Sylvan Menezes died peacefully at home on June 30th at the age of 62, following nine years of adapting to the physical losses associated with ALS also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He was the loving husband of Karen Ferguson Menezes with whom he shared thirty-six years of marriage and the devoted father to Maya and Maxanne Menezes. He also leaves a brother, John Menezes and his wife Barbara of Mattapoisett, and a sister, Jane Menezes and her husband Billy Biondi of Corvallis Oregon.
Born in New Bedford MA to the late Vivian Rose Menezes and Manuel Menezes, he grew up in the North End of the city. In 1969 he graduated from Bristol County Agricultural High School as class valedictorian, received his undergraduate degree from UMass Amherst in 1975 and a Masters Degree from Boston University. Following his graduation from college he was employed at the former Institute for Family and Life Learning in Danvers and later by DSS as a social worker for the State of Massachusetts. In 1987 he left social work and opened the first Panda Dry Cleaners in Danvers MA. He continued to expand the business, opening two locations in Newburyport and one in Amesbury before selling the business in 2003. In the fall of 2004 he entered The Landing School in Arundel Maine to study Marine Systems and following his graduation in June 2005, found his dream job at Manchester Marine. He worked until the effects of ALS forced him to retire in 2009.
A skilled sailor, he believed there were few things “half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” He was a member of both the Jubilee and Salem Willows Yacht Clubs and raced for many years in the Thursday night series out of the Jubilee. He also loved hiking and camping and as a member of the UMass Outing Club traveled to Mexico and climbed the three highest volcanoes. He also enjoyed skiing, flying kites, gardening, fishing, photography and traveling.
Sylvan was also a talented floral designer, his major in high school. He was an active member of the Friendly Garden Club of Beverly. He regularly entered designs at the Topsfield Fair, Boston Flower Show and exhibited several years at the Museum of Fine Arts, “Art In Bloom.” He also was a former member of the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts Judges Council serving as a Judge and acting Treasurer.
As a member of the Beverly community, Sylvan was active in his church, First Parish Unitarian Universalist, was a member of both the Harbor Management Authority and Open Space and Recreation Committee, on both of which he served many years and was a member of the Union Club. He regretted that he was never able to check off his bucket list a drink at the new Black Cow restaurant overlooking Beverly Harbor.
In addition to his immediate family, he leaves two uncles John Rose of New Bedford and Raymond Rose of Dartmouth one aunt Mary Paiva of New Bedford, several nieces and nephews and many loving cousins.
The family would like to thank their family and friends who helped in many ways during the course of his illness and the wonderful caregivers from the Hospice of the North Shore who attended to him during his illness. As a tribute to his love of life please enjoy a first run on fresh corduroy down the slopes of Wildcat or a Captain’s and coke on the deck of the Jubilee or Black Cow as the moon rises.
A celebration of his life will be held on Friday, July 6th at First Parish Beverly Unitarian Universalist, 225 Cabot St., at 11am. Visiting hours will be held on Thursday, July 5th from 4pm to 7pm in the Campbell-Lee, Moody, Russell Funeral Home, 525 Cabot St. Beverly. In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to ALS TDI (Therapy Development Institute,) 300 Technology Square, Suite 400, Cambridge MA 02139 in Sylvan’s name. For information or to send a message of condolence: www.campbellfuneral.com