Skip over navigation

Sybil Sinclair Hargraves, 81, of Princeton, NJ, passed away on Monday, July 29, 2013, with loving family by her side.

Sybil was born and raised in South Africa, where she met her future husband, Robert Hargraves.  They were married in London in 1955 and moved to the United States, settling first in Washington, D.C., before moving to Princeton in 1961 when Robert joined the faculty of the Department of Geology, retiring in 1994. 

In addition to raising three daughters, Sybil worked in various positions at Princeton University and in the community.  Wherever she worked, people were drawn to her graciousness and warmth. The family lived overseas on three year-long sabbaticals – in Germany, South Africa, and India – and they traveled and camped together across the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

Sybil became an avid golfer, and Rob and Sybil were active members of Springdale Golf Club for more than thirty years.  Sybil loved movies and books, and did the New York Times crossword puzzle every day.  She loved her family and her home, 747 The Great Road, and hosted great parties and weddings there, welcoming many guests and friends over the years.  This included the “19th hole” of the annual Guyot Greensomes best-ball style tournament, a department tradition during the 1970’s and 1980’s for golfers and non-golfers alike. Sybil stayed connected with family and friends around the world, including her beloved niece and friend Noralee in England.

Sybil was the daughter of Vera and Jock Sinclair. She is predeceased by her husband Robert *59 who died in 2003, and her sister, Catherine Herber. She is survived by her three daughters, Monica Hargraves ‘81, Allison Hargraves, and Colleen Guimes; four grandchildren, Hillary and Jack Hargraves-Dix, and Isabel and William Gephart; sons-in-law John Dix, Andrew Guimes, and John Gephart ‘75; and niece and nephew Sandra and Gary Herber.  Her grandchildren were a particular source of pride and joy.  Many people loved Sybil.  She had a way of making everyone feel loved, interesting, and welcome.  She will be greatly missed by many of us who cherished her smile, that subtle South African accent in her voice, the sparkle in her eyes and her amazingly quick wit that would leave you in stitches.

A memorial reception will be held on Monday, August 5, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Palmer House, One Bayard Lane, Princeton, NJ, 08540.

In lieu of flowers, the family would welcome donations in Sybil’s name to the charity or cause of your choice.