January 20, 2023
Dear Evergreen Valley College Community,
With a heavy heart, I share the passing of beloved colleague and former faculty member Sylvia Rucker on January 6, 2023. Sylvia was a warm and gifted teacher who shared her love of people and languages with the fortunate students and colleagues who had the privilege of knowing her.
Sylvia spent most of her career teaching ESL and French at EVC from 1986 to 2009. Born in Budapest in 1943, at the age of five, she and her family escaped Hungary’s oppressive regime—by crossing the border to Austria on foot. From there, they made their way to Paris, where Sylvia acquired her lifelong love of the French language and French culture. When she was eleven, her family immigrated to Washington DC via ocean liner. Sylvia learned English, her fourth language, and became an American teenager. Her lived experience of being new to a country helped her relate to the thousands of new immigrants she taught English. She humanized the classroom experience and said that she loved her career and found deep satisfaction in her work.
Sylvia is survived by her husband, Rudy, and her three children: Georgia Rucker (Courtney Lasseter), Rudy Rucker Jr. (Penelope Thomas), and Isabel Rucker (Justin Archimede). In addition, she leaves five grandchildren: Althea, Desmond, Jasper, Zimry, and Calder—and her brother Henry Bogsch and his family. Her family and friends will deeply miss her loving, warm, beautiful spirit. The funeral will be held on Saturday, February 4th noon at St Luke’s Episcopal Church in Los Gatos.
Dr. Tammeil Y. Gilkerson
President | Evergreen Valley College