Life Story for Sylvia Mendelsohn
Sylvia “Sue” Mendelsohn 89, of Ketchum, Idaho passed away peacefully Sunday September 10, 2017. Sue was born in Bellingham, WA to Abe and Celia Morton. She is preceded in death by her beloved husband, Robert, her son Alan, her parents, and her sister, Lilian. Sue is survived by her son, Darrel and his wife Denise, her grandchildren, Zach, Molly, Kailie, and great-grandson Ezekiel.
Sue and Robert were married for 65 wonderful years. Along with raising their two sons, their years together were filled with hard work, joy, travel, golf, and numerous adventures that would fill the pages of a large novel. Together they made a life in Bellingham, WA, 10 years in Vancouver, British Columbia, and finally Sun Valley, Idaho for the last 35 years. As a couple and individually Sue and Robert made many friends throughout the world. Their rich lives were full and provided inspiration and support to many in their community.
Sue graduated from Western Washington University with degrees in Social Work and Education. After working several years as a social worker she discovered her true calling as an educator. Sue was a remedial reading and English teacher. She taught the 3rd and 4th grade in Washington and also Vancouver, British Columbia. Throughout the course of her life Sue dedicated herself to helping and effecting positive changes in the youth of her communities. With the help of several music teachers in the Wood River Valley and the local symphony, Sue helped create the orchestra program for the Wood River Middle School and taught the class herself for several years. Today the Wood River High School Orchestra regularly wins awards in nationwide competitions.
At a very young age Sue was taught to play the violin. Sue’s passion for music was a constant thread throughout her life and sustained her through good times and bad. Sue was a board member for the Sun Valley Symphony where she worked diligently, refusing to say no, to bring top name performers to the area for concerts . Her work and connection with the symphony helped with financing instrument rentals for disadvantaged youth and providing opportunity for more children to participate in the symphony’s summer programs and the conservatory for advanced music education.
During the last 10 years of her life Sue turned her focus and determination toward building the Wood River Community Orchestra which has become a wonderful outlet for adult beginner, intermediate, and advanced players. The orchestra has grown from 15 to 38 core players and performs throughout the year.
Along with her musical endeavors, Sue has been a long-time volunteer at St. Luke’s Hospital, amassing over 2000 volunteer hours. Sue and Robert were early members of the Wood River Jewish Community and devoted their energy and deep hearts to their faith and community.
Sue’s vibrant personality, strong will, deep seated belief in the virtue of community service and giving, will be missed by all.
A memorial service for Sylvia “Sue” Mendelsohn will be held Monday September 18 at 3 pm at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 201 Sun Valley Road, Sun Valley, ID.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Wood River Orchestra, Wood River Valley Hospice, or the Wood River Jewish Community.