Jean Wright (Sheppard) Silva, 92, passed away at home on August 28, 2020 with family by her side. She will be remembered for her good-natured, gracious manner, her love of singing, traveling, books, crossword puzzles and dedication to her family.
Born on October 5th, 1927 in Springfield, MA to Ralph L. Sheppard and Kathleen (Wright) Sheppard, Jean grew up in Melrose, MA and graduated from Melrose H.S. in1945. In 1949, she received her BA from Colby College in Waterville, ME. She worked at Erskine Academy in South China, ME where she met her husband, Bernard (Bernie) J. Silva. They married in 1950 and eventually moved to Reading, MA, where they raised their children. A life-long learner, Jean went back to college to study Library Science at
Northeastern University and became a librarian at Reading Memorial H.S. in 1970. From 1965-1984 Jean and her family spent summers at YMCA Camp Becket, Becket, MA, where Jean worked part-time and Bernie was Program Director. The Silva family has always cherished their association with Becket-Chimney Corners Camps and their many friendships made there through the years.
After retiring in 1984, Jean and Bernie designed and built a home overlooking the ocean in Camden, ME and became active in the community. After Bernie passed away, Jean downsized to a cottage at Quarry Hill. She was an active member of the First Congregational Church where she served as a Trustee, was on the Music Committee, volunteered weekly at the church’s thrift shop, Heavenly Threads, and at the seasonal soup lunches. She also volunteered at Red Cross Blood Drives and Bay Chamber Concerts.
Jean had a life-long love of music and sang in glee clubs in high school and college, the Polymnia Choral Society, Melrose, MA (18 yrs), Surry Opera Company, Surry, ME (10 yrs), church choirs, and Down East Singers, Rockport, ME (22 yrs). She and her husband were also avid travelers before and after retirement, visiting 30 countries, 8 of them several times.
Jean is predeceased by her husband and her sister, Virginia (Sheppard) Graf. She is survived by son Mark S. Silva and his wife, Janice Cook-Silva of Santa Cruz, CA; daughter Kathleen W. Silva of Foxboro, MA; daughter Martha Mary (Silva) Ranger of Hampden, ME; 5 grandchildren, 1 great-grand daughter, 2 nephews and 2 nieces.
In lieu of flowers, Jean requested donations be made to the Shields Mission Project, First Congregational Church, Camden, ME.
There is no in-person memorial service. Jean's Celebration of Life will be "live-streamed" on Saturday, October 17th at 3:30 PM. The link to the service is: https://vimeo.com/468708971.