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College of the Sciences

John Silva, Retired CWU Psychology Professor, 1930-2014

 John L. Silva, long time Ellensburg resident, passed away on April 27, 2014 after an extended illness. John and Janet Ronchetto (Jan) were married on September 15, 1957. A year later they moved to Pullman, Washington where John earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. He joined Central Washington State College (now CWU) in 1962 as Director of the Counseling Center and member of the Psychology Department where his students were appreciative of his mentoring of them and commitment to their success. Friends of John Silva were blessed with his droll sense of humor, his self-effacing nature, his unshakable integrity, his ability to tell butter from margarine and his pleasure and patience in researching the details of new cars years after he determined he needed one.

John's great passions in life were teaching and serving the mental health community in Ellensburg. He served on the Board of the Department of Developmental Disabilities, as well as Alcohol Drug Dependency Services, and was a member of the advisory board for Child Protective Services. His recreational pleasures included the development of their home on Game Farm Road, camping and visits to the Pacific Coast Beaches with his family, fishing in British Columbia, travels in Europe with friends, and after retirement, month long visits to Mexico and southeastern British Columbia. He also enjoyed theatre and the symphony and he and Jan were season ticket holders to these events in Seattle.

John Silva was born November 26, 1930 to Esmenia B. Silva and John J. Silva in Hayward, California. He spent his youth in Hayward, Warm Springs, San Jose and Santa Cruz. He graduated from Ballarmine College Preparatory School and earned a Bachelor and Masters Degrees from San Jose State College, after which he joined the Army and served at the Valley Forge Army Hospital in Pennsylvania. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Louis B. Silva, and son, Raymond J. Silva. He deeply loved and is survived by his wife, Jan, daughter, Kathy J. Silva, Blain Green (son in law) and son, John L. Silva.

John will be missed by family, friends, colleagues, and former students. A gathering to honor his memory will be held May 24, 2014 from 1:00 to 3:00 PM at the Hal Holmes Community Center.

Tributes may be made to ADDS (Alcohol, Drug Dependency Services.) of Ellensburg, 507 N Nanum St. Room 111, Ellensburg, WA 98926. Condolences for the family can be left online at -


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