Sybil Jean Daniels Van Houten, 9/8/2022, age 76. Born on Thanksgiving Day, a few weeks after the end of WWII. Parents, now deceased, were William Harold Daniels and Rachel Spencer Daniels. Also deceased were siblings: Dayton, Naomi, Betty Lou, Harold Lloyd, Mildred Eileen, and Sylvia Jean. The last two died in childhood. She is survived by her only husband, Rodney J. Van Houten, of the home; sister, Louise, of Minnesota; brother, Coleman (Donna), of California; sister-in-law, Janice (Kevin) Donahue, of upstate New York; and many nieces and nephews and cousins by the dozens.
She was the perfect wife and homemaker. She never learned to drive and never wanted to learn. Sybil provided in-home daycare (and night care, too!) for many children over the years. Her door was open to kids of all races and ethnicities. Her husband provided the opportunity for her to be socially active in Masonic-related organizations. One-time member of:
Virginia Chapter #22, Order of the Eastern Star
Mace Court #9, Order of the Amaranth
Tidewater Shrine #4, Order of the White Shrine of Jerusalem
Norfolk Assembly #235, Social Order of the Beauceant
Past President, Norview Royal Arch Ladies
Past Chairman of the Calling Committee, Norfolk Scottish Rite Ladies
Sybil faced many health challenges over the years. The doctor gave her up to die at a year old, telling her mother to “cry this towel full of tears, if it’ll help.” She didn’t learn to walk until she was almost three, and was carried on a pillow. Her husband took care of her the last five years of her life. She had diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, lymphedema, sleep apnea, incontinence, and dementia. The decline was over-whelming and she was placed in a Nursing Home on hospice for the last few weeks of her life. Keeping her out of the Hospital and Nursing Home for so long was due, in large part, to the great care afforded by the VPA – Visiting Physicians Association: Nurse Stephanie and Doctor John Robert Patterson.
Her mother told her that she would never find a husband, since she lived with her parents until she was 35 years old. Her mother was wrong, however, and Sybil and Rodney spent 40 years together, all in the same house!
Sybil was a great lady, beloved by all who met her. She engendered such affection that one of her former Home Health Care Aides quit a better-paying job to come to work in the Nursing Home just to be with her. Thank you “Loyal Little Loren” (and Jean Falcon, too)!
She will be cremated. There will be no services.