Joseph Lawrence Silva

July 5, 1933 - December 12, 2021
Joseph Lawrence Silva

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.

You may share memories and condolences with the family by clicking on the “Post a Condolence” tab below.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 S.41st Street Wilmington, NC 28403. 910.791.9099.


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  • December 14, 2021
    Lisa R Dismukes says:
    My heart is breaking to hear of Joe's death. His love of God lifted me for many years. It is because of Joe that I became a substitute teacher. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

  • December 16, 2021
    EILEEN FRAZZETTA says:
    Joe was a warm and devout fixture at daily Mass at St. Mark's and will be missed.... but I know our Blessed Mother met him upon his passing and he is truly now at home. God bless you, Joe! Pray for us!

  • December 16, 2021
    Mary Fimbel says:
    Joe was a wonderful friend, who loved his Lord, his family, his church, and all his many friends. He was a true prayer warrior for the unborn and for a deepening respect for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. Joe will be truly missed, but has now attained his much deserved reward with the good Lord and will be our powerful intercessor in Heaven. It was indeed a blessing and privilege to have Joe as our wonderful friend and he will never be forgotten. May God tremendously love you in Heaven, Joe!

  • December 16, 2021
    Stephen and Tamara Agnelli says:
    Joe was dear friend of ours who always remembered our son Daniel. We are thankful that we were at his side shortly after his passing. We are so joyful for the memories we had together through the years. Joe you were a warm and wonderful person to our family and son Daniel. We are so happy that you were our friend and a friend to many. Joe we love you, and you will surely be missed.

  • December 16, 2021
    Bud Tascone says:
    Our condolences. Joe was a wonderful man and Brother Knight. A very dedicated individual.