Sylvia Sirignano of Westborough died peacefully Oct. 22 at UMass Memorial Hospital after a courageous battle with lung cancer. Her husband, sister, daughter and son were by her side. She was 73.

Sylvia was born on Sept. 8, 1948 in San Diego, Calif. to William Paul Sirignano and Verna Davis Sirignano. She spent the rest of her childhood in Mount Vernon, N.Y. and her summers at her family’s home in Oak Bluffs. She received her bachelor’s degree from Lesley College and later moved to Chicago, where she received her master’s degree in early childhood education from the Erikson Institute.

Shortly after earning her degree, she met and married Charles Wolfson. They moved to Westborough and had two children, Zachary and Elissa. She completed her PhD in developmental psychology at Brandeis University and opened her own private practice. She did various types of work with her clients, including teaching, workshops and therapy. All of it was directed toward the goal of helping children have the best childhood possible. 

Sylvia’s true passion in life was children. They were the subject of her professional life, and being mom to her own children was her most important and treasured role in life. Her children can attest to the fact that she never stopped mothering them, even up until the very end. 

She also loved spending time with her siblings and their families. She was active in her church, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Westborough. She also enjoyed gardening, cooking and baking for her family, music and dancing, practicing yoga, keeping up with current events and reading books of all sorts. She believed deeply in the importance of the well-being of all people and wanted nothing more than for people to treat each other with kindness and love. 

Being near the ocean, particularly on Martha’s Vineyard, is where she felt happiest and most at peace.

A few years after Sylvia and Charlie divorced in 2002, she reunited with Vincent Aquilino at her 40th high school reunion; they married in 2008. The highlight of Sylvia’s last few years was becoming a grandmother; besides raising her own children, being a Nana was the greatest joy of her life.

She is survived by her husband, Vince; her son Zach Wolfson and his wife Erin Betters; her daughter Elissa Schulman and her husband Scott Schulman; and her granddaughters, Eleanor Morgan Wolfson and Annabel Hope Schulman.

She is also survived by her brothers, David Sirignano of Saint Michaels, Md. and Michael Sirignano of Waccabuc, N.Y.; and a sister, Judith Maresca of Plymouth. Her brother Paul Sirignano, died in 2019. 

A memorial service celebrating Sylvia’s life will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Westborough on Saturday, Oct. 30 at 10 a.m. Space is limited because of Covid restrictions but all are welcome to attend virtually via Zoom.

Donations can be made to UNICEF.