Jan. 11: Celebrate the Life of Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin at Galilee Missionary Baptist Church

Larente Hamlin and Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin at the National Black Theatre Festival Gala in Winston-Salem, NC on July 29, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang

On Tuesday, January 11, a Celebration of Life for Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin is being held at the Galilee Missionary Baptist Church, 4129 Northampton Drive, Winston-Salem, NC 27105 from 6pm-8pm, where the family will receive friends.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, January 12, 2022, at 11:00am from Galilee Missionary Baptist Church and interment will follow in Piedmont Memorial Gardens. Services will be streamed here or on their Facebook page.

At the request of the family there will be no public viewing. Arrangements are in the care of Douthit Funeral Services, 515 Specialty Park Dr, Winston-Salem, NC 27105. Send Flowers

Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin, executive producer of National Black Theatre Festival and president of the North Carolina Black Repertory Company board. Photo by Lia Chang

Mrs. Sylvia Yvonne Sprinkle-Hamlin, the daughter of the late Thelma Norwood Holtzclaw and Arthur Sprinkle, Sr., was born on April 25, 1945 in Forsyth County and departed this earthly life on Monday, January 3, 2022 at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro, North Carolina.

On February 3, 2020, Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre, celebrated the NC Black Rep’s National Black Theatre Festival® (NBTF) at the Edison Ballroom in New York, André De Shields and Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin attended the gala. Photo by Lia Chang

Upon graduating from Carver High School in 1963, she attended Winston-Salem State University, where she received a B.S. degree in Education. After teaching in the public schools for a brief while, Sylvia furthered her education at Clark Atlanta University, where she earned an M. S. degree in Library Science and later on, a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration at Cheyney State University in Pennsylvania.

After working in the library system in Pennsylvania for a few years, Sylvia returned to her alma mater, Winston-Salem State University, where she was employed in the C. G. O’Kelly Library. In 1979, she was hired as head of Children’s Outreach at the Forsyth County Central Public Library. It was there that she ultimately became the director of the entire Forsyth County Public Library system, the first female and the first African American to serve in that position.

At a young age, Sylvia joined Center Grove AME Zion Church in Tobaccoville. Later on, she became a member of St. Stephens Episcopal church, where she served on the vestry and was a part of other ministries at the church as well. Sylvia was very active in the community. Her proudest achievement was serving as the executive producer of the National Black Theatre Festival, the largest event in the history of Black theatre in the world.

The 2019 National Black Theatre Festival Official Portrait. Photo by Lia Chang

She took on this monumental task after the death of her husband of twenty-five years, Larry Leon Hamlin, who preceded her in death in 2007. In essence, Sylvia Sprinkle Hamlin was indeed a phenomenal woman.

A tribute to the late Larry Leon Hamlin. Photo by Lia Chang

She leaves behind to cherish her memories one brother, Arthur (Peculiar) Sprinkle; her stepson, Larente Hamlin; her grandsons, Jaquan Hartsfield and Angel Hartsfield; nieces, Beleita Taylor Lomax, Michelle Hines, Karen Norwood, Renee Owens, Tomika Sprinkle, April Sprinkle, Chantele Shear; nephews, Rodney Mitchell, Antoine Norwood, Nathaniel Norwood, Jr., London Norwood, Brian Norwood, Timothy Norwood, O’Lando Speas, Arthur Conrad; mother-in-law, Annie Johnson; sisters-in-law, Audrey Norwood, Mattie Norwood, Sherry Hamlin Robinson and Linda Hamlin; her godmother, Mrs. Mattie Glenn; and a host of other relatives and friends.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the C. G. O’Kelly Friends of the Library, Winston-Salem State University or the North Carolina Black Repertory Company (NCBRC) of Winston-Salem, NC.

In memoriam: Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin (1945-2022)

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