Mrs. Miriam Ann Kirkwood Syler

Published 10:27 pm Friday, June 22, 2018

WEST POINT — Miriam Ann Kirkwood Syler, 88, of West Point, died on Saturday, June 16, 2018 at her home.

Funeral services were held on Monday, June 18 at 3 p.m. at Oak Bowery Methodist Church with Rev. Bill Parker officiating. Burial followed at the LaFayette Cemetery.

Mrs. Syler was the daughter of John Kenneth Kirkwood and Sarah Augusta Spratling Kirkwood. She was born in Gold Hill, Alabama on April 15, 1930. Upon the death of her mother, Mrs. Syler was reared by her maternal grandparents, Dr. L. W. Spratling and Miriam Virginia Cooke Spratling. She was a graduate of LaFayette High School and Huntingdon College.

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Mrs. Syler is survived by her son, Richard (Suzan) Syler; her daughter, Jenny (Billy) Clark; grand-daughters, Miriam Virginia Clark and Mary Kathryn Clark; her brother, Kenneth Spratling Kirkwood; and half-brother, John Skipper Kirkwood.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 59 years, Phineas Howard Syler; sister, Sarah Virginia Kirkwood Lodge; and half-brother, Thomas Henry Kirkwood.

Mrs. Syler is best remembered as the long-time archivist at Cobb Memorial Archives, serving 31 years. During her time in the archives, Miriam acquired and processed numerous collections and assisted countless researchers. Her favorite aspect of working in the archives was meeting and assisting researchers, learning about their stories and their ancestors.

She helped coordinate the visit of the Parnell Society of Ireland to our area in 2001, and she was instrumental in the publication of the Heritage of Chambers County, Alabama. In 2015, she was named an honorary lifetime member of the Chattahoochee Valley Historical Society. In 2017, the archives’ research room was dedicated as the Miriam Kirkwood Syler Research Room in honor of her years of devoted service to the Cobb Memorial Archives and Bradshaw Library.

She was a lifelong Episcopalian, serving as the youth director for the Diocese of Alabama before her marriage. She loved books, poetry, afternoon tea and flowers, but especially collecting and documenting the history of local people and places.

Mrs. Syler will be deeply missed by her family, a host of friends and by friends she claimed as family. She will always hold a special place in the hearts of her work family at the library and archives.

Contributions may be made in memory of Mrs. Syler to the Cobb Memorial Archives, 3419 20th Avenue, Valley, Alabama 36854.

Funeral arrangements handled by Jeff Jones Funeral Home in LaFayette, Alabama.