Sylvia Robb, a dedicated and generous supporter of the UC Irvine Libraries, has died at the age of 97. Her many gifts to the Libraries included the naming of the Graduate and Faculty Reading Room in Langson Library in honor of her first husband and the establishment of the Sylvia Holden Robb Library Endowed Fund.
Sylvia Sticha Holden Robb
Sylvia Sticha was born to Frank and Mary Catherine Sticha, both Bohemian immigrants from what was then considered Austria and is now Czechoslovakia. Independently, Frank and Mary each settled in Chicago, the city in which they met. Sylvia, their youngest daughter, was born in 1908 and grew up in Crown Point, Indiana. Sylvia acquired her love of libraries as a child, when she would frequently visit her local public library. After finishing high school, she attended the Gary Business College to acquire secretarial skills. She moved to Chicago and took a job with the magazine of the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks.
Sylvia married Roger Holden in 1936. The couple returned to Chicago, where she worked with the advertising firm, J. Walter Thompson, located in the Wrigley Building, overlooking the Chicago River. The couple then moved to Colorado Springs, where they would accompany friends on hikes in the mountains. The couple later moved to California and settled in San Clemente. Sylvia became active as a volunteer in a local hospital and developed a deep friendship with Elise Robb, another volunteer, and her husband Robert (Bob) Robb, a general practice physician. In 1968, Sylvia’s husband, Roger Holden, passed. Bob also lost his wife, Elise. In 1970, Sylvia Holden married Robert Robb. The couple chose to remain in the home in Three Arch Bay, with a magnificent view of the Pacific Ocean from practically every room. After Bob died in 1992, Sylvia remained in the home where she continued to pursue her love of reading and her generous support of a wide variety of deserving charitable organizations.