Joseph L. Silva went home to be with Our Lord on December 12, 2021 in Wilmington, North Carolina. The Lord called him on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Gaudete Sunday. He truly experienced “the Grace of a Happy Death.”
He was born in Philadelphia, PA on July 5, 1933 to Suzanne Kowalczyk and Joseph Silva. He had one sister, Eva.
The Great Depression caused hardship to so many. At the age of six, Joe was taken in by St. John’s Orphan Asylum in Philadelphia where he lived until his eighteenth birthday. He attended St. Thomas More Catholic High School in Philadelphia and went on to study engineering at Drexel University.
Joe lived a majority of his adult life in Stamford, Connecticut where he married Anastasia Sedor. They had four children; Joseph Silva, Meghan Silva, Anastasia Silva, and Vanessa Silva. Joe worked in what was then a very new, cutting edge technology, electromagnetic sensing systems, used to take radiographic photos of the welding on submarines, key to the safety of the sailors manning those submarines.
In 2010, Joe moved to Wilmington to be near his daughter, Vanessa, and his beloved grandson, J.J. He became a substitute teacher and teacher’s assistant at the New Hanover County School District. For 10 years he volunteered for the jobs that no other substitutes would sign up for. Joe often said he enjoyed working with troubled youth and letting them know they could overcome anything, just as he had overcome being left at an orphanage and surviving many childhood traumas.
Joe found a loving and welcoming community at St. Mark Catholic Church when he moved to Wilmington. He was a devout Catholic who participated in the Daily Mass. He sang in the choirs at St. Mark, St. Mary and St Therese Catholic churches for many years. He was active in The Respect Life Ministry, The Thursday Morning Men’s Prayer Group, That Man is You Group, the daily recitation of the Rosary with the group who pray immediately following Daily Mass, and the Knights of Columbus. Becoming a 4th degree Knight of Columbus was a joyful milestone in his life. He often said that the last 11 years of his life, were the best years of his life, where the love of his brothers and sisters at St Marks and his great friends on Louisa Lane truly made him feel at home and find peace and joy.
The Funeral Mass is at 11:00 on Friday December 17th at St. Mark Catholic Church. Preceded by visitation from 9:45-10-15 in the chapel. The Most Holy Rosary and The Devine Mercy Chaplet will start at 10:15. Joe’s internment will follow immediately following the Mass at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Burgaw, NC.
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Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 S.41st Street Wilmington, NC 28403. 910.791.9099.