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Sybil Fredenthal Roos

Top 20 Inspiring Woman Impact Maker Award

Photo credit: Gittings 

Saturday, January 5, 2019

The Ballroom at Bayou Place

Sybil Friedenthal Roos began dedicating herself to community service throughout Houston upon moving to the city in 1975 with her late husband, Henry. She is a devoted patron of the arts, a strong supporter of education, and an advocate for children’s causes.

The third of four girls, Sybil was born in Los Angeles to Besse and Charles Friedenthal. She, herself, has three daughters: Cathey Cook, Betsy Garlinger, and Ginger Bertrand, and she is the proud grandmother to Aimee Bertrand, Rebecca Adler, Kevin Cook, and Thomas Cook. Sybil also has nine great grandchildren.  Her family calls her Dibby because her nieces and nephews could not pronounce Sybil.

Sybil is a graduate of Beverly Hills High School where she composed music for the school plays. She has her B.A. in music with an emphasis on piano and composition from Centenary College and her M.Ed. in elementary and special education from Northwestern State University of Louisiana. During WWII, Sybil performed for British War Relief Society and American Red Cross audiences and was a proud member of the WAVES (the women’s branch of the United States Naval Reserve).

In Louisiana, Sybil taught mentally challenged students. During this time, she served on the Council for Exceptional Children, and was an area coordinator for the Special Olympics, a member of the Caddo Parish Teachers Association, and a member of the Louisiana Teachers Association.  After moving to Houston, Sybil became a first-grade teacher for Spring Branch ISD where she was selected as Spring Branch Elementary’s Teacher of the Year. During this time, she belonged to several educational associations, including the Spring Branch Educators Association, the Texas State Teachers Association, the National Teachers Association, and the Greater Houston Area Reading Council. 

Sybil remains a dedicated member of Spring Valley University Women, Spring Branch Retired Teachers Association, and Delta Kappa Gamma. She has been honored with life memberships in the Louisiana and Texas PTAs and the Jewella (Shreveport, Louisiana) Council of Girl Scouts. Sybil was named a Lifetime Achiever by Marquis Who’s Who and has been featured in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Education, Who’s Who in the South and Southwest, Who’s Who in the World, and Who’s Who of American Women.

While she was president of the Houston Grand Opera Guild, Sybil wrote teachers’ guides for student presentations. She is a member of Phi Mu Fraternity, was nominated for their Outstanding Alumnae Achievement Award, and supports Houston Alumnae Panhellenic.

Sybil is a season ticketholder to the Houston Grand Opera (HGO), the Houston Symphony, the Broadway Series at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS), and the Houston Astros. Sybil is also a lifetime member of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH). Among the many philanthropic organizations she supports are: Camp For All, City ArtWorks, Easter Seals Greater Houston, Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS), Houston Zoo’s Asante Society, Houston Methodist Hospital, Texas Children’s Hospital, Texas Children’s Cancer Center, The Mission of Yahweh, University of Houston Moores School of Music, and the Woman’s Club of Houston. As well, Sybil sponsors the principal trumpet of the Houston Symphony, Mark Hughes.

The first grand piano for the University of Houston Moores School of Music was purchased with help from Sybil, and she helped select the Houston Symphony’s new Steinway piano at the Steinway & Sons factory in New York City. The benefactress also funded the music room at The Mission of Yahweh.

Sybil has been honored by many organizations, including HGO, Moores School of Music, Easter Seals Greater Houston Hats Off to Mothers Luncheon, Texas Children’s Hospital Community Champion, Houston Symphony Ima Hogg Philanthropy Award, City ArtWorks - The Art of Conversation, Houston Junior Woman’s Club Holiday Happening, The Mission of Yahweh Woman of Substance and Houston Sweetheart, H Texas Magazine Most Beautiful, and Virtuosi of Houston Gala.

One of Sybil’s fondest pastimes is travel. Some of her more memorable trips include attending the dedication of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington Cemetery and attending the 65th Anniversary of D-Day at the Normandy American Cemetery & Memorial. 

Throughout her life, Sybil Friedenthal Roos has served her family, her community, and her country, providing assistance and spreading the joy of music wherever they are needed.

It is for all the reasons mentioned above, and many more, that Sybil Friedenthal Roos has been named a Top 20 Inspiring Woman Impact Maker for 2019. 

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