DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The legacy of one Puerto Rican woman lives on through her family after decades of serving the Miami Valley.
In 1953, Sylvia Acosta Fronista, along with seven other women, took a flight from her hometown of San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Dayton, Ohio.
After landing safely in the Miami Valley, the group worked hard in nursing school at the University of Dayton. They overcame language barriers and helped to support veterans during World War II.
After the war, Sylvia chose to stay in the Miami Valley, where she married a Greek doctor and had five daughters.
“They came and served, and while they served, they learned they fell in love,” said one of Sylvia’s daughters, Angela Fronista. “They stayed, they built families and they never forgot who they were.”
Sylvia and her husband opened the Huber Heights Medical Center together which went on to serve the community for 65 years.
“Their goal was building relationships. People mattered, and they always matter,” said Angela.
Sylvia died in 2022, but her legacy lives on. Her daughters say above all else, Sylvia put God first and was proud of her roots.
Eleny Piontek, one of Sylvia’s daughters, said, “She wanted people not to think of Puerto Rico as a little island in the Caribbean, but now they had faces, people who would represent Puerto Rico, and they would say, ‘Oh, yes, I know Puerto Rico. I know Sylvia, and she’s an amazing woman.'”