Nickerson Funeral Home

87 Crowell Road, Chatham, MA


Martha Esther Sylver

May 23, 1926August 26, 2019

Martha Ester (Joseph, Bearse) Sylver , 93, of Chatham, MA passed away peacefully among friends at Rosewood Manor on August 26, 2019.

Martha was born on Nantucket Island on May 26, 1926 to LeRoy and Anna Mae (Lewis) Joseph. Upon the death of her mother at the age of 4 she was brought to the mainland and was adopted by Horace and Rachel (Phillips) Bearse of Chatham, MA.

Known as Aunt Martha by many, she led a full and rewarding life in Chatham. She was a graduate of Chatham High School. Martha loved to tell stories about “how it WAS in Cha-tham”. She had fond childhood memories of delivering coal by wagon throughout the Town of Chatham and by boat to the Lifesaving Station on Monomoy Island. When her father sold the coal business the family purchased a 28 acre farm in West Chatham. It was on this land where she lived for the remainder of her life. This is where her love for animals and nature began. She shared with one and all the stories of old Cape Cod. She tended to her life and family as she tended her magnificent garden knowing what to cultivate and what to let ramble free.

Martha’s many interests included gardening, sewing, knitting and painting. She was a true Cape Codder in every sense of the word. She was a strong and loving woman of true compassion for everyone and everything living. Martha took nothing for granted and was thankful for the many blessings that came her way.

She is survived by her two sons: Daniel A. husband of Joanne (Zimmer) Sylver and Steven A. husband of Karen (Meinig) Sylver. Martha is also the proud grandmother to two grandchildren: Samuel C. Sylver of Rochester, NY and Spencer Martin of Hanover, MA. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews. She will be dearly missed by her niece Laura (Curtis) Kelley and her many neighborhood friends.

Martha was predeceased by her husband Albert W. Sylver and her five siblings: Anna Curtis, Laura Hopkins, Connie Bowman, Marion Maddox and W. Joseph Cummings. She is also predeceased by her dear and devoted friend Leona Goodspeed.

A private family service will be held at the South Chatham Cemetery. In lieu of owers donations in her memory can be made to the Animal Rescue League of Brewster, Elder Services of Cape Cod (Meals on Wheels) or a charity of one’s choice.

The family would like to thank all those who helped Martha in her later years, particularly the staff at Rosewood Manor and the Visiting Nurses of Cape Cod.


Martha Esther Sylver

have a memory or condolence to add?

Annette Paltzer

September 3, 2019

In the Summer of 1988 Christian and Georgine had their first play session with Sam!Ever since Martha was part of our Chatham summer family! We will all keep fond memories of Martha and her wonderful garden. The Paltzer Family on Kelly Lane

Nancy Cole Rugman

August 29, 2019

Martha I first started knocking on your side door when I was 6 yrs old & never
stopped! What a wonderful friendship &
Memories I have now for my lifetime! Dan Joanne Steve & Karen- what a long
Journey of Life we have all shared together. Martha you were the best⛵️Luv Nancy

memories to mow