Sylvia Young Malagamba
A mother, artist, business owner, world traveler, master gardener, writer, "foodie," and avid golfer. Sylvia Malagamba, born February 1932, passed peacefully on December 5, 2020.
The eldest of four children, Sylvia was born and raised in "the rural fringe of" Pittsburg, PA. where she learned a love of the outdoors and a respect for nature. The years raising her own children meant moving from Pittsburgh to the west coast and then back to the east. During those years she was also able to continue her creative aspirations by painting, designing and making waxcasted silver jewelry, "experimenting" in the kitchen, and much more.
When her children had all entered school, Sylvia landed her first job outside the home as an editorial staff member and feature writer for the Genesee Valley Newspapers in Rochester, NY. There, her curiosity in food served her well as she wrote feature articles on restaurants, foods and special events.
Once the kids had grown, she longed for the west, and moved to Oregon, making her home in Lake Oswego. The solar addition she designed and added to her home in the first edition was ahead of the times and was awarded the Solar design of sunspace by Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. At the same time she was creating and marketing her Italian Ices that were on the menus of several Portland restaurants and earned a mention in the Oregonian.
Her many talents and interests came together in 1983 when she opened the Corbett House Bed and Breakfast, pioneering the first known B&B in the Portland area. Over the next 7 years she would host over 6000 guests, each staying in rooms aesthetically decorated with her "finds," and personal art, and enjoying delicious breakfasts, which sometimes included Lemon Granola muffins, her own original recipe that was featured in a 1986 issue of Sunset Magazine. Sylvia was honored to have her B&B listed in the Frommer's Travel Guide as one of the 100 best in the U.S. but her greatest pleasure was the fireside chats and breakfast conversations with many interesting people.
Sylvia had a hunger to be a student of the planet and its people. She had the opportunity to travel extensively and preferred seeking out foreign country sides, where she could interact with the local people, over the more frequented tourist spots. Her travels included S. E Asia, much of Europe, Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean and 42 states in the U.S. Her favorite was Italy, where she returned several times with her best friend. She was a WorldAffairs Council volunteer, hosting VIPs from Indonesia, Netherlands, Hungary, Ethiopia, Zaire, South Africa, and a college student from Japan. She was also a volunteer ESL tutor for Chinese immigrants who were studying for the citizenship examination.
She loved to write and was a member of a writing club. She wrote poems and articles in the L.O. Review. The gift she left for many was her memoirs which she described as "stories about reaching out, building bridges, trying to understand and connect with our global neighbors, often through the appreciation of geography, attempting to understand how and why we are different, and searching for ways in which we are the same."
She brought together her love of art, creativity and environment by joining the Crackedpots and making and selling yard art from discarded materials.
She is survived by her 4 children; 6 grandchildren; 9 great- grandchildren; and her beloved dog Goldie, all in the Pacific Northwest. She is also survived by her brother and sister in Pennsylvania as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
A strong, graceful, woman, Sylvia's later goal in life was to golf every course in Oregon.
A celebration of life will be held when the weather is warmer, the sun is shining and the flowers are blooming…her favorite time of year.