SOMERS, N.Y. - Sylvia Jean Kalil, Somers’ superintendent of parks and recreation for a quarter-century, will be remembered in a ceremony Sept. 17 at Reis Park.
Sylvia, who died in 2014, will be honored in a Saturday morning observance scheduled to begin at 10 at the park‘s administration building.
Hired in November 1978 as director of parks and recreation, she served under four town supervisors before retiring to South Carolina in 2004. Working with town officials, Parks and Recreation Board members and volunteers from the Somers Lions Club, Eagle Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, SYSO and countless other organizations, Sylvia grew and developed programs and facilities that provided recreational opportunities for Somers residents.
Sylvia guided Reis Park’s development into a premier facility and protected Koegel Park, enabling it to flourish as a passive recreation park. Neither park had been developed to any extent when Sylvia began her tenure. But both benefitted from her vision and became outstanding facilities in a park system that also includes Bailey Park, West Somers Park, St. Joseph’s Field and D. Wayne Van Tassell Park.
The Somers Democratic Club twice honored Sylvia as “Person of the Year.” She received the “Coaches Award” from the Somers High School Athletic Department and from the Somers Lions Club, the highest award that can be bestowed upon a non-Lion for community service. She worked with fellow recreation professionals, serving on the executive board of the Westchester Recreation and Parks Society for five years and for many more with Northeast Special Recreation.
When she retired in March of 2004, Sylvia moved to North Myrtle Beach, S. C. She died at 67 on April 21, 2014, losing a long battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).