Sybil Norah Chirgwin

Published 5:17 pm Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sybil Chirgwin, the self-styled English streetwalker, passed away on June 16, 2012 in Indianapolis, Ind. Sybil Norah Daniels was born on the Ides of March, 1919 in London, England, where she grew up with four siblings.

She met her husband, Keith Chirgwin, in London before WWII through the Society of Friends and traveled with him by train to Vienna, carrying information and jewelry back to London to aid Jewish refugee efforts.

Sybil worked for His Majesty’s Stationery Office during the war and experienced the bombing of London during the blitz.

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She and Keith met again several years later and were married in 1945. They immigrated to Canada in 1950 with their only child, John, and thence to Ohio in 1953. Keith’s work as an electrical engineer took them to Los Angeles in 1964, where Sybil ran a thrift shop for a number of years.

When Keith retired in 1981, they joined several old friends from Ohio and moved to Tryon, living on Warrior Drive and on Doubleday Road, where they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, before moving to White Oak of Tryon, where Keith died in 2003.

In her years of widowhood, Sybil became well known about Tryon for her energetic walking, active tongue and opinionated conversation along Trade Street. To her claim as the English streetwalker, she always added, “But I haven’t made a penny at it.” She proudly served as queen of the Tryon April Fools parade in 2010 and 2011.

She suffered a decline in health at the beginning of the year while visiting family in Indianapolis, where she passed away.

She is survived by her younger sister, Peggy, in the UK; her son, John; her adored grandchildren, Vanessa and Geoffrey; and her great-granddaughter, Maybelle.

No funeral or public service is planned. Memorial donations may be made to the Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry, P.O. Box 834, Columbus, N.C. 28722.