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Obituary: Sylvia Dickey Strauss

Sylvia Dickey Strauss, 96, died peacefully at Miles Memorial Hospital in Damariscotta, ME, on May 10, 2010. Born in Hicksville, she grew up in Syosset and was the elder of two children of Arthur and Florence Dickey. A graduate of Hicksville High School, she attended Hofstra University and received a registered nurse degree from Cornell University - New York Hospital School of Nursing in 1934.

Upon graduation from nursing school, she worked at The Henry Street Settlement, carrying her medical bag and knowledge to the residents of the tenements of the Lower East Side of New York. She fondly remembered delivering babies on kitchen tables covered with newsprint, the most sanitary thing she could find in the homes. Afterwards, she worked as a nurse in the obstetrics department of Meadowbrook Hospital in East Meadow, where she met her husband-to-be, William Theodore Strauss, MD. She also worked for the Oyster Bay Visiting Nurse Association. Dr. and Mrs. Strauss were married in Cold Spring Harbor in 1940.

As an “empty-nester,” Mrs. Strauss found time to hone her artistic and craft skills, becoming an accomplished rug hooker and designer, a knitter and also a fine painter on reverse glass. Her family are proud owners of her works. She was a talented and adventuresome home cook. While living in seacoast New Hampshire, she volunteered at Strawbery Banke Museum reviving its herb garden and making it flourish. In her early 90s, she was an enthusiastic volunteer at the Miles Hospital League rummage sale. Always interested in new things, she embraced the opera as an art form in the past year and loved seeing DVDs of famous performances.

In 2000, she moved to the Pemaquid, Maine, Peninsula where she had spent many summers with her family, starting in 1947. She was most recently a resident at Schooner Cove Retirement Community in Damariscotta.

Her husband predeceased her in 2007. She is survived by twin children, daughter Nona D. Strauss of New Harbor, ME, and son W. Theodore (Ted) Strauss III and wife Janice of South Salem, NY; and nieces, Diane Fraser of New Port Richey, FL, Marilyn Guddat of Melbourne Beach, FL, and Janet Cate of Kennebunk, ME. At her request, there will be no services.

Contributions may be made in her memory to the Lincoln County Animal Shelter, 27 Atlantic Highway, Post Office Box 7, Edgecomb, ME 04556 or to the charity of your choice.