Heaven opened the gates for Thomas E. Silver, 87, who died peacefully with family by his side at Wooster Community Hospital on July 4, 2019, as fireworks were about to get underway. It was a fitting sunset for a man who loved his country, his family, and especially his dear wife, Evelyn, who lives on.
Born in 1932 — 105 years after Silver Acres was established just west of Wooster — Tom took great pride in being part of the fifth generation to grow up in the same family farmhouse. He extended the legacy of hospitality established generations before by hosting hayrides and high school floats, Easter Egg hunts and large Thanksgiving gatherings. He opened each meal with a welcome and a prayer, giving thanks for the blessings of a free country and the opportunity to treasure each other s company.
Tom graduated from Wooster High School in 1950 and attended the Mansfield branch of The Ohio State University. He was a member of the 555th Honors Detachment and was proud to help provide military honors as fellow veterans were laid to rest. A Rural Youth leader and a popular square dance caller, he was also known for his gift for dancing the polka and the waltz.
Early in his career, he was a dairy farmer and a carpenter, and he continued to care for the farm and build things mowing the sprawling lawn as recently as last Tuesday. In 1975, he started Silver Realty, located there on the (Wooster) Square , which later became Silver/HER Realtors. He served his cherished community in various capacities — as president of the Wooster Board of Realtors and was inducted into the Realtor Hall of Fame; as president of the Wooster Noon Lions and Wooster Cemetery Board; as a member of the Wooster High School chain gang for 40+ years; and a lifelong member and leader at Oak Chapel United Methodist Church.
He and his best high school buddies, dubbed the Cabin Boys, still gathered annually. He was an avid preservationist, working with his late partner in crime, Harry Mykrantz, to save what is now Cornerstone Elementary. Tom and his beloved first wife, Donna Shellenberger Silver, mother of his four children, also attained the Century House designation of Silver Acres from the Wayne County Historical Society.
He loved to snow ski, water ski and golf, and could still do a slow, perfect cartwheel well into his seventies. He shared that he once read that the true mark of character was how many trees a man planted in his lifetime; Tom planted hundreds of them.
In addition to Donna Silver, Tom is preceded in death by his father, Roger Silver; mother, Alta Fetzer Silver; his brother, Richard (Marjorie) Silver; and sister, Donna Jean (Tom) Beltz. He is survived by his wife, Evelyn Younkin Silver; children Trish (John) Strauss, Deb (Steve) Gambon, Jim (Linda) Silver and E. Marie Silver (Mark) Keister; grandchildren Danielle and Christian Schwarzwalder, Shannon and Kate Strauss, Andrew (Maggie) and Taylor Gambon, Tyler and Jackson Keister, Corey (Sara) Silver, and Dan (Rachel), Sarah, and Mary Dezordo. Great grandchildren include Ella Schwarzwalder, Adley Silver, Andrew and Alex Giffin, and Elijah and Ezra Ahmed. Many beloved nieces and nephews also survive. A special thank you to Marlene Miller, who worked with Tom for years.
Friends will be received at the McIntire, Bradham & Sleek Funeral Home, 216 E. Larwill St., Wooster on Friday, July 12, 2019 from 4-7:00 p.m. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, July 13, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at Oak Chapel United Methodist Church, 4203 W. Old Lincoln Way, Wooster with Rev. John Finn officiating. Following graveside services with military honors at Wooster Cemetery, the family welcomes friends for lunch at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Oak Chapel Memorial Fund.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.mcintirebradhamsleek.com
Oak Chapel Memorial Fund, 4203 W. Old Lincoln Way, Wooster, OH 44691
Saturday, July 13, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at the Oak Chapel United Methodist Church, 4203 W. Old Lincolen Way, Wooster
Friday, July 12, 2019 from 4-7:00 p.m. at the funeral home