Sydell Friedman was a Boca Grande phenomenon. She and her husband, Stanley, were well known throughout the island and highly regarded in intellectual, social and tennis circles (and in just about every endeavor in which they participated) for more than 30 years. They were loving parents, grandparents and pet owners, as well as being energetic bike riders. As an avid tennis player, Sydell welcomed people of all levels to participate in tennis games, particularly at the newly opened Boca Grande Club.
The daily tennis games she organized became not only a vehicle for sport, but also a means of introducing newcomers to the island. Many of the friendships made during those days are still in effect today.
Sydell was a dedicated member of the community, serving as an enthusiastic volunteer, an active member of the Woman’s Club and an experienced hospice worker in the surrounding area.
The following obituary, which has been slightly shortened, appeared in The Olympian (WA) on March 11, 2016:
Sydell Berman Friedman, Age 96, of Lacey, Washington, formerly of Boca Grande, FL, Franklin, TN, and New Haven, CT, passed on February 26, 2016 in her home. Sydell was born on January 9, 1920 in New Haven and married her now deceased husband, Stanley A. Friedman in 1940. Sydell graduated from Larsen College, in Hamden, CT with an Associates Degree and went on to have a long career as a medical office assistant. Sydell was always very active and loved to be moving. In her youth she practiced archery and ballet. As her children grew she played tennis and golf, swam, rode horses and bicycles, and gardened. In her later years, she thrived on walking her dog, Maggie, each day and riding her 3-wheeled bike. She was a classical pianist, a great cook in her day, and creatively artistic doing knitting, needlepoint, macrame, and seashell flower art. She was a camera woman for Panorama’s TV station. And as an avid reader, she was always very interested in the state of her community and the world. Sydell is survived by her sister, Marcia Baum; daughters, Rachel Friedman, Suzi Ambar Worrell, and Carol Thaler; and by many grandchildren and great grandchildren. She is also survived by her beloved and faithful dog, Maggie, and cat, TC. The family wishes to extend deep gratitude to Olympia Hospice and Catholic Community Services of Olympia. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Catholic Community Services (Attn: Fund Development Office, 100 23rd Ave South, Seattle, WA 98144).