Obituary: Sylvia LeBourveau, 1944-2021 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Sylvia LeBourveau, 1944-2021 

Registered nurse directed community health initiatives and traveled the world as a professional sword swallower

Published April 15, 2021 at 6:10 a.m. | Updated April 15, 2021 at 3:54 p.m.

click to enlarge Sylvia LeBourveau - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Sylvia LeBourveau

Sylvia Ann (Hood) LeBourveau, 76, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, April 13, 2021, in Sarasota, Fla. She was born May 15, 1944, in Montpelier, Vt., the daughter of James Sr. and M. Eva (Cassavaw) Hood.

Sylvia attended St. Michael’s elementary, middle and high schools in Montpelier and St. Elizabeth College of Nursing in Utica, N.Y. Soon after graduating nursing school and becoming an RN, Sylvia met Ron LeBourveau, and they were married in Montpelier on August 2, 1969. The couple built a log home in Middlesex, where they settled and raised their children.

Sylvia was a registered nurse, working many years at the Vermont Department of Health as a public health nurse, where she directed several successful community health initiatives during her tenure. She was also the director of nursing at Gifford Memorial Hospital in Randolph, Vt., school nurse at Hazen Union High School in Hardwick, Vt., and a home health nurse in both Vermont and Florida.

Sylvia and her husband, Ron, owned and operated Ron’s Corner Store and Out to Lunch Deli on School Street in Montpelier during the 1980s and early 1990s. Sylvia also owned and operated Village Haven Community Care Home in East Barre, Vt. Sylvia moved with her husband to Port Charlotte, Fla., in 1993, and they enjoyed being snowbirds until Ron passed in September 1996, following a battle with cancer.

She continued to winter in Florida and summer in Vermont and, in 2001, was joined by her partner David Rokes, with whom she enjoyed sharing life until his death in January 2020. In her final years, Sylvia handled the progression of Alzheimer’s disease with grace and dignity, never losing her sense of humor or her positive perspective on life. She was a devout Catholic who believed in the power of prayer and the afterlife.

Sylvia loved reading, gardening, music and spending time with her family. She was dedicated to monarch butterfly conservation and helped ensure the species’ survival by providing a pollinator garden and safe habitat during their development, then releasing them into the wild. Sylvia also traveled the world as a professional sword swallower, carrying her belongings in a brown paper bag and wearing a babushka. Her loving spirit and joyful heart touched the hearts and lives of many.

Sylvia is survived by her children: daughter Danielle Ryan and husband James, of North Port, Fla., and son Frank LeBourveau and wife Kathe McCarney, of Middlesex, Vt.; and three grandchildren: Eva LeBourveau, Luke LeBourveau and Thomas LeBourveau. Surviving siblings and extended family members include four sisters, Mary Hood Alexander and husband Allen of Middlesex, Vt.; Darla Morissette and husband Michael of Middlesex, Vt.; Janice Hood and partner Robert Wells of Montpelier, Vt.; Robin Hood and husband Peter Charlton of Richmond, Vt.; as well as brother James Hood and husband Mark Schueppert of Boston, Mass. Sylvia was predeceased by her parents, James W. Hood Sr. and M. Eva Hood; brother Frank Hood; husband Ronald LeBourveau; partner David Rokes; and infant son Brock LeBourveau.

A celebration of Sylvia’s life will take place this summer in Middlesex, Vt. Contributions in Sylvia’s memory may be made to the Family Center of Washington County, Vt. Online tribute gifts can be made at or by mail to 383 Sherwood Dr., Montpelier, VT 05602.

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