Cover photo for Sylvia Jean (Bauer)  Livers's Obituary
Sylvia Jean (Bauer)  Livers Profile Photo
1941 Sylvia 2023

Sylvia Jean (Bauer) Livers

December 31, 1941 — February 19, 2023

Sylvia Jean Bauer was born on the last day of the year 1941 in Plainfield, Indiana to Fern and Frank Bauer. She was born to a close-knit family of farmers, horticulturists, florists, fishermen, and competitive Euchre players. They were closely connected to the land, the weather, and the people in their community. She was popular in their small town. Like her brother, John, her mother, and her uncle, William “Bill” Lange, she graduated from Plainfield High School. The summer after graduation she was invited by a friend to a day of water skiing, where she met James “Gale” Livers. Sylvia then attended Indiana University for several semesters, after which she and Gale married on August 12th, 1961. They honeymooned in the Ozarks and upon their return lived with Gale’s parents, Pauline “Mae” and James Livers.

Sylvia and Gale then moved to Ohio where Gale studied architecture at the University of Cincinnati. While in Ohio, they had two daughters, Erin Michele & Stephanie Gale. After Gale’s graduation, they moved to Indianapolis to be closer to family.

Sylvia created beauty for her growing family: decorating, cooking and gardening. Her natural ingenuity lead her to decorate a family Christmas tree with milk weed pod ornaments; she wallpapered a living room wall with aluminum foil that received comments for years; and she transformed her daughters into their favorite characters for Halloween. She was naturally beautiful, stylish, intelligent, and creative.

Her dedication and love for her family led her to discover several interests that became lifelong pursuits. When Gale followed his interest in scuba diving they both became instructors. Together the pair developed a lifelong affection for the creatures beneath the sea. Sylvia and Gale then created the Waterbugs Scuba Travel Club with longtime friends, Jim and Stanley Burford. The Club and their jobs at Ikelite allowed them to travel and dive most of the oceans of the world.

In 1971, Gale became a product designer and the marketing director at Ikelite Underwater Systems. Sylvia not only worked with him in the office, she also beautifully graced his underwater photos as a model for the the Ikelite products catalog and Gale’s U/W Photo books. Family vacations often centered around diving and underwater photography, leading to many nighttime slideshows with popcorn and happy memories.

Gale’s interest in desktop publishing grew during the early days of Apple computers, and Sylvia crafted a career in management and sales for the successful company they created, LaserHouse. In 1988, she was awarded Business Woman of the Year by The Network of Women in Business. The company’s success was due mainly to her ingenuity, creativity and commitment to LaserHouse.

Gale’s love for Sylvia during their 62 years of marriage was visible to anyone who knew them. They were companions and partners in all their adventures. Their travels included Japan, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, numerous islands in the Carribean and the Bahamas, Truk Lagoon in Indonesia, several areas in Mexico, and even a trek across the US and Canada on Gale’s BMW motorcycle. She even took lessons to learn to operate the motorcycle in case of an emergency, but thankfully never had to. She was content on being a passenger for the 100,000 miles they traveled on the bike together.

After retiring from her work at LaserHouse, Sylvia found an interest in her childhood dolls, leading her to become a dollologist restoring antique dolls. Her eye for detail and creativity brought life back to the dolls she restored. Her business also included restoring other antique items, including furniture, jewelry, silver and crafts. Stephanie’s mother-in-law, Janet McShane, and Sylvia’s uncle, Bill Lange, often worked with her on these projects.

She loved to play the piano and enjoyed listening to the guitar of Mark Knopfler, the Bee Gees and the folk music of the 60’s and 70’s. She was a gardener like her dad, turning her small yard into a showcase of flowers and a haven for birds. She loved animals, in particular her Tibetan Terrier, Kong. She loved to walk in nature and was adept at observing the tiniest examples of beauty in the world around her.

She allowed her daughters to choose their own adventures, including pursuing their education and careers that took them both to other parts of the country. She was a rare gem who radiated kindness and caring; often thinking and doing for others, doting especially on her grandsons, John Culver “Jack” and Francis Courtney “Frank” McShane.

Sylvia was the loveliest woman we’ve ever met. We will miss her.

S ylvia is survived by her loving husband Gale, her daughters, and her grandsons.

There will be no service for Sylvia, but please share messages for the family here. Her family plans to celebrate her life near the ocean she loved.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Sylvia Jean (Bauer) Livers, please visit our flower store.

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