John Paul Silva, age 74, loving husband for 45 years of Sharon Marie (Woyciechowski) Silva, passed away unexpectedly at his home in East Taunton, MA, on Thursday, June 30, 2022.
Born on Sunday, January 11, 1948, in Fall River, MA, he was the son of the late John Medeiros Silva, Jr. and Elizabeth Pauline (Embrey) Silva. John Paul grew up in Fall River—he graduated from Durfee High School in 1966, and he was a proud Eagle Scout with Boy Scouts of America. He continued his education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology.
He and his loving wife Sharon have lived at their home in East Taunton for the last 45 years. He was employed as a social worker for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts until his retirement. A devoted, hard-working father and husband, he also worked in several janitorial positions as needed over the years to further provide for his family. He served briefly as part of the U.S. Army Reserve and was a long-time member of Sts. Martha and Mary Parish in Lakeville, MA (along with his wife).
As a young adult, John Paul was very fond of the outdoors—particularly skiing, hiking, backpacking and kayaking. He hiked and camped often in the White Mountains as well as much of the Appalachian Trail. His interest in the outdoors also extended to geology and astronomy. He spent long hours and nights with his many telescopes, and at one time boasted an expansive rock and mineral collection. An extensive reader, John Paul was continually in pursuit of knowledge. He held a deep love and fascination for history and language. He spoke several languages near-fluently, particularly Portuguese and Polish, and his command of the English language was beyond measure. Additionally, he was deeply involved with tracking the genealogy of his family.
In later years his interests shifted heavily toward his everlasting love for playing music—particularly anything folk/traditional. He pursued learning and playing a wide range of instruments, including fiddle, mandolin, clawhammer banjo, tenor banjo, bones, trumpet, trombone, tuba and singing. He seemed to feel the deepest connection with Appalachian music, traveling to summer sessions at the John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina for many years. He also performed and traveled extensively with the Krakowiak Polish Dancers of Boston and later with the St. Anthony of Padua Band in Fall River. Later, he was also a long-time performer with both the Boston Scottish Fiddle Club and the Strathspey and Reel Society of New Hampshire.
Following his retirement, he increasingly favored staying close to home. He enjoyed gardening and had a seemingly insatiable hunger for crossword puzzles. He also sang proudly as part of the Sts. Martha and Mary Parish Choir.
While his interests and passions were as varied as they were impressive, John Paul always put the needs and best interests of his family first. More than anything, he was unfailingly dedicated to the enrichment of his only (surviving) son, Nathanael. He was determined to direct and guide as many aspects of Nathanael’s education and development as possible, particularly in the areas of writing and music. He spared no effort in sharing his overwhelming abundance of knowledge and experience with his son. He encouraged Nathanael to take up learning/playing many instruments, bagpipes in particular. Watching his son become established as a capable performer was a source of great pride.
John Paul is survived by his son Nathanael John Silva of Salem, MA; wife, Sharon Marie (Woyciechowski) Silva of East Taunton, MA; sister Sheila (Silva) Levesque of Fall River, MA; brother Robert Silva of Swansea, MA; as well as many nieces, nephews and other extended family members. He is predeceased by his first son, Michael Harmon Silva, who passed away shortly following his birth in 1978.
All are welcome to attend funeral services on Friday, July 8, 2022. Viewing hours will begin at 9:30 a.m. at Dahlborg-MacNevin Funeral Home, 280 Bedford St., Lakeville, MA. A Catholic mass to follow, starting at 11 a.m. at Sts. Martha & Mary Church, 354 Bedford St., Lakeville, MA. Burial to take place immediately afterward at Precinct Cemetery, 185 Rhode Island Rd, Lakeville, MA. Attendees will be welcome to gather afterward for refreshments—location nearby to be announced on that day.
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