Thomas E. Silver

Birth Date: 
Friday, July 1, 1932
Date of Passing: 
Thursday, July 4, 2019

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




Memorial Contributions: 

Oak Chapel Memorial Fund, 4203 W. Old Lincoln Way, Wooster, OH 44691


Friday, July 12, 2019 from 4-7:00 p.m. at the funeral home


Saturday, July 13, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at the Oak Chapel United Methodist Church, 4203 W. Old Lincolen Way, Wooster


Our sincere sympathy to the Silver family. It was an honor to have worked for Tom and to have his friendship for many years. I will hold all those memories forever close to my heart.

To Tom's Family and Friends, Our deepest sympathies go out to you. May God, and the many good memories, sustain you; now and also in the future.. Our thoughts and prayers are for you and your families. Sincere condolences from Art Beerys, Smithville, Ohio

Tom was a great fan of a trip through the Grand Canyon and he paid for many family members to have at experience. He always liked talking with me about that experience. Very generous to sponsor so many others. RIP.

Sincere condolences to Deb and her family in the loss of her father.

We are so sorry for the loss of Tom. Thoughts and prayers.

Evelyn, My sincere sympathy to you and your family. Please share with Deb. I may have taught her in fifth grade at Layton Elementary in the middle sixties. Then I taught two of yours in the late sixties and early seventies. How ironic!

Our condolences to you. May his wonderful legacy and love continue to be remembered through his family and loved ones. Dennis and Susan

I have very fond memories of going to the family farm with my father (George Silver Barker) and mother (Ruth Beck Barker) and finding Tom in the barn tending to his beautiful herd of cows. Tom cautioned us to be still and talk softly as to not upset the cows being milked. Tom was a gentle soul. He loved his family and the family farm. We always referred to Tom as a southern gentleman with his grace and hospitality to all that came to visit. Our collective hearts are heavy with sympathy. I offer the family my thoughts, prayers and well wishes. Love to all as we remember the life of Tom and his many gifts of love and compassion.

Trish, Deb, Jim, Marie - Condolences on the passing of your father. Your dad was such a friendly and fun man! I fondly remember the many water skiing trips he took us on and also how welcome he made a group of teenagers feel hanging out at your home Good memories! Cindy and I will be out of town this weekend, but please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.

What a great man -- I am honored to have known him! He loved his Lord, Family, Country and Friends; in that order and it was evident in all he did and represented! Tom, you planted more than 'trees'made of wood -- thank you! My sympathies to the entire family, especially great-cousin Evelyn. Blessings to all!

Evelyn, Marie, Trish, Deb, and Jim, we are grateful to be a part of the wonderful Silver family...the love, fun, traditions, support, and wholesome family celebrations at the farm! Tom Silver was a fine leader, family man, historian, athlete, and more. He will be missed dearly by you, your families, and friends, for each one of them, they share a part in life with you...knowing Tom. The memories live on through you and we're honored to be family with the Silvers. Through laughter and tears, our thoughts and hearts celebrate Tom and you, for the fond memories. Our sympathies to all from OK!

Deb and family-I remember all the wonderful times spent on the family farm, your Dad driving the hay wagon to the bonfire to toast hotdogs and his square dance calling. A wonderful and gracious family man who will be missed dearly. My life was enriched by his kindness. My thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless him❤️

My deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Tom. He was the world's greatest landlord and an all around good guy. The world would be a better place if there were more Tom Silvers in it. Peace to your hearts.

Our deepest sympathies to Evelyn, Trish, Deb, Jim and Marie and their families. We loved Tom and will miss his smiling welcome whenever we visited the family farm. As my sister Mary Lou Barker posted our memories are deep and rich of many wonderful times with Tom.

Trish,,Deb, Jim and Marie my sympathy and prayers to comfort all of you in your loss. Your father helped create so many wonderful memories when we were young and for so many people. Square dancing, skiing at Pleasant Hill Lake, allowing us to just hang out at the house and explore it and ohhh the cabin, Just to name a few. Praying the memories will give you comfort.

Tom was a special person. I had known Tom for several decades. He sold me one of the first investment properties I purchased in Wooster in the 1970s. My parents were in real estate in Orrville, and although they were about 20 years older than Tom, both thought very highly of him. After my father closed his agency, my Mother worked for Tom for a time, also. I followed in their footsteps, and rejoined Silver Realty in 2005, after my Mother passed. In fact, Tom was a pallbearer at my Mother's funeral. Whoever wrote the obituary did a fine job. It painted a great picture of him.

To all the Silvers- just knowing your father a short time, we can tell what an amazing father he was. His legacy lives on in all of y’all and has left some huge shoes to fill. We’re praying for the family for peace and strength in the days ahead. Tom’s love will get you through the days ahead. Jim and Linda, we love you!!!! Russ and Julie

Deepest sympathies to all in the family for your loss. Mr. Silver was a longtime friend of my father, Henry Lee - my Dad used to own Lee's Laundry in downtown Wooster. He had a good heart, and would do anything for anyone no matter what. I remember the days that Dad & Mom would take us kids to go to your farm to get fresh clean watercress out of your creek on Silver Acres.

Tom was a true gentleman and will be missed. I remember encountering Tom walking in downtown Wooster on many occasions and he always had a kind word. My condolences to the Silver family.

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