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Bertha (Syjatz) Rea

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Waltham, MA 02453
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“To Bertha's family and friends, please take comfort in each other during this sad time. My deepest sympathies go out to you all. ”
1 of 3 | Posted by: A friend

“I am very sorry for your loss. My heart felt condolences to you and your family. May peace and comfort find you during this difficult time. ”
2 of 3 | Posted by: Patricia Carazo - Waltham, MA

“Dear Nancy Please accept my deepest our deepest condolences at your mother's passing. May all you memories of her give you comfort at this difficult...Read More ยป
3 of 3 | Posted by: Alice & Richard Mousseau - MA


Bertha Olga (Syjatz) Rea of Waltham passed away peacefully on Friday, April 12, 2019.

Bertha will be greatly missed by her loving husband Warren W. Rea, her three children, Nancy Rea and husband David Wilson of Concord, William Rea and wife Rachelle of Natick, and Carolyn Rea of Burlington North Carolina, her grandchildren Charlotte, Nadine and husband Levi, Victoria, Daniel and Elizabeth. She also is great grandmother to Ida Mae. She also leaves her dear sister Virginia Holland and her nieces Barbara, Leslie, Amy, Sheri and Jennifer. Bertha was predeceased by her sister Alma Snyder, her grandson Evan and her son-in-law James Michael (Mick) Halpin.

Bertha was born in Boston on November 1, 1927 to the late Richard M. and Elvira (Newbury) Syjatz. She and her two sisters were raised in Jamaica Plain, and later in Needham, where she graduated from Needham High School. She earned her associates degree from Fisher College. Bertha was the secretary for the Unitarian Universalist church First Parish in Waltham under three ministers from the late sixties for about twenty-five years. She greatly loved serving the church community in this role where she gave much more than administrative assistance.

Bertha was devoted to her family. Especially memorable were Christmas Eve gatherings in Needham, prepared with her sisters, where Swedish and German traditions were enjoyed by the extended Syjatz family. Birthdays and holidays gave her opportunity to honor each of us with not only a perfect gift, but to present it within her beautifully designed and crafted wrapping. She supported all our interests and pursuits, from family ski adventures to helping prepare for moves, and was sure to give us articles she had read about our passions.

She was an avid reader, enjoying books in many genres, mysteries were a favorite.Bertha had many interests. These included fashion and sewing, in younger years she designed and made elegant outfits. Ever creative, she celebrated holidays with attractive decorations. She admired the art and handicrafts of cultures world wide, Chinese and Southwest Native American works were a deep interest, and she enjoyed museum going.

Possessing a keen intellect, she enjoyed solving many types of puzzles, especially jigsaw and crossword puzzles. She would bypass the weekday crosswords, in favor of the Sunday, as these did not give her enough challenge. Watching classic movies with greats such as Betty Davis, Humphy Bogart, and Katherine Hepburn was a frequent evening pastime. Gourmet food was an especial interest, and her favorite show was Julia Child's The French Chef. She loved cats, over the years she was owned by six.

A gathering for friends and relatives in celebration of Bertha's life will be held on Friday, April 26th, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Unitarian Universalist First Parish of Waltham, 50 Church Street, Waltham. The memorial will be at 4:30 p.m. in Whitcomb Hall.

In lieu of flowers and to honor her affection for animals ( especially cats), please donate to the animal shelter of your choice or to the MSPCA, 350 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02130.