SYDNOR, Caroline Rosamond Rich died January 3, 2010

Caroline Rich Sydnor

Naples, FL

Caroline Rich Sydnor peacefully passed away on January 3, 2010 at The Glenview, a retirement community in Naples, FL, where she had been living since 2000. She was a noted Bridge player, teacher, author, speaker and columnist regarding the game of Bridge.

Caroline was born in Bandy, VA on October 16, 1913, the third of six children of John Robert and Anna Marie Gleaves Rich. She graduated from West Virginia University with a degree in journalism and went to work for The Raleigh Register in Beckley, WV. This job enabled her to help send her siblings to college during the Great Depression.

She met Charles William Sydnor III, a recent graduate of Virginia Theological Seminary, when she was assigned to cover a special event at the church where he worked in Beckley. They were married in 1937 and eventually had five children. They made their home in several locations during their marriage, including Petersburg, VA, Waco, TX, Stamford, CT and Alexandria, VA, finally retiring in Naples, FL in 1997.

Mrs. Sydnor started learning to play bridge at the age of six to provide a "ready fourth" player in a family of bridge players. She would grow to become a Life Master more than six times over. At age 50, she began teaching Bridge at the local "Y" in Alexandria, VA. By age 60, she was compiling her lesson notes into book form. She eventually produced a four book series called "Bridge Made Easy," which sold over 200,000 internationally, with translations in French, German and Hebrew. A fifth book, "Teaching Bridge: How To Do It Better" was published in 1988. Her third book, "Bridge Made Easy, Book Three: How To Win More Tricks" won the American Bridge Teachers' Association Book of the Year Award in 1981. Mrs. Sydnor also designed a deck of "Caroline's Cards" to be used with each of the four books in the series. The cards were coded on the back to allow for specific distribution when dealt, so that designated hands could be used to play the lesson taught in each chapter. These "marked" cards proved to be one of the most popular features of the series.

Her career also included writing a bridge column for The Port Packet (now The Alexandria Gazette Packet) of Alexandria, VA and teaching Bridge classes at Army Navy Country Club in Arlington, VA for 19 years. She also taught Bridge classes on cruise ships that traveled to such varied destinations as the Panama Canal, the Mediterranean Sea and the Far East.

Throughout her life, Mrs. Sydnor was involved in numerous volunteer projects, such as managing fund-raising events for Low-Heywood School in Stamford, CT and meeting wounded soldiers as they arrived at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, often in the middle of the night, during the Viet Nam conflict.

Caroline was preceded in death by her husband, The Rev. William Sydnor III; and by her daughter, Carrie Sydnor Coffman.

Mrs. Sydnor is survived by her four children, Gleaves Rhodes of New York, NY, Sarah Talbot of El Centro, CA, Jeannie Sydnor of Alexandria, VA, and Charles William Sydnor, IV (Bucky) of Kathmandu, Nepal. She is also survived by her goddaughter, Holly Bassett Bigley of Atlantic Highlands, NJ; as well as by 11 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service and interment are planned to occur in Alexandria, VA.

For online condolences, visit

Fuller Funeral Home

Pine Ridge Road


Published in Naples Daily News on January 8, 2010

Caroline was the daughter of Anna Maria Gleaves Rich and the granddaughter of Charles Wythe Gleaves.