Sylvia Nickel, 80, of Rochester, MN passed away peacefully at the Juliana Valencia Care Home on Sunday March 14, 2021.
Sylvia was born at home in Racine Township on October 8, 1940 to Walter and Lyla (Henke) Nickel. She graduated from Stewartville High School in 1958. She later earned an Associate of Arts at RCC. Though raised on a farm, Sylvie was always a city girl at heart. She moved to Rochester shortly after HS graduation, and worked in retail and the YMCA before joining IBM as a secretary. She worked her way up to the position of Technical Writer, where she wrote tech manuals for IBM computer systems. She retired in the 1990’s.
Sylvie’s second career after retirement was at the Rochester Public Library, where she worked in numerous capacities as an employee and volunteer. Her favorite duty was searching donations for rare or valuable books. She would price them for the library bookstore, and also sold valuable books online for library funding. Sylvie also studied horticulture and had a beautiful garden at her beloved vintage home near Kutsky park. She loved reading and learning all her life. She volunteered for Rochester Historic Preservation, the Rochester Symphony, and Mayowood preservation. She also loved attending concerts, museums, and ballets. She traveled frequently to many places in the US, Canada, England, and Hong Kong.
Sylvie was an extraordinarily kind woman who often lent a hand to those in less fortunate circumstances. She will be sorely missed by her family, friends, and devoted caretakers Erika, Theresa, Lydia, and Juliana, and Bonnie. The family thanks Mayo Palliative Care and Hospice staff for their superb care.
She is survived her sister, Rhonda Nickel, and brother-in-law Bradley Courneya of Idaho Springs, CO; nephew Chris (Lisa) Nickel-Felton and their sons Noah and Simon; sister-in-law Carolyn (Ray) Felton; her niece Alexandra Felton and son Max. She was preceded in death by her parents and brother Randolph Nickel.
Because of Covid, a celebration of her life will be postponed til Spring. Her ashes will be interred then at the Oakwood Cemetery Chapel Columbarium in downtown Rochester. Memorials may be sent to the Library, or the Olmsted Historical Society.