Maurice “Maury” Sylvester

December 20, 2018

Maurice ‘Maury’ Sylvester

Dec. 30, 1919-Dec. 10, 2018

Maurice ‘Maury’ Sylvester, 98, of Bellwood, passed away Dec. 10, 2018, at Countryside Manor in Madison.

The funeral was held Dec. 14, at the Bellwood United Methodist Church. Burial took place at the Bellwood Cemetery. Memorials may be made to family wishes.

Maurice Dale Sylvester was born on Dec. 30, 1919, to Jesse and Ethyl (Carpenter) Sylvester in Kalona, Iowa. In 1931, he moved to David City with his family to follow the company his father was working for.

Maurice attended grade school and high school in Bellwood, graduating in 1938. During high school he met the love of his life, Betty Lou Gunderson, and was united in marriage on June 20, 1941.

Maurice and Betty moved to Lincoln, where he worked for the railroad. It was the unfortunate time of WWII, and in 1943, Maurice received his draft papers from Fort Crook and was to report to Chicago for basic training, in which Betty accompanied him. From there, he was called for further duty overseas. Betty had to sadly say good-bye and head back to Nebraska. Maurice took a train to New York and boarded a ship to England. He served overseas for 19 months with the 777th Antiaircraft Battalion in France, Belgium and Germany. He drove a halftrack, mounting a 4-50 caliber machine gun used for defense against enemy aircraft and personnel. He was a member of General George Patton’s “Super Sixth”. The “Super Sixth” crossed the Rhine River in Germany, and received word that the war had ended. Maurice was honorably discharged from the army at Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1945.

After returning home, Maurice continued his love of carpentry, and eventually retired in 1981. Maurice and Betty enjoyed every moment together riding motorcycles, attending car races, spending time with family, friends and grandchildren. Maurice was not only a hero, but a very compassionate, loving, honorable, gentle man, extending a hand to anyone that needed it. He also spent many years volunteering on the Bellwood Volunteer Fire Department.

Maurice and Betty were proudly and lovingly married for 69 years. To this union, three children were born: James, Terry and Susan.

Maurice is survived by his children, James (Nicole) Sylvester of David City, Terry (Karen) Sylvester of Bellwood, Susan (Marty) Birkel of Bellwood; one sister, Norma June Ronkar of David City; 10 grandchildren, Jamie Sylvester, Jessica (Matt) Richards, Jennifer (Anthony) Cook, Jaydn and Sydni Sylvester, Corey (Jenny) Sylvester, Jason (Jessica) Sylvester, Amber (Chad) Wiedeman, Heath (Justina) Birkel, Hadley (Tena) Birkel; eight great-grandchildren, Broderick Sylvester, Cade Richards, Tractin Cook, Walker Birkel, Jackson and Jaylynn Sylvester, Jazmen and Bo Birkel; and many nieces and nephews.

Maurice was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Betty, in 2010; two brothers; and two grandchildren, Shannon Sylvester and Heather Birkel.

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