Passings: Silvana Vettese contributed more than 35 years of service to York University

Silvana "Sylvia" Vettese

The York community is mourning the loss of Silvana Vettese, who died on April 24 after a courageous two-year battle with cancer.

Ms. Vettese was an administrative assistant in the Department of Anthropology in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies. She began her career at York in 1974 working in the Office of Student Programs (Arts) and then the Division of Social Science.  She joined the Department of Anthropology in 1996. Her colleagues recall her deep dedication Silvana "Sylvia" Vetteseto her duties and to the University.

Silvana “Sylvia” Vettese

“Sylvia was rarely, if ever, without a smile or a kind word for anyone who sought her out,” said Jacqueline Siebert, a colleague and friend of Ms. Vettese. ” She was an extraordinary colleague and friend, and will be dearly missed.  Sylvia is survived by her mother, her sister Anna and her brother Angelo.”

A funeral service was held on April 26. As a tribute to Ms. Vettese, her colleagues have established a memorial fund for a park bench and tree to be located in the Harry W. Arthurs Common on York’s Keele campus. Colleagues interested in contributing to the fund should contact Abbey Black, donor relations coordinator, at ext. 58432 or by e-mail to

“Sylvia loved the peace that gardens bring us and we hope this memorial will continue to spread her calming support of the York community,” said Siebert.