Stanley B. Sylvester, 90: Physician was busy volunteer, entrepreneur in retirement

  • Mail this page!
  • Delicious
  • 0

TOPSHAM — Stanley B. Sylvester, 90, of The Highlands in Topsham, died April 10 after a brief illness.

He was born in Portland, the son of Allan W. and Dora H. Sylvester, and grew up near Woodfords Corner. In 1942, he graduated from Deering High School, where he excelled as a member of the track team and cheerleading squad.

During World War II, Sylvester served for three years in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He returned to Maine to graduate cum laude from Bowdoin College, where he was a member of Chi Psi fraternity.

In 1945, he married Patricia Curtis. The couple lived in Quincy, Massachusetts, while Sylvester attended Tufts University Medical School in Boston. He earned his M.D. degree in 1952.

Sylvester went on to open a practice in family medicine and obstetrics in Portland’s North Deering neighborhood – an area he chose because of then-proposed commercial and school development projects. He also served on the medical staffs of Maine Medical Center and Mercy Hospital.

He was a member of the Cumberland County Medical Society, and served as its president from 1974-75. He also was active in the Maine and American medical associations. From 1965-1968, he served as a member of the Portland School Committee.

Sylvester later accepted a position in the medical department of Union Mutual Life Insurance Co., now UnumGroup, where he served for 25 years. He retired in 1989 as vice president and medical director. He also served as chairman of the Association of Insurance Medical Directors of New England, was a member of the Association of Life Insurance Medical Directors of America, and was awarded certification as a specialist in the field of insurance medicine.

After retirement from Unum in 1989, Sylvester started a word-processing business from his home on Cousins Island in Yarmouth. In 1992, he put his editorial skills to work overseeing a newsletter for Headlights, an organization of Unum retirees. For 14 years, he was also a member of the technical team that televised Yarmouth committee and board meetings.

In 1976, Sylvester married Jean Lawler, and assisted her with the development of her pet-care business. For the past seven years, he and Jean resided in the Maine Lodge at The Highlands retirement community. He immersed himself in life there, serving as chairman of the Highlands’ Residents Association, compiling resident biographies and bulletin-board displays, and exercising frequently at the community’s gym.

Sylvester is survived by his wife, Jean F. Sylvester, of Topsham; three daughters, Susan Kenney, of Bothell, Washington, Ann Billings, of Manassas, Virginia, and Jane Maxwell, of Montague, California; and five grandchildren.

A celebration of life will be held on Sunday, May 24, at 4 p.m. in the dining room of the Maine Lodge at The Highlands.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Sylvester’s name may be made to The Highlands Residents’ Assistance Fund, 30 Governors Way, Topsham, ME 04086.