Harriett Hilda Sinclair passed away on February 5, 2019

Harriett Hilda Sinclair passed away peacefully on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 at Meadow Woods in Bloomingdale, surrounded by her family.


Hilda was born March 5, 1938 to Robert and Margaret Archer in Belfast, Northern Ireland.


Hilda held a secretarial job at Belfast Children’s Hospital after obtaining an associate’s degree. In 1963 she traveled to Detroit for an extended stay with her cousin. At a St. Patrick’s Day dinner she met William (Bill) Sinclair. They had coffee after the dinner and began dating. She told Bill, “This isn’t going to go anywhere because I’m going back to Ireland.” It became a love story, however, and they were married on April 11, 1964.


Hilda worked at Ford Motor Company until she had children, and then stayed home to raise her family. As a homemaker, she was a devoted mother and wife. She enjoyed entertaining in her home, and had a wide circle of friends. She stayed very attune to local, national, and international news; even writing letters to Detroit news stations and papers, particularly as it involved issues in Ireland.


After moving to St. Joseph in 1978 she volunteered in many ways in the community, and eventually turned her church volunteer work into a job as the Parish Visitor at First Congregational Church, St. Joseph. Her compassion for others, particularly serving the elderly, made her ideal in this position. She was passionate about various issues, and walked a careful line between being the wife of a public figure yet also standing up for things she believed it. In 1980 she gained citizenship in the United States and always exercised her right to vote proudly.


Hilda was an active member of the PEO philanthropic organization, serving on leadership teams for several years. Memorials may be made to PEO – St. Joseph chapter, to aid in the advancement of women through educational opportunities.


Hilda is survived by her husband, Bill, of Bloomingdale; her daughters, Laura (Michael) Bos and Beth (Troy) Ayotte, both of South Haven; her grandchildren, Kyle and Erin Bos, and Jack and Brett Ayotte, all of South Haven; and her great-grandson, Liam Ellis, of Temperance, MI. Also a brother, Michael (Margaret) Archer of Hamilton, Ontario. She was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, James Archer; her son, Andrew Sinclair; and her granddaughter, Paige Horvath.


Services will be held at Starks & Menchinger Chapel & Cremation Services, 2650 Niles Road, St. Joseph, at 4:30 PM on Sunday, February 10, 2019. Friends may visit from 2:30 PM until the time of the service at 4:30 PM. A private burial will take place at a later date. Those wishing to leave an online condolence may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com.


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