“I’d like to die going from first to third on a single,” Joe (Joseph, no middle name) Silver could often be heard to say.
This simple statement not only reflected Joe’s love of baseball, but gave insight into the fiery spirit that burned inside. He grew up on Mountain View Dairy Farm, family owned in Avon, CT. From a young age, he was accustomed to hard work, getting up early to milk the cows and help his Dad, Francisco de Silva, ( aka Frank Silver thanks to the folks at Ellis Island ), deliver the dairy products prior to going to school.
Despite the demands of farm-life, Joe always found time for sports, especially baseball.Some of his most endearing memories were of his years spent playing ball with the Albany Owls. Joe alternately pitched or played center field. Brother Al was his battery mate behind the plate, and Brother-In-Law Brien Keenan, (Josephine), anchored the infield at short-stop.
After serving honorably in the U. S. Army, Joe took advantage of a Pratt & Whitney Veterans’ Incentive program and learned to be a welder. He soon distinguished himself in the trade, being selected for many high-profile projects including the welding of gold gaskets for NASA’s first lunar landing. Joe was sought out and worked for several welding outfits, and even ran his own Silver Alloy shop for a while. He eventually retired from Hamilton Standard in 1989.
Not one to rest on his laurels, Joe hired out as a “Temp,” then accepted a gracious offer from Casual Corner. He worked for several years as a Part-time employee, desired by managers throughout and enjoying the diversity of tasks found in the various departments. He fondly recalled the folks he worked and played ball with on the company sponsored softball league, playing well into his late sixties.
Joe made his last dash from first to third August 10, 2019,after loving life for 93 years. He leaves behind his oldest son, Joseph Robert and wife Lynn, daughter Kathleen SilverRyder, son James and wife Christine, daughter Colleen Esteves and husband Albert, and son Frank and wife Jackie, nine grandchildren,over two dozen great-grandchildren and a great-great grandchild, as torchbearers of his lineage.
Joe was predeceased (2011) by the love of his life, Anne Margaret (Brown). The two shared a storybook romance for over 62 years. As saddened as he was by this tragic event, love of family and faith in God carried him on. Sadly too, Joe lost his Grandson, Steven, (Kathleen’s son), the victim of a drunk driver in 2013.
In addition, Joe was predeceased by brothers Jack, Francis, Harry and Alfred, and sisters Mary, Noreen, Annie and Josephine, and Son-In-Law William SilverRyder. He is survived by a sister, Theresa, and brother, Robert.
Throughout his long life, Joe never lost his love of the journey, nor his competitive spirit. He played golf into his 90's with his good friend Barry Stearns, and was always ready to pony up a dollar wager on closest to the pin on a par three. He boasted that he prayed nightly for both the Red Sox and Yankees . . . the former to win, the latter to lose!
Joe was not only safe going from first to third on a single, he crossed the plate, being called Home to Heaven and greeted there by his beloved Anne.
An open-casket gathering will be held 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM on Saturday, August 17, 2019, at Leete-Stevens Enfield Chapels, 61 South Road, Enfield, CT 06083, with a Catholic Service to follow. Burial will be held at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, please consider a Donation, in Joe’s name, to a Charity of your choice.