Sylvia Johnson Savoca

January 24, 1940November 18, 2022
Obituary of Sylvia Johnson Savoca
My amazing mom, Sylvia Rose Johnson Savoca, known by some as Mama Sylvia or simply Rose, at the age of 82, went to sleep in her bed on November 17, 2022. Just that morning, we told each other “I love you”. Those were our last words…The early morning of November 18, 2022, mom woke up in the arms of Jesus, with all those she loved who had left her previously, surrounding her. She woke up healthy and with the angels rejoicing her arrival. She leaves behind many broken hearts…but mom went just the way she wanted to - in her own bed, in her home, with her beloved Pepe Cat curled up next to her. Mom had a heart bigger than most people you will ever meet. Never did she want anyone to worry about or pity her. She chose to simply live her life and let those around her know how much they were loved. She would give you her very last penny or cook your favorite meal. She was one that always found the most meaningful gifts, but also some of the most random, silly gifts. Mom loved for those she cared about to be happy and to laugh. There are times, now that she is gone, that something unexpected will happen and I just laugh and know it’s her. That she is letting me know she’s still with me and always will be. Sylvia was born to Clarence and Wilhelmina “Winnie” Johnson on January 24, 1940 in Jacksonville, Florida. She grew up with 5 brothers, which explains why she was so tough and strong willed! She learned to drive in a Studebaker with no brakes. She watched Elvis on stage. She lived through segregation. She jumped on her horses, barefooted, with no saddle or bridle. Mom could do anything she put her mind to. She spoke her mind, but always with careful thought. She never spoke a bad word that I can remember. But, she never kept her feelings to herself. She was fiercely protective of her children. Mom had a passion for art, nature, and being creative. She could paint beautiful things on canvas, sew clothes and crafts as well as costumes for Halloween and Mardi Gras. She made many intricately designed bird houses. She wrote several manuscripts about her life. I still remember watching her fingers fly on her manual typewriter, in awe that she could produce so many words so quickly! It wasn’t until recently that I mentioned that to her, and she told me she typed only using 2 fingers…Ummmmm, but HOW?! She loved to cook and bake, showing her love through food. Her lasagna was incredible, as well as her veggie beef soup, her homemade spaghetti and giant meatballs, her pies, and her very special “white cookies” and lemon tree cookies she made every single Christmas. I know a lot of us who will miss those cookies. No matter what, she made those cookies by the dozens and shipped them out where they needed to go. Thankfully, I have those recipes, but I know they’ll never taste as good as hers. Mom was proud of her Native American roots of the Cherokee Nation. She had long dark hair that she mostly kept in a braid, deep blue eyes, and the most beautiful olive skin you could ever see. She looked very much like her Cherokee ancestors, and never seemed to age. She worked into her late 60’s as a waitress, and no one ever believed her when asked her age. She just smiled politely, and said thank you. She was never ashamed to admit her age, she took pride in her appearance anytime she was “out”. Mom was preceded in death by her husband, Nicholas Anthony Savoca, Jr., and her 2 sons, Nicholas Anthony Savoca III and Phillip Ray Savoca. She leaves behind her beloved daughters, Lynn Provins (Mike), Rosie Weindel (Alex), Judy Andreu, and Elizabeth Savoca (Jerry Tanner). She is also survived by 11 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren and grand pets. As mentioned previously, mom adored nature. These last few years she would sit outside, daily, no matter the weather and watch the chickens scratch around, the squirrels chase each other up and down the trees and along the fence line, the many different wild birds, our 2 chihuahuas sunning, and all the butterflies and dragonflies. She even enjoyed watching honey bees buzz around. She especially loved the cardinals as they represent loved ones who have passed, visiting us. I still expect to look outside and see her sitting there. But, I’ll watch for a new cardinal to visit. I’ll make her cookies and pies. I’ll even try my hand at making her lasagna some day. I’m passing on my creativity that she encouraged in me when I was little. Sewing, crafting, cooking…I’ll do my best to keep her memory alive in all of those around me. She always said I was her hero, but truth be told, she was my hero. Always strong. Always giving. Always kept her head held high. I did my best to spoil her these last years she lived with me. To cook for her. To make sure she had any and everything she wanted; her Tang that she drank every single day (I miss cleaning up those orange splatters); her favorite hairspray, Aqua Net in the purple can; her favorite snacks; her seafood and barbeque dinners. She deserved the best - after all, she gave me the best. As my mom, she will now be the most beautiful angel in heaven. Until I see you again, mom, give dad, Phillip, and Nicky those amazing hugs you always gave me. I’ll keep your memory alive and well. You just enjoy being up there looking out for us down here. And please, keep sending us little reminders that you’re still here…Jerry and I love them. We look for them daily. Love, Your Littlest, Elizabeth ❤️

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