Sylvia Hayhurst

Sylvia G. Beckman Hayhurst, 91, of American Falls, passed away peacefully Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021, at Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello, ID. Sylvia was born Sept. 12, 1929, in Greencreek, ID, the ‘middle’ of the seven children born to Henry and Mae Beckman.

Sylvia and her family moved to Kamiah, ID, where she graduated from high school in 1947. After graduation she attended Northern Idaho College of Education (NICE) in Lewiston. There she met the love of her life, a dark, handsome fellow named Tim Hayhurst. They were married on Aug. 7, 1949. Tim was 22 and Sylvia 19. That same year Sylvia received her two-year teaching permit from NICE.

Tim and Sylvia’s first teaching jobs were in Winchester, ID, where she taught in a multi-grade school room for two years. In 1951, they both took jobs and moved to Stites, where their lives were centered around school and family. Debra joined their lives in 1954. Tim and Sylvia were so happy to be parents. They showered her with so much love. There couldn’t have been a luckier baby girl.

In 1959, the Hayhursts left all their friends and family and moved to American Falls for a new job opportunity. She had seen pictures of Sun Valley and thought that’s what their new home would look like. But, there was very little irrigation in Power County at that time and the dry sagebrush desert of southeastern Idaho was a huge change for Sylvia after living in the green forests and plains of north Idaho for 30 years. She said she was so homesick she cried and cried for the first year. But the many friends they made, both professionally and socially, became their new extended family and American Falls became their home. Shortly after moving to American Falls there second daughter, Tami, came into their lives. She was a dark eyed, dark haired, beautiful baby. They were now a family of four.

The state changed the education requirements to a four-year teaching degree and Sylvia returned to college attending the University of Idaho during summers until she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Education in 1962.

Sylvia taught fourth and fifth grades and was the media specialist at Hillcrest Elementary. In 1965, when they thought their family was complete they added a wonderful, smart baby boy, Michael Lynn. He completed their family. She loved teaching and touched so many lives through learning. Her fellow teachers and administrators were some of her closest friends and the children of School District #381 were her passion. Tim and Sylvia both retired in 1987 after 40 plus years in education. After retirement they enjoyed many years of traveling across the United States, Europe and even traveled to Australia to bring Mike back after his study abroad.

Sylvia was a wonderful mother, mother-in-law and grandmother and will be truly missed by all. Her holiday dinners were extraordinary. She was a wonderful cook and entertainer. She welcomed her son-in-laws, Jim Tiede and Murray Jones and daughter-in-law, Sharon Martin, to her table. And through the years Tim and Sylvia’s family turned from two to 30. Enough love to go around.

Sylvia was a PEO member, bowler, avid golfer, played in numerous bridge clubs, member of Delta Kappa Gamma and St. Mary’s Catholic Church. She was also active in the American Falls Education Association where she was honored with the Service to Education Award. She loved to crochet, arts and crafts, cook, travel, garden and follow her children and grandchildren to their many activities. Her love of books and reading made her the perfect Media Specialist. She was not only an enthusiastic supporter of many school, community and church activities, but also Tim’s biggest fan. She loved, helped and supported him in everything. Tim always looked so put together but most of their friends knew it was because of Sylvia. Tim was color blind so she would even lay out his clothes for school, trips or activities. She didn’t want him showing up with mixed matched socks or plaids and stripes. She was described by many as a classy lady, always put together and because of her so was Tim.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 50 plus years, Finis (Tim) Hayhurst; a grandson, Joshua Lowe; a granddaughter, Winter Dawn; parents Henry and Mae; sisters (Audrey, Jean, Ethel and Betty); and numerous close friends and family members. She is survived by her three children, eight grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, sister (Carol), brother (Don), brother-in-law (Dutch), many nieces and nephews.

A Rosary Service was held at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021 at Davis-Rose Mortuary. It was followed from 4 to 6 p.m. by a casual gathering with the family to recall our fond memories of Sylvia. Davis-Rose Mortuary has provided a link on their website to watch a recording of the rosary, life sketch and remarks for those that were unable to attend. Condolences and memories may be shared at The Interment at the Falls View Cemetery will be announced later in the spring.

In lieu of flowers, the family has set up an account for donations to the American Falls Education Foundation and School District #381. Make checks to School District #381 in memo put Sylvia Hayhurst and mail to: School District #381 Main Office, Attn: Paula Laggis, 827 Fort Hall Ave., American Falls, ID 83211.

A special thanks to Edgewood Manor, Portneuf Medical Center, Davis-Rose Mortuary and many friends and family for their care and kindness over the last weeks. We are so blessed.

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