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Alfredo Andres Silva of Oxford and formerly of West Grove, Pennsylvania passed away on Friday, August 16, 2019. He was 85 years old.
Born in Cienfuegos, Cuba, he was the son of the late Juan Silva and the late Maria Conchita Ferrer.
Born in 1934 in his parent's home, Alfredo's early years were spent in his homeland, Cuba. Many tales he would later tell his children originated from his beloved home in Cienfuegos - Punta Gorda, which he described as his "own personal zoo" and "paradise". His boyhood was spent chasing lizards, tarantulas, and, his favorite past time, fishing. Alfredo had a deep love for the sea surrounding Punta Gorda and was blessed to have returned there one last time in 2016.
While a sophomore at Malvern Prep in 1950, Alfredo met his future bride, Betty Anne Woodring. Graduating from Villanova University in 1956, they were married in the Villanova chapel in November that same year. Drafted into the Army in 1957, Alfredo was stationed in Tacoma, WA when his first child, of what would become 8, was born.
Fluent in both Spanish and English, Alfredo's bilingual skills served him well his entire career. His first job after the Army was as an accountant working for Scott Paper Co. in Chester, PA, where he and Betty Anne welcomed five more children. In 1968, working for RCA, the family moved to Mexico City where their seventh was born. Another move took the family to San Juan, Puerto Rico and then back to the states - first to Chilicothe, OH, then Wayside, NJ where they welcomed their 8th and final child.
In 1978, working as an auditor for ICI Americas, his family moved to the home they would remain in for the next 33 years in New London, PA. Alfredo retired in 1991. He consulted for several years and later volunteered his accounting services to The Children's House in Wilmington, DE. You won't, however, find the work he loved most on his resume.
Alfredo's greatest joy and the work he took the most pride in came from serving others in the Hispanic and Latino communities. He served as an interpreter, translator and accountant for many in need and as a ESL teaching assistant for the Avon Grove School District.
Beloved Papi to his children, Abuelo to his grandchildren, and consummate host to everyone he knew, Alfredo leaves behind a legacy of love that will be treasured for generations to come.
He was the beloved husband for 62 years of Anne Woodring Silva; father of Alfredo A. Silva, Jr., the late David M. Silva, Mark J. Silva (Anita), James J. Silva, Elizabeth "Nan" Silva (John Costarella), Peter T. Silva (Rebecca), Steven P. Silva (Kimberly) and Christopher R. Silva (Sherry); grandfather of Damien Silva, Lacey Silva, Alejandro Silva, Sofia Silva, Clara Silva, Joel Silva, Jessica Valentin, Jeremy Silva, David Silva, Chelsea Heath, Samuel Silva, Luke Silva, Andrew Silva, Sarah Silva and Emily Silva; brother of Saturnino Silva. Alfredo was pre-deceased by his siblings, Juan Silva, Luis Silva, Jose Silva, Antonio Silva, Maria Teresa Noone, Ana Maria Lopez, Maria Amalia Kuhn and Maria Andrea Silva.
For all who knew Alfredo personally, a Funeral Mass will be offered by Rev. Msgr. Frank Depman on Friday, August 30, 2019 at 12:00PM at ASSUMPTION BVM CATHOLIC CHURCH, 300 State Road, West Grove, Pennsylvania. There will be no visitation prior to Mass. Burial will be private.
Following the Funeral Mass, a reception will follow in the church hall.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Mission Santa Maria, 29 Gap Newport Road, Avondale, PA 19311 https://www.stroccochurch.org/src/en/html/donation.html
"And the sea will grant each man new hope as sleep brings dreams of home."
August 30, 2019 Eulogy - Assumption BVM Catholic Church
Guests, extended family members, and friends: Our mother Anne, Fred, Mark, Jim, Nan, Steven, Chris, and I, and our families, thank you all for being here to help celebrate Dad’s life
To his very last days Dad was a proud, generous man and as he aged he never stopped giving back until his mind kept him from being able to remember what he had to give.
An international auditor and accountant who, even after giving up all financial decisions to his children, insisted on paying for things with whatever he had in his wallet.
And when the Good Lord finally called Dad, he met Him with courage and the joy of the promise of what lies ahead. Everlasting life for those who trust in Jesus Christ alone, a new body, a chance to start over…
One reason Dad knew how to start over is because he did it… twice.
The first time was while he was serving this country, Fidel Castro took everything his family had in Cuba.
Twenty years later, he was unemployed for over a year and was forced to liquidate all his assets in order to feed and shelter us.
But God had other plans for Alfredo Andres Silva, the God of “second chances” saw it fitting to bless him richly all over again.
I think those times of scarcity made him cherish what he had and he vowed to share whatever he had with others.
Dad was always traveling, using his bi-lingual skills to make the most money, living frugally so that the majority of the per diems could for saved for his family.
Dad made many daring decisions in his life.
After being drafted into the Army, Dad put his new family on a plane and drove across a country he barely knew, alone. Like many of his generation, he never talked about his service. Not until several of his sons and grandchildren served did the details of his service emerge.
We learned of his training at Ft Benning Georgia, his commissioning as a 2nd LT, and how he obtained his unit insignia collection.
Dad made many other daring moves, literally
He moved his young family from the comforts of this country to Mexico. He and Mom had just adjusted to living abroad when, after only three years, Dad’s work relocated us to Puerto Rico, three years after that, Ohio, and three years after that, New Jersey...
Dad highly valued his education and worked hard to give us the best educational opportunities he could afford - placing us in the best school districts, even if it meant a long commute to work. He was no slouch. Dad taught us that no matter what life throws at you, your education cannot be taken from you.
Dad valued faith and family. He strongly believed that it was important to give back to the community and country in which one lived. He recognized that serving others enriched one’s soul.
He accepted that failure is part of living a full life but taught us never to be defined by failure.
He showed us how setbacks can strengthen us. None of his disappointments could compare to one of life’s greatest tragedies – the loss of a son. It was 30 years ago, but my brothers and sister and I can recall all too well the pain and agony Mom and Dad felt when our 30 year old brother died. We saw our parents age a decade in a day but they never lost their faith and remembered David always. They were sustained by the love of the Almighty and His promise of salvation to those who believe in the life, death and resurrection of His Son. Dad always believed that one day he would hug his David again.
Dad had an enormous capacity to give of himself – many a person at the Hispanic Community Center or local school would say that Dad became a mentor and a father figure in their life. He listened and consoled. He translated and built bridges between cultures.
He taught us what it means to be a good father, Abuelo, and great grandfather. He was a man a few words but when he spoke you had better be listening... We all tested his patience, I know I did.
The Friday before last, when Mom, Nan and I visited him, I said, “Dad, I love you and I will see you on Sunday” and the last words he said to me on this earth were “I love you too.”
But Dad was not perfect. – he wasn’t Fred Astaire on the dance floor, the man could not stomach vegetables - or milk; and if he could have roast turkey or honey baked ham every Sunday, he would. His sweet tooth could not be satisfied, not even while chewing chicklets and drinking Coke. He was ruthless when he played “Canasta” where the only thing worse than sitting on his left and getting all his worthless discards was hearing him exclaim “Bingo!” as he picked up the pile, again. Oh and by the way, he passed these genetic defects on to us…
Finally in all the days of his 62 years of marriage, Dad taught us all what it means to be a great husband. He married his true love, his love letters showed he adored her, he laughed and cried with her, he was dedicated to her totally.
In his old age Dad enjoyed Turner Classic Movies and American Movie Classics, always with the volume extra high. When they could no longer take care of each other, Dad was most at peace when holding Mom’s hand. And when it was time for bed, Dad would often offer to sleep on the floor so Mom could spend the night in his bed instead of returning to her apartment across the street.
Dad, we already miss you. Your decency, generosity, and kind soul will stay with us forever.
Through our tears, let us be blessed by knowing and loving you, and in our grief let us smile, knowing that you are hugging David and waiting to hold Mom’s hand again.