildren, Christopher and Marielle, all of Hingham. She is also survived by her sister, Virginia Jones of Raleigh, NC, and her brothers, Ralph Lolli, Jr. of Leominster, Ray (Nancy) Lolli of Pembroke Pines, FL, Dennis (Diane) Lolli of Orlando, FL, as well as many nieces, nephews, grand and great-grand nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her parents, her sister and brother-in-law, Marion and Bill Corkran; her sister-in-law, Lorraine Lolli; and her brother-in-law, Russ Jones.
A private service will be held for immediate family members. The Twomey, LeBlanc & Conte Funeral Home, 193 High Street, Newburyport, MA is directing arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, catch up with a friend over coffee, call or send a note to someone at a distance, or say a prayer for someone you love.
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