Sylvia Ann Simpson, 77, of Mt. Pleasant, passed away Thursday, May 9, 2019, at her home following a lengthy illness. A private celebration of her well-lived life will be held at a later date.
A Union County native, Sylvia was born November 3, 1941, the third of four daughters of Clayton Love Simpson and Mary Alice Smith Simpson. She attended Wingate University (then College) for two years before transferring to the University of North Carolina Greensboro where she received an undergraduate degree in social work. She also earned a Masters of Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
For more than 30 years, Sylvia was a child welfare administrator for the State of North Carolina and was division head when she retired in 1997. She received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, our state’s highest civilian honor, two times, once in 1984 for her work in juvenile crime prevention, and upon her retirement for her dedication to public service and the children of North Carolina.
Just as her passion for child welfare services was her vocation, her love for old houses and restoring them was her avocation. As those who knew and loved Sylvia lovingly said, “She never met a house she did not want to remodel.” In 2000 she moved to Mt. Pleasant to be nearer family and to begin restoring the historic Barrier-Mills House on Main Street. The restored property opened in 2000 as The Inn at Mt. Pleasant, a bed-and-breakfast that Sylvia operated until 2016 when health issues intervened.
Sylvia very much enjoyed traveling with family, especially trips to Wyoming, Colorado and Montana, and sisters-only driving adventures in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland after flying across the Atlantic. Later, Sylvia and her sisters especially enjoyed the luxury of European river cruises.
Sylvia is survived by two sisters, Carolyn S. Gordon of Monroe, and Deanie S. Price of Grassy Creek, North Carolina. A third sister, Delores Abee, passed away in 2003.
Memorial contributions may be directed to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, P. O. Box 1000 Dept.142, Memphis, TN 38148 or to the Eastern Cabarrus Historical Society, P.O. Box 1299, Mt. Pleasant, North Carolina, 28124.