Sylvia Grace (Berry) Shoebridge

March 2, 1923 ~ December 23, 2023 (age 100) 100 Years Old

Sylvia Shoebridge Obituary

TROY - Sylvia Grace Berry Shoebridge, 100, died Saturday, December 23, 2023 at her daughter’s residence surrounded by her loving family. Born and raised in Pompey New York she was the youngest of the late Mason Berry and Mabel Ellis Berry’s four children, and wife of the late Harold Jack Shoebridge of Hampshire, England. Survivors include her son Cedric Shoebridge , daughter Tamara DeMartino , granddaughters Sierra Petrosino and Marissa DeMartino. She was predeceased by her daughter Heather Dawn Shoebridge.

Sylvia was educated at Drexel University in Philadelphia where she earned her Bachelor of Science in textiles and clothing design. In 1945 she worked for designer Helen Cookman in NYC. After meeting Jack , a radio control officer on the Queen Mary for the British Navy, they sailed to England where she worked in London for swimsuit manufacturer Martin White Ltd. They returned to Pompey in 1948 to prepare for their wedding. They were married December 18, 1948 in the Pompey United Church, which was built by Sylvia's great-grandfather Matthias Berry.

In 1950 she attended a fashion seminar in England, France and Italy. She was entertained at the palace of Versailles, and later met the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, at a party in Paris. She attended a month-long course in conversation at the Sorbonne in Paris to prepare for a research trip in France which created the foundation for her Master’s Thesis “The History of Costume Design”. She was mostly interested in the everyday dress of the common man and focused her research on provincial costume design. She eventually received her MA from Syracuse University.

In 1955 Sylvia designed and created three baby carriers that she sold by advertising in the NY Times . Her company name was Doric Industries and she sold carriers in every continent except Antarctica.

In 1963 she taught home economics at Georgetown High School then later went to teach for 15 years at BOCES in Utica. 

In 1975 the Pompey Historical Society was created and Sylvia immersed herself into research of her beloved hometown. She wrote and published a book about the town, entitled “Pompey , Our Town in Profile” . This book was later hailed by Wendell Trip from the NY State Historical Association , as a work that was “researched and written with affection, but also consummate intelligence.”   This review was of huge importance to Sylvia. The same can be said for the architectural house tours that Sylvia held every summer from 1978 to 2003, guiding us to see the ordinary in an extraordinary way.

From here she moved enthusiastically into repairing, cleaning, mowing, and bringing back to life abandoned cemeteries in Pompey. This led to two new books that were created under her direction; “Epitaphs in Pompey Cemeteries” , and “Stencils in Early Pompey Homes and Churches”. 

Even after her research for her books were completed, she could always be found doing research for so many who reached out to her over the years looking for information on their ancestors who lived or were buried in Pompey.

Her enthusiasm for history and research, our town, and of its people , has been second to none. Sylvia lived a full life, and she will be fondly remembered for her determination, dedication, and graciousness to all.

Funeral service will be held at the Pompey family home , Maple Hill Farm Saturday December 30 th at 1:00.

In lieu of flowers the family has asked for donations towards fruit trees to be planted in memory of Sylvia on the farm .

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