Sylvia V. Flinn
November 11, 1935 – October 26, 2020
Sylvia V’Lee Cayten Flinn, 84, of Wilmette, Illinois passed away swiftly and peacefully on Monday, October 26, 2020 at her home.
Sylvia was the loving mother of David Doane Flinn (Leslie Blake Flinn) and Stephen Wyatt Flinn, caring grandmother of Michael James Flinn and Katherine Shannon Flinn, beloved sister of Donna Cayten Higgins and an aunt to a host of several nieces, nephews, great and great-great nieces and nephews that reside in Illinois, Ohio and Arizona.
Sylvia was preceded in death by her parents Wilmer Wyatt Cayten and Nora Cordelia Ryan Cayten; two brothers, Earl Leonce Cayten and Wendell Kendell Cayten; three sisters Vivian Oneta Cayten, Myra Evelyn Cayten, and Ella Rose Cayten.
She was born in Lumberton, Mississippi on November 11, 1935, the sixth child of Wilmer and Nora Cayten. As a child, she played the piano and enjoyed reading. Her love of music continued throughout her life. The family resided in Lamar County where she attended Purvis High School, graduating at 16 years of age as class Valedictorian.
She then moved to Chicago, Illinois to join her sisters and attended the University of Illinois where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Home Economics in 1956. She was an active member of Phi Mu sorority and made friendships there that continued throughout her life. After graduation she worked with Peoples Gas, Whirlpool Corporation and The Quaker Oats Company. In 1958, she married Richard Doane Flinn with whom she resided in Tokyo, Japan from 1962 -1964. While in Japan, Sylvia did extensive corporate entertaining. She also gave birth to her first son, David. She enjoyed volunteering and assimilating into Japanese culture and society. These years were some of the highlights of her life.
The family returned to Evanston, IL where she gave birth to her second son, Stephen. They later moved to Wilmette, IL to raise their children. She also resided with her family in Birmingham, Michigan for seven years. Sylvia was a loving mother who was very devoted to her children and volunteered in a variety of capacities for their schools and in the Wilmette and Birmingham communities.
Upon returning to Wilmette in 1977, she was able to spend more time with her sisters, nieces and nephews which she greatly enjoyed. Throughout her life she was a patron of the arts and regularly attended Chicago Lyric Opera and Chicago Symphony Orchestra performances, concerts at Ravinia and theatre.
When her sons reached middle and high school age, she explored several career options before becoming a dietician for retirement communities including The Mather, Evanston, IL and the Whitehall of Deerfield, IL. A consummate hostess, she loved to entertain and show her love and care for others through food.
As a grandmother, she was engaged in her grandchildren’s care, lives and various activities. They were a great source of joy and pride for her and throughout their childhood she could often be found at their home, classes, concerts, performances, athletic events and more. The last four years of her life she resided at Brookdale Northbook Senior Living where she greatly enjoyed the companionship, many activities and care the community provided to her and their residents.
Per her wishes, private burial will be in Little Black Creek Cemetery, Lumberton, MS with her parents and siblings. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society.