Sylvia Trimmier is a loving mother, church musician and cancer survivor whose bright smile reveals her calm, humble spirit.
She believes in living by example and has touched many lives through the gift of music, which she shares at First Presbyterian Church and beyond. She also appreciates the gift of life after having been diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2007 and spends most of her time giving back to those who gave so much to her during that time.
It is her ability to conform her life and conduct to moral and ethical principles that has earned Trimmier’s designation as the exemplification of virtue by the Orangeburg County Community of Character initiative.
It is an honor for which Trimmier said she is thankful.
“I was surprised and humbled. I knew for sure that I did not deserve that, but I appreciate the gesture. I feel like as a person working in the church, we should obviously have a high standard of morals. That doesn’t always happen, but I definitely was raised in a home where I was taught right and wrong,” Trimmier said.
“I’ve always been very aware of trying to be a role model as a church musician because you’re working with children, youth and adults. My job is not just to teach music or to play music, but to be a Christian role model,” she said.
Trimmier and her husband, Mark, are the parents of two sons: Andy, 17, and Paul, 14. She said virtue and other “morals and values that my parents instilled in me” are what she has tried to get her own children to emulate.
“So far, they have both stayed out of trouble and not given me a moment’s grief. They’re just really fine kids and we’re proud of them. They’re the type of kids that have never had detention at school and never had demerits. That speaks to me more than straight As,” she said.
Trimmier was born in North Carolina, grew up in Tennessee and has been in Orangeburg since 1990.
She said while her family moved around frequently, her values remained solid.
“Being raised in a Christian family and in the church certainly was the primary influence in my life. We moved a lot, but I had wonderful ministers my whole life who were wonderful role models for me. I was fortunate enough to attend a church-related college and graduate school and to have wonderful mentors and guides who were certainly much more virtuous than I could ever be,” she said, laughing.
She is now looking forward to celebrating two years of survival from cancer in August.
“I’m looking forward to the two-year mark and many more. I’m doing well. That was a life-changing event. I saw, among other things, the good of people that just reached out and … sent cards and made visits. I just can’t get over that — how much people do care,” she said.
She said she is happy to be able to continue to share her gift of music with them and many more. She said the “good news” of Christ can be shared in many different ways.
“Part of my calling has been to reach out to the community and do things with other people musically,” she said, noting that the Orangeburg County Community of Character has done an optimum job of sharing good news of its own. She said highlighting individuals who exhibit good character will hopefully make the community a better place to live.
“With every trait comes some kind of good news. I think it’s most important for kids to see this program and to grow up hearing about it. It’s wonderful,” she said.