Jesse Silva - Obituaries

Jesse Silva

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Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2018 11:20 am

Jesse Silva

Jesse Silva returned “home” on Oct. 22, 2018 in San Antonio, under the tender and compassionate care of Changing Seasons staff at The Cottages at Danny Kaye and in the company of daughter, Monica DelaCruz and son, Ray Silva.

Funeral arrangements in Kerrville will be coordinated by Grimes Funeral Chapels, with a memorial Mass held at Notre Dame Catholic Church, 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 6 p.m., Friday, Nov. 9, 2018 at Grimes Funeral Chapels. A ceremony with interment of ashes will be held 11 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018 at Calvary Cemetery in Midland, Michigan.

His family is comforted by his belief that he will be reunited with his lifelong love and wife of 66 years, Lila Silva. His “welcoming committee” will also include his parents, Bruna Perez and Lucio Silva; siblings, James, Joseph, Frank, Peter, Tony and Juanita Silva and Mary Estrada; daughter, Cecilia; and granddaughter, River Silva.

Born Jesus Silva in Calvillo, Aguascalientes, Mexico, Jesse crossed the border with his family as migrant field workers at the age of nine. His family settled in Michigan, where he continued working with his family in the sugar beet fields and other skilled labor jobs. Drafted into WWII in 1941, Staff Sgt. Jesse Silva was wounded by enemy shrapnel in Colmar, France in 1945. He was awarded a Purple Heart and earned his U.S. citizenship through his military service.

While on military leave, he was married to Lila Sanchez in 1943 in Pontiac, Michigan. After his honorable discharge from the military, Jesse was hired by Dow Chemical in Plant Security at their headquarters in Midland, Michigan. He and Lila purchased their first home in this community where they raised their family of 10.

He completed nearly 33 years of service at Dow in 1978, commuting by bicycle through all four seasons. His early retirement coincided with his receipt of a Midland High School diploma after completing four years of night school. After a year in Guadalajara living their dream of retiring to Mexico, Jesse and Lila returned to the U.S. and relocated to Kerrville, TX.

Their life in Kerrville included involvement with Notre Dame Parish, the Kerrville Trailblazers, Dietert Senior Center, Raphael Community Free Clinic and community events and activities. After Lila’s death in 2009, Jesse continued his soul-filled life with walking, reading, gardening, bird-watching, attending Mass and staying connected with his neighbors. His daily routine included a bowl of fruit every morning, his “heart medicine” (red wine) at noon, pickled jalapenos with dinner and an evening cracking pecans and watching sports. He played cribbage avidly and was sometimes caught sneaking cookies from the cookie jar.

Though never admitting to being “old,” his body slowly belied his spirit, giving way as his hearing and memory declined. He left his home in Kerrville in late 2016 and received loving, professional care in San Antonio, celebrating his 102nd birthday in June. As he became more physically frail, he retained his gentle, generous spirit and open heart and passed on peacefully as he deserved.

Jesse cultivated much more than the living earth during his lifetime – he touched many lives through his relationships and extended family. He lived his morning prayer: “Help me be aware of your Presence and your Presence in others,” by treating others with respect and grace, always staying in the present and the Presence.

Left behind to tell his stories and carry on family traditions are his sister, Lupe Silva, O.P., his children: Michael Silva, Midland, MI; Teresa Brady (Jim), Spring Lake, MI; Olivia Jerabek (Peter), Sanford, MI; Ray Silva, Austin, TX; Lucy Silva, Albuquerque, NM; Marta “Raynbo” Silva, Tucson, AZ; Julia Silva, Chanhassen, MN; Maria Kalitta (Paul), Midland, MI and Monica DeLaCruz (Eddie), San Antonio, TX. Twenty grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren across the globe are also part of his legacy, inheriting his devotion to family and hard work, love of nature, sense of humor and sweet tooth.

To honor his memory, please consider welcoming a stranger or helping a neighbor, taking a walk, savoring tortilla soup or pan dulce, sharing ice cream or listening to a family story.

“Well done, good and faithful servant.” – Matthew 25:23

Grimes Funeral Chapels of Kerrville