Sylvia de Boer

Obituary of Sylvia de Boer

It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the peaceful passing of Sylvia 'Syl' de Boer, on Thursday, January 25th, 2024 after a courageous two-year battle with cancer. Sylvia lived a life of caring for others, leaving an immeasurable imprint on the hearts of those fortunate to know her.

Sylvia was born in Selkirk, Manitoba, October 11, 1955, instantly filling the hearts of her parents Hendrik and Betsy de Boer, and older sister, Anneke. As a child she was already quiet-natured, but also a tomboy who loved to ride horses and play cowboys.

An exceptional athlete in the early days, and a true embodiment of determination, Sylvia outshone us all on the athletic field. She excelled at volleyball, track, swimming, water skiing, and especially as a baseball Catcher where she earned her bad knees, an origin story we’ll miss being reminded of.

In her professional journey, Sylvia started the same as her sisters helping in their mother’s beloved kitchen restaurant. After the restaurant were two more jobs before her protective nature and interest in law enforcement eventually led her to the Winnipeg Police Force where she retired in May 2014 after an accomplished 22-year career as 911 Emergency Communications Call Taker; a role she loved.

Sylvia lived a full life, adventuring abroad, and closer to home. Throughout her life; many memories were made at in the Whiteshell and Lake of the Woods areas.  Syl enjoyed a good lake swim and would always do a couple laps way out into the deep end.

In her more recent years, she was loving life and immersed in her “Oma” era. She loved spending time with her two young grandchildren. 

She loved a good euphemism (there’s a whole list of beloved “Syl- isms” ), anything-butterflies (Blue Morpho was her favorite), licorice Allsorts, dark chocolate, lemon pastry and a strong, well made cup of dark roast coffee.  She enjoyed baking for others; we will miss those treats.

Her legacy lives on in us, and everyone whose lives she touched. Thank you, Syl, for being you.  SdB; there will never be another.

Sylvia is deeply missed by daughter Lauren Paluck, son Jared Paluck (Christine Paluck), and grandchildren, Isla & Cade, mother Betsy de Boer, younger sister Tina de Boer and nephew Evan, and youngest sister Annette Harman (Brian Harman), nephews Garret (Carly) and Mack (Kyla) and great niece & nephew Adeline & Maverick.

In place of flowers, we kindly ask for donations to the Grace Hospice and their compassionate care team, at

A private celebration honoring Sylvia’s life will be hosted by the family in summer 2024.




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