IN LOVING MEMORY OF MY WIFE, SYLVIA ALMEYDA LITEWKA (1950-2019)
“For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth, And after my skin is destroyed, this I know; That in my flesh I shall see God.”
Sylvia was born in Santa Clara, Cuba on October 29, 1950 to Dr. David Almeyda and Olivia Piedra Almeyda. In 1957, at the tender age of 7, Sylvia came with her parents and her little brother, Alexander, then age 4, to the United States. The young family lived in a converted garage in Columbus, Georgia while our father, a recent medical school graduate, completed his one-year medical internship in a local hospital. From Columbus, Georgia she was moved to Dallas, Texas for Dad’s two-year resident training in anesthesia. It was during this time that Cuba fell to communist rule, and the family was never to return home to Cuba. In 1960, the entire family moved one final time, to Houston, where her youngest brother, David, was born.
Sylvia grew up with a special talent for languages. She had a masterful command of English, Spanish, French, and even picked up quite a bit of Polish and Korean! She earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in French from the University of St. Thomas in Houston. She studied abroad in France for two years. In 1977, Sylvia and I married. For years, Sylvia prayed to have children, and in 1996 God answered her prayers with the arrival of Adam Michael, now 22. Sylvia and I were married 42 years.
Sylvia had a vibrant faith in Jesus. She was active serving God and others at Rice Temple Baptist Church, near the Texas Medical Center. There she was involved in the children’s ministry and coordinated meals for the sick and women with newborns. Rice Temple Baptist draws people from all over the world, so she volunteered teaching conversational English weekly to English language learners. She was a faithful participant in the women’s intercessory prayer group which met every week to pray for the needs of others. Sylvia made some amazing friends at her church. Several families bonded together and celebrated special occasions, usually by sharing meals in their homes or in restaurants. We even went on some vacations together as a group! In Sylvia’s final days in the ICU, they stayed faithfully by her side, right up to the moment Jesus gathered her up into His arms. I am grateful for their solidarity and love for her.
Sylvia touched my life in more ways than I can describe. She touched the lives of others as well with her characteristic soft voice, easy smile, and affectionate spirit. She loved others generously, was principled yet humble, and led a worthy life. I thank God for Sylvia. She was a bright light in this world, and I will never forget her.
There will be memorial service in honor of Sylvia’s life, Saturday, June 29, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. at Rice Temple Baptist Church, 6409 Greenbriar Dr., Houston, Texas 77030. A reception will follow the service in the fellowship hall.
Jesus said unto her, I AM the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believest thou this?
She said unto Him, Yea, Lord; I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. John 11:25-27