Sylvia Rousseau GistStuttgart, AR, 1935 - 2022
Sylvia Rousseau Gist, a devoted fun-loving mother and grandmother passed away on July 18, 2022. She was born May 6, 1935, in Stuttgart, to Louise and Sidney Rousseau of DeWitt. Sylvia grew up in DeWitt graduating from DeWitt High School in 1953 where she was a majorette, played basketball, enjoyed singing and riding her horse. She attended the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) for one year before transferring to the University of Arkansas and graduating with a BSE in Science with High Honors in 1957. She was also a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.
After college, Sylvia married Tom Gist, Jr. of Marianna where she lived for 17 years actively raising their two daughters Sydney and Lisa and was a member of the National Association of Junior Auxiliary. She moved to Stuttgart in 1975 where she was a member of the Grand Prairie Arts Center, Literacy Council of Arkansas County, founding member of FAITH – Friends of Animals in support of the local shelter, and a coordinator for Arkansas County Relay for Life.
With a fearless, adventurous spirit, Sylvia loved to travel, taking her girls abroad when they were very young and skiing at Lake Hamilton in the summers. She played tennis and was a voracious reader, but most special was her love of animals, from show horses to nursing orphaned and injured wildlife back to health. She spent time lobbying for animal welfare on local, national and international levels. It was fitting that she passed in her home surrounded not only by her family but with her many pets.
Sylvia is survived by daughters, Sydney Gist White (Rick) of Stuttgart and Lisa Gist Robertson (Kirk) of McLean, Virginia. Grandchildren include, Jennifer White, Lindsey White Smith, Blake Robertson, John Carter Robertson, and Kendall Robertson and great-grandchild, Blakeleigh Smith. They will miss their "Mimi" who showed them how to love and care for all God's creatures. A family graveside service will be held July 24, at DeWitt Cemetery, coordinated by Turpin and Essex Funeral Homes. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Stuttgart Public Library, 2002 S. Buerkle St., Stuttgart, 72160, Dr. Edward Henkel, c/o Friends of the Stuttgart Animal Shelter, 509 South Anna, Stuttgart, 72160, First United Methodist Church Youth of Stuttgart or charity of choice. Please go to: www.turpin-co.com to sign the online guestbook or condolences may be mailed to, 2110 McCracken Street, Stuttgart, Ark., 72160.
Published July 20, 2022
OBITUARY SUBMITTED BY:
Turpin Funeral Home, Inc.
1107 W. 22nd St., Stuttgart, AR