William A. Silva, 81, Was Hunter and Sportsman

William A. Silva of Vineyard Haven died peacefully the morning of Feb. 17. He was 81. A real trooper and true lover of life he never gave up hope of coming home even though he had spent several weeks in hospitals defying medicine and leaving several doctors with still many unanswered questions.

He was the son of the late William T. Silva and Mary (Burgess Silva) of West Tisbury.

He was a member of the Order of the Red Men, the Masonic Lodge, the Rod and Gun Club and for many years he was an active member of the Chappy Sportsman Club. Bill was an avid hunter, a true sportsman and outdoorsman. He also enjoyed luring the wild turkeys to his deck and then leaving the door open and allowing them to come in to eat from his hands. For many years he rode horses in the fair and had won many ribbons.

Until his retirement in September of 2003 he was the caretaker for the former Ware Estate, being sold and bought with the property as it changed hands.

He is survived by his two grandsons, Kodi Alan and Colin Anthony Silva and his daughter in law, Evelyn J. (Schultz) Silva of Prattville, Ala.; his niece, Callie Silva of Chilmark; his former wife, B. Jean (Norling) Silva of Oak Bluffs and his mother in law, Ruth C. Norling of Worcester and Lillie Sprague and her family and numerous cousins.

He was predeceased just a year ago by his son, retired Gunny Sgt. David Norling Silva of the USMC, a survivor of the Gulf War. He was also predeceased by two brothers, Anthony and George Silva.

For years Bill followed the Iditarod Dog Sled Race in Alaska. This year's race will start on Saturday, March 5 at 2 p.m. in Anchorage. On March 5 at 2 p.m. There will be a graveside service for Bill at the West Tisbury Cemetery in West Tisbury. Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home in Oak Bluffs. Visit www.ccgfuneralhome.com for online guest book and information.

Donations may be made in his memory to Hospice of Martha's Vineyard, P.O. Box 2549, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557.