Jerry Silvia – North Smithfield

Jerry Silvia – North Smithfield

On Aug. 22, Jerry Silvia peacefully passed away in his home with his precious wife of 46 years and his beloved pup of four years by his side, after living courageously with cancer.
Faithful, generous, kind, playful, patient, silly, musical, jovial, passionate, loyal – these are the words Jerry's family used when asked to describe him.

Jerry was born on his grandparents farm in Swansea, Mass., on June 6, 1946, to proud parents and immigrants Manny and Vivian Silvia. His youth was consumed with farm chores, baseball (his first love), basketball, work – and sometimes school. Jerry, the hard-working boy, grew into a hard-working man who played many roles in his 71 years.

Jerry the business man showed kindness and patience to the hundreds of families he helped overcome financial crises over the 35 years he owned Finance Management Services Inc. in Slatersville. Jerry had so much compassion for his clients that he kept a box of tissue in his office because the relief and kindness he gave them often brought tears.

Jerry the music minister played his guitar and sang his songs to anyone who needed comfort or inspiration in life. He was an entertainer and a story teller whose voice was unmistakable. His final wish in this lifetime was that people hear his message of hope and love. Please take a moment to watch his video at http://Vimeo.com/230088011.

Jerry the father provided a wonderful home for his children. Filled with music, love and laughter, the Silvia’s home was always a warm place to land for the many stray friends and hungry adolescents that showed up with any of his six children. To this day, countless people call Jerry Silvia “Dad” because, well, that is what he was, he was “Dad.”

As Jerry's tribe grew, he warmly welcomed new family members and proclaimed proudly on several occasions that “there are no in-laws, only my kids!” Jerry's kids; Deborah Ohliger, Kerrie and Chris Hussion, Matthew and Joey Silvia, Kevin and Diana Silvia, Mike and Beth Silvia and Joanne and Mark Harrison will deeply miss his unconditional love not only for them but for their children.

Jerry the Grampy is where Jerry's family would agree he shined most brightly! Whether it be nightly crawling lessons, allowing them to bop him right in the nose with their new Hulk Hogan boxing gloves or taking his pristine “fancy” guitar off the wall hanger and giving it to one of them because he loved that they played music too, he always found a way to show his love to his grandchildren.

Jerry's roles over the years are too many to count but he was a loving older brother to his sister, Theresa Soares, and her husband, Rick, as well as a cherished friend, patient choir director, and guitar teacher. But in Jerry's lifetime, his biggest role was partner to his beloved wife, Donna.

Jerry and Donna married on March 31, 1971, in Maryland and then sped off on a whim to spend time on their honeymoon night at the Bronx Zoo! Jerry and Donna have spent the 46 years since that night facing life together. Through life's ups and downs, twists and turns, new cars, guitars and pups, they have stayed by each other's side. Their life of love and devotion to each other has produced a legacy that will live on in his children, grandchildren, friends, family and anyone that encountered Jerry Silvia, right down to the nurses and doctors that cared for him at the end of his life. Because, to meet Jerry meant you would remember him...that Silvia grin, those dark eyes, that quick wit, but mostly the true kindness and generosity with which he lived his life.

A celebration of life open to all will be held at The Episcopal Conference Center, 870 Reservoir Road, Pascoag, on Thursday, Sept. 7, at 4 p.m., with a reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to: ECC, 872 Reservoir Road, Pascoag, R.I., 02859, or Adoption R.I., 2 Bradford St., Providence, R.I., 02903.