Elvira Silva obituary photo
In Memory of

Elvira Silva

November 5, 1924 - September 28, 2016


Vera was born in Taunton, Mass. in 1924, the sixth of Alfred and Rose Terra's nine children. She was a resident of San Diego since 1950. Vera was proud to be involved in the Portuguese community of Point Loma. She served as president of the SPRSI and was a member of St. Anthony's, PASCC, and Cabrillo Civic Club. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the scholarship funds of these clubs that she was a part of. Vera was loved by all and will be greatly missed.

Vera was predeceased by her husband,...

Vera was born in Taunton, Mass. in 1924, the sixth of Alfred and Rose Terra's nine children. She was a resident of San Diego since 1950. Vera was proud to be involved in the Portuguese community of Point Loma. She served as president of the SPRSI and was a member of St. Anthony's, PASCC, and Cabrillo Civic Club. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the scholarship funds of these clubs that she was a part of. Vera was loved by all and will be greatly missed.

Vera was predeceased by her husband, John F. Silva, forever the love of her life. She is survived by her four children, John Silva (Kim) of Hartford, CT, James Silva (Linda) of Taunton, MA, Mary Jane Warren (Merle) of San Diego, CA, Maureen O'Connor (Joe) of San Diego, CA, and her 10 grandchildren, Allison, Amberlie, Lauren, Jonathan, Kara, Madison, Macy, Jim, Bridget and Caitlin.

A celebration of Vera's life will be held at 9:30am, Tuesday, October 11th, at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Point Loma. Interment will be at Holy Cross Cemetary with reception to follow at the UPSES Hall. Show your love for Vera and wear any accent of purple to the services.

Here is a copy of the eulogy that was read at Vera's Memorial Mass on Tuesday, October 11th, 2016:

Hello. My name is Caitlin. This is Madison and Macy. We are a few of Vera's granddaughters. We want to thank you all for coming. Your attendance here speaks volumes about the impact that Vera had on all of us.
Some of you knew her as Mom, Vera, or to me and her 9 other grandchildren, she was simply Vava. But to all of us, she was a pretty amazing lady.
If you asked Vava one question about her family history, you better be prepared to hear countless stories that showcased how proud she was of her upbringing.
She was the sixth child of 9, 7 girls and 2 boys, born to Rose and Alfred Terra in Taunton, Massachusetts.
She was the bright and beautiful young woman who found a lifelong soulmate in John F. Silva. So it was no surprise when she picked up her life and started anew with him in sunny San Diego.
She wouldn't have traded San Diego for anything - the weather and the strong Portuguese community made the transition to the west coast much easier for her. Although she lived in San Diego for the remainder of her life, she always kept Taunton close to her heart, which was evident by her unmistakable accent and frequent trips Back East to visit her sons, grandkids, sisters, and extended family.

By her mid-30s, she had four children in her life - Johnny, Jimmy, Mary Jane, and Maureen. We can't put into words how much each one of them meant to her. When her husband passed only 11 years after Maureen was born, it was heartbreaking for the whole family. Vavaw never let another man into her life, he was her one true love and the children he gave her would be something she cherished forever.
Vava was also very dedicated to her faith. Attending church here at St. Agnes every Sunday, teaching catechism, and passing down her religious knowledge on her grandchildren were just some of the ways she demonstrated her Catholic beliefs.

She loved being involved in the Portuguese community. She looked forward to playing cards at the church hall with her fellow St. Anthony members, meeting old friends and making new ones. She cherished her time socializing and attending dinners at the Cabrillo and Portuguese American Social Civic Clubs. She also had the honor of serving as president of the SPRSI, a group with whom she thoroughly enjoyed traveling to conventions and meetings throughout California yearly.
Her daughters Mary Jane and Maureen continue to carry on her legacy, both following in her footsteps by being members as well as holding the titles of SPRSI and Portuguese-American presidents.
When the Festa came around each year, Vava made sure to get her place on the corner of Byron and Locust, excitedly awaiting an appearance by one of her grandkids. It was easy for us to spot her in the crowd, wildly waving her arms, shouting our names and reminding us to smile as we walked by.
After the parade, you could usually find Vava in the chapel with her sister-in-law and best friend, Mary, collecting donations for the Festa, but mostly chitchatting about life as they so often did.
Vava lived the simple life and she wouldn't have it any other way. She never drove a car, she would rather have leftovers than go out to dinner and she got a kick out of sitting on the couch while looking out the door and being the local neighborhood watch. If you stepped into her room, you'd instantly realize she had an undeniable love for Shirley Temple by her impressive collection of dolls, plates, videos, and more. If you ever asked her about her favorite food, you would get an earful of how passionate she was about fish. She was at her happiest with Wheel of Fortune on TV, playing cards in one hand, and a banana sandwich in the other.

When it came to card games, she was determined to teach us everything she knew. Crazy eights, steal the pack, canasta, and so on. In turn, we convinced her to play along with our board games. If we could fish it out of the closet and bring it into her room, she would play. When we entered her room and sat at the table across from her, game in tow, it was like the outside world melted away. We became enthralled in the world of the game and by Vava who made this all possible.

We even admired her for her fears because they seemed so minor. She once went to a baseball game and nearly missed being hit by a foul ball. From then on, she vowed to never step foot in a stadium again, despite the fact that she wouldn't miss watching a single Padres game on TV. She double-checked that the door was locked even in broad daylight. She wrapped herself in a blanket and floppy hat on Fourth of July to avoid catching a cold.
And yet, her courage always overpowered her fears. Raising her children and soldiering on after her husband's passing forced her into a position where she had to fight for what she needed and look out for the interests of her family throughout her life. This past year she faced many obstacles, but her bravery showed through them all and she never stopped smiling. She was one strong lady.
But for her, courage came in many forms.
If you did not want to say something out loud, Vavaw would not hesitate to say it for you, she was never afraid to speak her mind and nothing ever embarrassed her. The amount of stories we could tell about Vavaw and her signature personality are never-ending. Every time she was introduced to our friends or new additions to the family, they were left with a lasting impression that they would often speak of and remember fondly. One of our cousins worded it so perfectly when he said, "I don't think I've ever met anyone who was so different and commanding of a group. Her memory never faltered."

She was never without her arsenal of trademarks. This included everything from her signature color of purple to her well-known spoken expressions.
Purple always put a smile on her face, whether it was a lavender outfit, violet bracelet, or lilac flowers from her son Johnny. One time, we were at an event together and she pointed out the purple tablecloths. She excitedly said, "They must've known Vava was coming." We know that she is looking down on us and smiling at all of the purple surrounding the room today.

And as we mentioned, she had a knack for catch-phrases, most of which made us burst into giggles when she said them daily. "You make a better door than a window," which speaks for itself...Period. That spoken punctuation was another of her most-used terms, meant to let us know she had nothing more to say on any given topic. If we snagged a front-row parking space, she'd remark, "Must be living right." Whenever you said something that she agreed with wholeheartedly, you could almost guarantee Vavaw would reply with, "You could say that again." She didn't like goodbyes, so it was always, "Be seeing ya."

Vavaw was a caring person through and through. She made sure to stay in close contact with her family and friends who lived in other places. You would often hear her laughing on the phone with her sisters, or catching up with her sons, as she updated them on everything under the sun. Her overstuffed address book was a testament to all of the people she kept in touch with and sent cards to over the years.
She also displayed this caring nature on a daily basis through her dedication to each grandkid. She wanted to know where we were and what we were doing at all times. Once night fell, no matter the weather, she would demand that we put a jacket on before going outside. Like clockwork, every time fall would roll around, she would tell us to get our flu shots. As we got older, these habits never changed and she began asking about our work lives, social lives, and love lives.. excited to hear any new details we had to share. Looking back now, we realize that these little gestures were her way of expressing how much she cared for us and our well being.

Vava, thank you for everything you shared with us. You have given us gifts that are more precious than anything in this world. Your memory will live on with all of us forever.
Be seeing ya.