Lewis Walter “Butchie” Sylvia, 63, of Dartmouth, formerly of Rochester, passed away Thursday December 20, 2012 peacefully at home surrounded by his loved ones.
Lewis was born in New Bedford on May 17, 1949 to Rosaline (Alves) and Walter Sylvia in a time when individuals with Down Syndrome were cast into state institutions, but not Lewis. His parents fought to mainstream Lewis into society. He lived a long happy life with his family until his moms passing in 1994. It was then that Tony Resendes and Andrea Patisteas adopted Lewis and they grew into a family that included Benjamin, Samuel and Mia Resendes.
Lewis was a National Special Olympics Gold Medal winner in the sport of bocce as well as an avid bowler. He formerly attended the New Bedford Recreational Program for Special Needs Adults. He had a love of music, especially Elvis. Lewis was a very well known member of the community and knew people everywhere he went. He enriched the lives of those who knew him. The Department of Developmental Services caringly supported him throughout his life, and for the past 12 years Lewis was a valued member of The Nemasket Group, an organization that went above and beyond in the care and support they provided him. Lewis also worked at St. Anne’s Credit Union in Fairhaven. Lewis remained in the Resendes/Patisteas home for 17 years and then Alzheimers overcame him. He then moved into a group home in Dartmouth and it was there that he peacefully passed with his family and friends around him.
Lewis was fortunate to ALWAYS be surrounded by people who cared deeply for him, he hit the life lottery!
Survivors include his brother Brian Sylvia and nephew Chad Sylvia both of New Bedford; his adoptive family, Tony Resendes, Andrea Patisteas, Benjamin Resendes, Samuel Resendes and Mia Resendes, all of Rochester; and many friends.
His Funeral Service will be held on Monday December 24, 2012 at 9 AM at the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home for Funerals, 50 County Rd., Route 6, Mattapoisett. Burial will follow in St. John’s Cemetery, New Bedford. Visiting hours will be on Sunday December 23, 2012 from 5-8 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to The Nemasket Group, 56 Bridge St. Fairhaven, MA 02719. For directions and guestbook, please visit www.saundersdwyer.com.