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521 West Main St
Phone: (413) 663-6523
James Sylvester

James Matthew Sylvester

Thursday, October 1st, 1953 - Sunday, September 22nd, 2019
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James Matthew Sylvester passed unexpectedly at home, on September 22nd, 2019. He was born in North Adams, MA on October 1st, 1953 to the late Theodore R. Sylvester II and Jacqueline Devine. He grew up in Williamstown with his brother, Timothy Sylvester, and his two sisters, Sharon Sylvester and Karen Fairs.

He attended St. Joe’s Catholic School in North Adams, MA, studied for one year at McCann Technical School in North Adams, MA, and graduated from Mt. Greylock Regional High School in Williamstown, MA in 1971.

When he was younger, Jim traveled and adventured often with his friends. In these years, he gathered the experiences and memories that molded him into the wise, articulate man that many knew and loved.

Jim was an extremely hardworking person. He had a remarkable work ethic and an honest attitude. He was respected and admired by many. In the early 1980's, he was a logger and talented stone mason until he became the caretaker for Mt. Hope Farm in Williamstown. He was a fixture of Mt. Hope Farm and will be dearly missed.

Jim lived life to the fullest and loved his family. He married his beloved wife, Betty (Nicklien) Sylvester in 1983. They had two daughters, Sarah Holland (Gregory) & Sadie Swicker (Tyler). He also leaves many aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.

He loved being a farmer and took great pride in his work. He enjoyed raising his organic, grass-fed beef cattle. He also enjoyed the many horses he owned throughout his life. Other life pleasures of his included motorcycles, traveling, storytelling, good food, skiing, snowmobiling, hunting, making maple syrup, and most of all, spending time with his family. Jim was humble, honest, innovative, and laidback. He was a remarkable father and husband, and a best friend and hero to many.

"Don't stand there with your hands in your pockets when you can see there is work to be done." - Jim Sylvester

A Celebration of Life will be held for James on September 29th, 2019 at 2pm at Bloom Meadows, 2422 Hancock Road, Williamstown, MA, 01267. In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations are made to the Heiffer International Foundation.
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Service Details

  • Service

    Sunday, September 29th, 2019 | 2:00pm
    Sunday, September 29th, 2019 2:00pm
    Bloom Meadows
    2422 Hancock Rd.
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Daryl and Mireille Couture Roy

Posted at 07:56pm
Dear Sylvester Family, our deepest sympathy in Jim's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

Bill Moore

Posted at 08:55pm
As a boy I remember being on Spring St. and watching Jimmy and Eddie Haley wheelying side by side on SL 350 Hondas. At La Conia NH I watched Jimmy showing them how it was done wheelying his 500 Triumph that he bought from Butch Schmidt. I was with him when he bought it. When I was 13 years old he would let me ride his TS 400 Suzuki and drive his jeep along with his dog Geronimo. He was a great friend and always had a funny way of putting things. Everybody who knew him liked and cared for him. I wish I could be there for the celebration of his life but I now live in New Mexico. My heartfelt sympathies for his family.

Alfred A Austin Jr

Posted at 02:14pm
In 1975, during the gas crisis, Jim and I went to NYC to see Bob Dylan and the Band. It was a real, fun time. On the way home, we pulled over to the side of the road and were just starting to fill our gas tank up with the 5 gallon gas can in the trunk of the car. Of course, technically we weren't supposed to carry gas in a can on a long trip. Fortunately, the nice state trooper flashed his headlights on the car, so, we could see to fill the tank up. We remembered the gas but didn't have a funnel to pour it into the gas tank. Jim took out his pocket knife and fashioned a funnel out of a plastic jai lai toy. Once we finished filling the tank, the nice officer told us to drive safely and went on his way
I'm sure as the caretaker at Mt Hope Farm, he often had to find unique solutions to various problems. Your husband, dad, uncle, brother was a really nice man. The world was a better place with him living in it.
'Al Austin

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