Sylvia Marie Lahtinen

Feb. 1, 1944-Sept. 14, 2020

Sylvia Marie Lahtinen,

76, of New Town, died

peacefully on September

14th, 2020, surrounded by

her loving family in Man-

dan after her four-year

battle with multiple


Sylvia was born Febru-

ary 1, 1944 in Carson,

North Dakota to Michael

and Lagata (Riehl) Tisch-

mak. She was raised on

the family farm and at-

tended school in Raleigh

through the 8th grade,

graduating from Flasher

High School in 1962.

Farm life instilled both a

devotion to family and a

strong work ethic in Syl-


In 1964, Sylvia com-

pleted her two-year teach-

ing certificate at Dickin-

son State University,

whereupon she moved to

New Town to teach 6th

grade at Edwin Loe Ele-

mentary School. It was

there, in New Town, that

Sylvia discovered her true

calling as a teacher. She

also found the love of her

life and best friend, Gary.

When Gary was drafted

into the Army in April

1965 and subsequently

stationed in Alaska, Syl-

via maintained a devoted

correspondence with him.

She also returned to col-

lege to advance her educa-

tion to eventually receive

her four-year teaching de-

gree. Sylvia’s early years

of hard work haying and

milking had persuaded

her not to marry a farmer.

But she fell in love with

one, nevertheless. On

June 15, 1965, Gary and

Sylvia were united in

marriage at St. Gertrude’s

Church at a big,

boisterous German

Catholic Wedding. Al-

ways thinking of others,

Sylvia diligently prepared

her fiance for their wed-

ding waltz.

Beginning in 1969, Syl-

via spent her time raising

four children, returning to

her classroom once they

were all school age. She

taught for 31 years in New

Town and retired in 2005.

According to Gary, Sylvia

often told him that the

hardest part of her day

was deciding what to

make for supper. She

made it a priority to find

time for family vacations

every year, she was al-

ways present at her kids’

events, and she volun-

teered as a den leader for

her boys’ Cub Scout

groups. Sylvia loved the

anticipation of spending

time with her extended

family at annual camping

trips. This proud grandma

loved her grandchildren


Sylvia maintained

long-lasting friendships

and she enjoyed spending

time with her dear friends

at Kopper Kettle


Club/Homemaker’s Club.

Her faith was especially

important to Sylvia and

guided her throughout her

life, helping her to over-

come breast cancer twice.

She was a Catechism

teacher and a longtime

member of the St. Antho-

ny Catholic Ladies Aide.

After her retirement,

Gary and Sylvia enjoyed

traveling. They took

several cruises and began

her quest to visit as many

national parks as possible.

They did not get to all of

them, but it was not from

a lack of effort. Sylvia had

a long list of hobbies:

Spoiling of grandchildren,

baking, feeding people,

completing crossword

puzzles, gardening,

watching movies (after

carefully reading reviews)

and reading good books.

In fact, during their trav-

els, she was often chided

by Gary for missing out

on the scenery because

she was so busy reading.

Sylvia is, and will be,

greatly missed by her fam-

ily and many others who

knew her. She was a gra-

cious, wonderful,

genuine, humble, and

kind person. She was self-

less and always put others

first. She was truly beauti-


Family: Sylvia lives on

through her husband,

Gary, children; Sydney

(Marnie), Lenae, Lucas

(Nicholette), and Nathan;

Grandchildren; Noah,

Leif, Sylvie, Ian and Van

Lahtinen, Reeve Garcia,

Lander, Lucy, Kinsey and

Aimee Lahtinen; siblings,

Marvin (DeLoris) and Tim

(Judy) Tischmak, and

Genny Russell; sisters in

law; Carmen (Dale)

McGrady, Debbie Jane

Lahtinen; brothers in law:

Warren and Jeff (Sandra)

Lahtinen, and numerous

nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in

death by: her parents;

brother, Darrell;

father-in-law, Emil and

mother-in-law, Sylvia.

Mass of Christian Buri-

al: Saturday, September

19, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. at St.

Anthony Catholic Church,

New Town (please ob-

serve social distancing


Visitation: Friday, from

noon to 5:00 p.m. at

Langhans Funeral Home,


Vigil Prayer Service

and Rosary: Friday at 5:00

p.m. at the funeral home.

Interment: New Town


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