Odeama (Dodie) J. Gill Silva died peacefully in her sleep on Nov. 13, 2014 in Milford, Mass. She was 91 years old.

Dodie, as she was known, was born in Peabody to Manuel and Delphine Gill on Sept. 27, 1923. The youngest of three children, her hospitable and caring personality sprouted at a young age. As a young girl during the Depression she would invite her school friends to her father’s general store and treat them to fresh apples and ice cream.  

On a family trip to Edgartown, Dodie was introduced to Foster B. Silva of Chappaquiddick. The pair later married and raised their three children in their home across from the Chappaquiddick fire station. That home was also a mainstay for locals and visitors alike. 

On nearly a daily basis Foster would discover weary lunchless beach-goers on the shores of The Trustees of Reservations properties he so lovingly cared for. He would send these wayward souls (having just met most of them) to his family home for some shade and a bite to eat. Dodie was happy to oblige; those who would show up on her back doorstep entered her kitchen as a stranger and left as friend. As a guest at Dodie and Foster’s table you were guaranteed a delicious meal, a full belly and stimulating conversation and banter. Dodie’s hospitality is legendary; you’d be hard-pressed to find a Chappaquiddick soul who didn’t spend hours at her kitchen table.

An accomplished commercial artist, Dodie also attended the Wilton School of Cake Decorating. This allowed her to take her art into another medium by opening a catering service on Chappaquiddick. In her later years she worked in real estate and was the owner of Chappaquiddick Island Realty, serving the sales and rental needs of the small island. Dodie was fluent in many languages and travelled with her husband as often as they could. She and Foster were great supporters of The Trustees of Reservations and the two worked hard to preserve the island that they loved so dearly.

Family was always at the forefront of Dodie’s life. The pride and love she had for her three children was vast and unconditional. Her three grandchildren brought her immeasurable joy; her five great-grandchildren were a blessing she was so grateful to be able to enjoy in her later life. It was not unusual to see Dodie and her sister, Olma Bettencourt, about town with grandchildren in tow. She loved spending time with her grandchildren — her influence too vast to describe. Her phone calls and letters were commonplace as she did not want to miss a moment in their lives.

As she grew older she spent more time with family. Dodie lived in Falmouth for 15 years, still greeting and feeding old friends at her beloved kitchen table. As her health declined, she moved closer to her granddaughter in Milford. This new location allowed her more time with all of her great-grandchildren who would visit regularly.

Dodie was predeceased by her parents; siblings Leo Gill of Harwich and Olma Bettencourt of Edgartown; husband Foster B. Silva of Chappaquiddick; and sons Foster B. Silva of Chappaquiddick and John B. Silva of Edgartown. She is survived by daughter Joan B. Silva and her significant other Clarence A. (Trip) Barnes 3rd; daughter in law Kathleen A. Benoit and husband John A. Benoit of Edgartown and Lafayette, La.; grandson Richard F. Palmer and wife Nicole Liu Palmer of Hong Kong, China; grandson Kevin C. Marsland Jr. and wife Jane Marsland of Westwood; granddaughter Kelly A. Silva Boccia and husband Jason M. Boccia of Milford; and beloved great-grandchildren Erik Palmer, Charles J.W. Marsland, Henry Marsland, Cloe E. Boccia and John L. Boccia; and many nieces, nephews and dear friends.

A funeral mass will be held on June 25, 2015 at St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church in Edgartown, 11 a.m. Immediately following, she will be laid to rest with her husband and sons at New Westside Cemetery in Edgartown.

Donations may be made in Dodie’s name to the Foster B. Silva Memorial Scholarship Fund at The Trustees of Reservations.