Cover photo for Sylvia Ann Hewlett Gulley's Obituary
Sylvia Ann Hewlett Gulley Profile Photo
1932 Sylvia Ann Hewlett Gulley 2023

Sylvia Ann Hewlett Gulley

October 18, 1932 — August 22, 2023

Corpus Christi

Sylvia Ann Hewlett Gulley was born to Betty Alice Lopez and Russell Dean Hewlett at Goose Creek, Texas, October 18th, 1932 and died on August 22, 2023 at the age of 90. Her early life was spent moving around South Texas oil field camps due to her daddy’s employment with Humble Oil Company. Every couple of years they moved to another camp, including Flour Bluff before the naval air station was there. Ultimately at the age of 13, they ended up in Corpus Christi when her daddy went to work in the division office. Sylvia attended Corpus Christi High School and graduated in the class of 1949 when it was the only high school in town. She then attended Del Mar College at 16, was Miss Del Mar college, was in the fencing club and participated in Buccaneer Days. In 1951 she married Bob Gulley. Bob worked at Pontiac Refinery until his father, who owned Gulley’s Bike and Key Shop then Gulley’s Trailer Park, retired. Then Sylvia and Bob bought the park and named it Gulley’s Mobile Home Park. Bob and Sylvia, with the help of their three children ran it until they retired, and then sold it to their youngest son Dean Gulley.

Bob and Sylvia also had a scuba diving business they started in 1953. They were pioneering scuba divers and instructors in the Texas Gulf of Mexico and Sylvia also taught swimming in the city for 35 years. In addition to running their successful businesses, Sylvia achieved many personal accolades. She was the only female Vice President, on the YMCA board of directors, and the only female racquetball player at the YMCA, regularly competing against men. Later, Sylvia took up flying and became an instrument rated pilot, surviving a training crash and became the president of the all-male Corpus Christi airport board of directors. Sylvia was also an accomplished skier, regularly taking on black diamond runs. She backpacked Europe, hunted in Africa and South Texas, learned to golf in her 50’s and became a state champion. Eventually the age of 78 Sylvia started ballroom dancing and competed and won dances in over 60 ballroom competitions all over the United States, too much acclaim. She regularly competed in competitions until she was 88 and the onset of covid limited her ability to travel to competitions.

Sylvia had a love for travel. With their children, she and Bob traveled all over Mexico and Central America. Sylvia climbed almost all the Mayan ruins in Mexico and Guatemala. When Bob was on the city council in 1975, 77, and 81, they traveled extensively, including the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War. Sylvia, always inquisitive, talked to the Russians so long the tour bus left her and Bob in the middle of Red Square. They drove throughout Central America and Canada including Belize, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, the Yukon and Nova Scotia. She and Bob drove from Corpus Christi to 49 of the 50 states including a 2-month trip to Alaska and they even visited Hawaii and drove all over the islands. Her life was full and well lived.

Surviving her are her son Dr. R. Bryan Gulley (Shannon), daughter Barbara Winters (Randy), grandchildren, Savannah Gulley Elizalde (Sergio), Taylor Gulley, Carson Gulley, Mallory Gulley, Bryce Winters (Karissa), Madelyn Dean Garner (Francis), Kelsey Winters Kirchmeyer, Gretchen Jones (Taylor), Gwendolyn Hanson, Victoria Griffin (John), and 15 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Bob Gulley, her son Dean Gulley, and her sister Patricia Derrick.

A very special thank you to Nora and Jose who started out as employees over 40 years ago and became family along the way. Thank you also to caregivers Ileana, Rosie, Margarita, Patty and Frances.

Memorial services to be held at Sawyer-George Funeral Home on Sunday, August 27, 2023 at 3:30pm.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Sylvia Ann Hewlett Gulley, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Starts at 3:30 pm (Central time)

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