We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Thompson Funeral & Cremation Services, Inc
Sylvia Eleanor Jean Tiabo Pitts - wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin and friend - went on to glory on May 14, 2022 after a long and courageous battle with Alzheimer's. Jean, as she was lovingly known, was born on October 29, 1932 in Belize City, British Honduras (now Belize) to Austin William Tiabo and May Adele Bowden Tiabo. She was the oldest of three children: two girls and one boy, namely Andrew Alexander Tiabo (deceased) and Sonia Albertha Tiabo O.B."E (Order of the British Empire), J.P, who currently lives in Belize. She received her education at Wesley Methodist School in Belize. As a young girl, Jeart was the life of the party. Her bubbly personality garnered her many friends. She was always up to some escapade or new adventure, and life was never dull when you were with her. On October 2, 1954 at the tender age of 22, she married the love of her life, Lionel "Bian" Augustus Pitts.
Their marriage lasted 65 years until Bian went to be with the Lord in 2019. This union produced three children: Ethlyn May Augusta, Linsford Dean Augustus and Barbara Augusta (deceased). Bian influenced and positively impacted the life of Jean in many ways, as can be seen on such occasions as when she joined the Minorrettes Band, the first female band in Belize, of which Bian was a founding member. She later also joined the Majorettes Band, another of Bian's pursuits. She could not, initially, read music but did not let that deter her from becoming a member of that band. She elicited the help of close family friends Walter Lamb (deceased) and Clifford Murray to give her a crash course, and she was up and playing music in no time. Bian was also one of the founding members at Trinity Methodist Church where not only Jean worshipped but also the entire Tiabo clan, as everything was better when the family did it together.
The young couple eventually immigrated to the United States of America in 1964, where they raised their family. Bian, Jean and their children quickly adjusted to life across the seas, and Jean, who had from an early age developed a love for cooking, got her dream job at Northwestern University as a chef in the Food Service Department. When Marriot took over the department, Jean's skills as a chef were recognized, and she was given culinary free om to create new dishes. One such dish was a potato soup named after her - "Jean's Potato Soup," which can actually be found online. The couple's love for Methodism led them to Hemenway United Methodist Church iii Evanston, where the Pastor at that time was Reverend lumberg.
Jean became very active in the church and was one of the movers behind the formation of a praise team and the Father's Day Committee. She also lent assistance to her daughter Ethlyn's community endeavor, the Multicultural Community Children's Choir. Ethlyn founded MCCC in 2006; its music ministry was to the churches and nursing homes in the community. Whilst Ethlyn nurtured the children spiritually through music, Jean and her team - Ms. Martha McDonald, Ms. Jennifer Welch, and Ms. Erica Hall (deceased) - nurtured the children's bodies with nutritious meals after each rehearsal. Jean was also a member of a scriptural group that sustained her during the darkest times. Its members were Ketlie Acacia Luckett, Maria Idjah Senecal, and Laura Pitts Jarrett .
Jean comes from a line of long-livers. Her father's sister, Mable Viola Nenita James is still alive at 98 years and lives in California. Jean was blessed to witness, shape and celebrate the successes of her grandchildren and great grandchildren. The great grandchildren affectionately called her "Tatie." Her love had no boundaries, and she spent a lot of time talking and laughing with them and sharing her wisdom. They were eager partakers of her culinary skills and will cherish the memories of hot homemade bread and bun. Jean loved children in general and was always encouraging, supporting and loving. A testimony to this devotion was that her maternal niece and nephew lovingly called her, Mommy. She imparted her bits of wisdom, whether it was asked for or not, and saw in everyone the potential to accomplish great things. She was happy when they did well and consoled and lifted them up when the going got rough. Jean also loved to travel, and her travel buddies were her sisters-in-law and her good friends, Ms. Ruth Carr, Ms. lee Rhys, and Ms. Brenda Green.
To her, travelling was not only an opportunity to learn about different countries and culture but also a way to relax and enjoy meeting wonderful people and seeing beautiful sites. She visited many countries, and her last trip was to Russia where her only regret was that, at 75, she could not get around, as she would have like. With all that exposure, there was still nothing like a trip home to the natural scenic beauty of Belize and the company of her beloved sister Sonia, her family, the in-laws; and the extended clan. During the Covid lockdown and even up to her death, though it was not certain that she was aware, she, Linsford and Ethlyn listened and watched via Zoom the services and activities at Wesley Methodist Church and Ebenezer Methodist Church in Belize, as well as services from her home church, Hemenway United Methodist Church. Surprisingly, she remembered and would sing along the hymns and praise songs, her favorite being "IT IS A GOOD THING TO PRAISE THE LORD." It was a joy to her family when she could actively engage in those activities, and there would be much laughter and fellowship.
Sylvia Jean Eleanor Tiabo Pitts (1932 to 2022) passed away peacefully at Warren Lieberman Skilled Nursing Home at the age of 89. She was preceded in death by her husband Lionel "Bian" Augustus Pitts, her youngest child, Barbara Augusta Pitts; her granddaughter, Brandi Sylvia Augusta Pitts; her brother, Andrew Alexander Tiabo; her mother, May Adele Bowden Tiabo; her father, Austin William Tiabo; her brothers-in-law, Randolph A. Pitts, Harold A. Pitts, Edward A. Pitts and Bernard A. Pitts; and her sisters-in-law, Norm, A. Pitts Nembhard and Haidee A. Pitts.
To celebrate her life and cherish her memory, Jean leaves her children, Ethlyn May Augusta Pitts-Senecal (Dr. Jean-Claude Senecal), Linsford Dean Augustus Pitt: J.P, (Ann Elizabeth Pitts); her sister, Sonia Albertha Tiabo O.B.E, J.P; her niece, Jacqueline Tiabo; her nephews, Lemuel Olivera (Annis Olivera) and Wayne Tiabo; her sisters-in-law, Stella A. Pitts Ledlon, Valda Pitts} Myrna Pitts and brother-in- law, Wesley A. Pitts Sr. (Rosita Pitts); her four grandchildren, Lonnie, Shannon, Darwin Longsworth and Chantal Pitts; a host of great grandchildren, cousins and many friends. Jean was blessed with many loving caregivers. At home, it was Ms. Sonia Lundy. Sonia and Ms. Geri Pipersburgh always brought her some nourishing homemade soup with Haitian and Belizean flavors, which she enjoyed. Family support came from Jasmine Pitts who, much to Jean's delight, would leave sweet treats at the door during the pandemic. She was also supported by her granddaughter, Chantal Pitts, and great granddaughter, Arianna ongsworth, who made sure thai Ethlyn, her primary caregiver, got much needed and deserved breaks. Arianna loved to ensure that on the weekends she would dress up grandma and do her hair.
Jean's son Linsford not only assisted in her care but made her laugh even when she was not feeling well and kept everyone's spirits up. Jean-Claude and Shannon were always ready to help whenever and w erever they were needed. Please keep the family in your prayers.
Arrangements entrusted to Thompson Funeral & Cremation Services, Inc. Mr. Philip L. Gillette ~ Funeral Director
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