| April 2012
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Feb. 14, 1923 – Nov. 9, 2011
Noe Valley lost a longtime friend and neighbor late last year. Many of you may remember Sybil Abeyta. A 30-year resident of Noe Street, she could often be seen walking near her home with her neighbor’s little white American Eskimo dog named Mo. She also was a familiar face on 24th Street, where she gave generously to anyone in need who crossed her path.
Sybil was filled with wisdom and perspective. She knew and advised many of us on the most important parts of our lives, and was always an inspiration.
She gave in every way, freely and unselfishly. If you needed help, Sybil would be there for you. She would give you positive encouragement if you were going through difficult times. Giving up was really never an option. If there was something she could not help you with, it seemed there was always someone she could call who could help. Her network of friends was enormous.
She loved the neighborhood. She would remark, “It’s a beautiful day. Look how fortunate we are to live in such a beautiful place.”
Going to 24th Street for afternoon walks became her life and social outlet. Sometimes she would be gone for hours. It all depended on how many friends she ran into. Many of the homeless looked to her with gratitude because she always responded to their needs.
Sybil had outlived two husbands. She never had any children. She said on several occasions that her later years were the happiest years of her life.
The last day that Sybil and Mo spent together she had taken a fall and could not get up. Mo continued to bark loudly until a neighbor looked out the window to find out what was going on and went for help. From that moment on, even though her family nursed her back to health, she was housebound. Our Sybil was no longer able to visit her 24th Street extended family, whom she had grown to love so much. A year later, she passed away at home, at the age of 88.
Sybil was one in a million, and we will always be grateful for her love and friendship. It is so appropriate that she was born on Valentine’s Day, for she truly was a sweetheart.
Love always to Sybil. You will remain forever in our hearts.
Diane LaRosa, Mo, and Nina too
P.S. If you are driving around someday and the car in front of you has a bumper sticker that reads, “Practice random acts of kindness,” think of Sybil, as this is what she practiced on a daily basis.