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Rail News: Labor

Wife of former BLE International President Sytsma dies


Phyllis Sytsma, the wife of former Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers International President John Sytsma, died Jan. 10 after battling Alzheimer's disease for more than eight years, according to BLE. She was 81.

Between 1976 and 1986, Phyllis Sytsma traveled with her husband throughout the United States and Canada during his presidential term.

"Together, they attended many functions in Washington, D.C., including two White House state dinners," BLE officials said in a prepared statement.

John Sytsma also served BLE as first vice president from 1974 to 1976 and general secretary-treasurer from 1962 to 1974.

When he retired in 1986, the couple moved from Cleveland to Salt Lake City to reside closer to family.

Phyllis Sytsma is survived by her husband, two daughters, four grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to her favorite charity, Camp Kostopulos, 2500 Emigration Canyon Road, Salt Lake City, UT 84108.