Sylvia Metivier was born in Dickinson, North Dakota, and at age three moved with her family to Washington. After graduating from high school in Blaine, Washington, in 1951 Sylvia got a job with Alaska Packers Association (APA). She worked as a bookkeeper and accountant in the Blaine office, and was responsible for purchasing for all of their Alaska canneries. In 1957, Sylvia married her husband, Bob, and in 1976, she followed him to South Naknek, Alaska, where he spent every summer working for APA as a shipwright, carpenter, and outdoor foreman. In South Naknek, Sylvia continued doing bookkeeping, accounting, and office management work for the cannery until 1996, when Bob retired and they permanently settled in Birch Bay, Washington.