A Man Who Loved Life and People
DANIEL SYDLIK, a longtime member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, finished his earthly course on Tuesday, April 18, 2006. He was 87 years old and had served as a member of the Bethel family in Brooklyn, New York, for nearly 60 years.
Brother Dan, as he was affectionately called by those close to him, came to Bethel in 1946. Prior to that, he served as a special pioneer in California and also spent some time in prison during World War II because of his Christian neutrality. His experiences during that time were eloquently described in his life story, which appeared in The Watchtower of June 1, 1985, under the title “How Priceless Your Friendship, O God!”
Brother Sydlik was known as a down-to-earth, approachable person. When he conducted morning worship for the Bethel family, his positive attitude and love of life were often reflected in his opening words: “It’s good to be alive to serve the true and living God.” As a public speaker, he encouraged this viewpoint in others, giving talks with such themes as “Happy Is the People Whose God Is Jehovah,” “Reflecting the Joy of Jehovah,” “Keep Alive the Fire of God’s Spirit,” and “The Best Is Yet to Come.”
In 1970, Brother Sydlik married Marina Hodson, from England, whom he described as “a God-sent support.” They served Jehovah together for over 35 years.
During his years at Bethel, Brother Sydlik served in various departments, including the printery and the Writing Department. He also worked with the radio station WBBR. Then, in November 1974, he was appointed to the Governing Body and eventually worked along with the Personnel and Writing committees.
For over 30 years, Brother Sydlik’s work with the Personnel Committee was characterized by his intense love of people. He encouraged many with his booming voice, always drawing attention to the precious privilege we have of serving Jehovah. He constantly emphasized that true happiness is dependent, not on external factors, but on our relationship with Jehovah and our attitude toward life.
Although Brother Sydlik is greatly missed by the Bethel family, his example as one who truly loved life and people will live on. We are confident that he is included among those spoken of at Revelation 14:13: “Happy are the dead who die in union with the Lord from this time onward. Yes, says the spirit, let them rest from their labors, for the things they did go right with them.”