ANDOVER, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Sylvia M. Gochneaur, 87, died Tuesday, January 3, 2023, at home in Decatur, Alabama, surrounded by her children after battling oral cancer for 2 1/2 years. She went peacefully in her sleep.  

She was born November 14, 1935, in Paris, Ohio, a daughter of John M. and Eldora May (Fobes) Hawkins. 

She was a graduate of Deming High School in New Lyme, Ohio.

Mrs. Gochneaur was a strong woman of faith and loved to share her love of Jesus. She belonged to Ninth Street UMC in Decatur for many years where she sang in their choir. She then went to The Church at Stone River UMC in Decatur and sang in the choir until she no longer could due to her diagnosis with cancer. In the past couple of years she attended, when she was able during her fight with cancer, Austinville UMC in Decatur.

Mrs. Gochneaur was a member of the American Women’s Club, PEO and New Corners.

She enjoyed studying genealogy of her family, reading, listening to music, singing hymns, traveling, playing bridge with a group in Alabama, playing cards with her family and doing jigsaw and crossword puzzles.

She dedicated her life to being a loving mother and grandmother and was always there to listen and help. She was very generous to all and she loved having family gatherings in her home. She also enjoyed traveling to visit relatives. She would spend summers with her sister, Betty, in Ohio. She was faithful with visiting loved ones’ cemeteries in Ohio at least once a year.  

Mrs. Gochneaur married her husband, Keith D. Gochneaur on May 21, 1955. He preceded her in death on April 1, 1994. 

She is also preceded by her parents; son-in-law, John Thomas and siblings, John Hawkins, Charles Hawkins, Elizabeth “Betty” Hawkins, Richard Hawkins, Larry Hawkins and Gloria Jean Hawkins. 

She is survived by her four children, Lesley M. Thomas, Kimberly S. Holland, Kerry D. (Earl) Shaneyfelt and Duane K. (Barbara) Gochneaur; her five grandchildren, Ashley A. Gochneaur, Chelsea E. (Brent) Gochneaur, Preston A. Thomas, Haley E. Holland and Jordan KJ (Briana) Gochneaur; her four great-grandchildren, Isabella M. Gochneaur, Brantley A. Gochneaur, Paislee S. Gochneaur and Oaklynn E. Gochneaur; her two sisters-in-law, Barbara (John) Hawkins and Lora (Richard) Hawkins and many loving nieces and nephews.

A funeral service will be on Saturday, January 14, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. at Baumgardner Funeral & Cremation Service, 134 Prospect Street, Andover, Ohio. Calling hours will be from 11:00 a.m. until the time of service. 

Burial will follow in Williamsfield Center Cemetery.   

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society at   

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