Mother Sylvia Ellington
SYLVIA KATHERINE DORR (ELLINGTON) was born on March 30, 1921 to the late James Dorr and Elizabeth Clark (Dorr) in North Augusta, South Carolina. Hers was a difficult birth until her grandmothers brought to her life. Sylvia was the first-born of her three siblings. Willie James and Richardene who preceded her in death. Laura Ann is her surviving sister. Sylvia was eight years old when she gave her life to Christ and was baptized at the Hammond Grove Baptist Church of North Augusta, South Carolina. Despite southern Jim Crow laws her parents made the way for all of their children to have a good education. In 1941, Sylvia graduated from The Haines Normal and Industrial Institute in Augusta, Georgia. This school was founded by the late Lucy Craft Laney an educational pioneer of the nineteenth century. She also mentored Mary McCleod Bethune. Shortly after Sylvia’s graduation the family migrated from South Carolina to Brooklyn, New York. They united with Concord Baptist Church of Christ in Brooklyn under the leadership of the late Rev. Gardner C. Taylor.
On the Silver Star from Florida to New York Sylvia met the love of her life Arthur Ellington.
This was a love at first sight encounter. Arthur and Sylvia married on March 4th, 1944 before he was sent into World War II combat in North Africa and Europe. Their love was sustained by the exchange of many letters during their time away from each other. Shortly after his return Arthur and Sylvia welcomed in the world a new baby girl, Cynthia. As young parents they worked hard to start their new life. In 1952 they moved with the family to South Jamaica, Queens. In 1960 the couple purchased their home in St. Albans. One of Sylvia’s great joys as a homeowner was tending to her garden that was full of many many flowers. Today those who visit and pass by the house still admire the blooming peonies and hydrangeas in her front yard.
Sylvia was as supervisor in the book-packing department at the Associated Book Service of Bloomfield, New Jersey. She had worked for 25 years when the company closed. Shortly thereafter Sylvia trained to become a certified Home Health Aide. She worked in this profession for over 20 years gaining a reputation of competence, diligence and compassion with patients assigned to her care.
In 1954 Sylvia and her family united with the Amity Baptist Church under the leadership of the late Rev. James R. Moore. In 2004 she was inducted into the Amity Baptist Church 50-Year Golden Circle. Sylvia had the gift of hospitality and a beautiful smile. For over 50 years she was dedicated to the ministry of ushering. In the Amity Baptist Church Usher’s Ministry she held leadership positions as 2nd Vice President, Recording Secretary and Chaplin. Sylvia loved Jesus and she loved ushering, she believed in keeping God’s house with decency and order. Her sister Richardene teasingly nicknamed her “Amity’s cop.” Sylvia took great pride in attending the Eastern Baptist Association and the National Baptist Conventions across the United States. She also looked forward to attending the Ushers’ sermons on Sunday afternoons so that she could fellowship with local churches. In her later years Sylvia also served with the Amity Missionary Ministry.
After her retirement from the workforce she enjoyed Wednesday with the Amity Day Time Christ Time Ministry. Her church family loved to hear her recite the poem “A Little Mixed Up” but she was never confused about her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. When Sylvia became homebound she looked forward to Communion and church family visits. The Amity online Sunday Worship services was also a source of encouragement and comfort. She loved Bible Study and would often quote scriptures and sing hymns from memory in the battle to keep her mind.
Sylvia loved to travel whether it was by car, train, bus or airplane. Memorable trips include Hawaii with Rev. James R. Moore and the Amity family. She also traveled with Rev. Gary Simpson and the Concord Baptist Church to Israel and Egypt. She loved traveling with her daughter and granddaughter to many U.S. destinations and the Caribbean.
Sylvia was a prayer warrior and a woman of great faith. In the spirit of Micah 6:8 she lived to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God. Sylvia leaves her legacy of memories with her beloved daughter Cynthia Ellington Tracy and son-in-law Victor, granddaughter Katherine Michelle Ellington, sister Laura Ann Spencer with a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, loyal friends, compassionate caregivers, kind neighbors and the Amity Baptist Church family.
We give special thanks to VNS Choice and Partners in Care Long Term Home Care Services for providing such comprehensive and compassionate support.