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Robert W. SilkApril 16, 1928 ~ August 13, 2017 (age 89)
On August 13, 2017 of Kensington, MD. Beloved husband for 65 years of Frances M. Silk; father of Ann Marie Silk Greaney, Maureen Bates (Pat), Robert W. Silk, Jr. (Martha), John E. Silk (Annie), Billy J. Silk (Helen) and Patty MacTigue (Andy); brother of Jean Holland and the late Patricia Harcourt and Rev. Fr. William J. Silk. Also survived by 18 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.
Bob was born April 16, 1928 in the Bronx, NY. He was the third born child of Anna and Robert J Silk. Bob has two older sisters: Pat and Jean and a younger brother, Billy. When Bob was in first grade the Depression was in full force and Bob's Dad was able to get a law job in Washington, DC and off they went. They landed at St. Gabriel's Parish and School jumping in with both feet. Bob ( known as Robby back then by family and relatives) and his sisters and brother all attended school there and went to Church there where they went to Mass and received all their Sacraments. Like so many families, St. Gabriel's was the focal part of their upbringing and where so many lifelong friends and memories began and continued on through the years.
Bob attended St. John's College High School back when it was on Vermont Ave. He had a wonderful experience at St. John's where the Christian Brothers taught, reinforced and instilled values that took root and lasted a lifetime. Bob was always grateful for the education, guidance and friendships that blossomed there. Bob had a stand out career playing football at St. John's where he received All Met Honors for two years and was honored by playing in The All-high vs. All-Prep in 1944 and 1945. In 1945, Bob's picture in his football stance was on the cover of the program which was played at Griffith Stadium. He is an inductee in the St. John’s Hall of Fame.
After graduating Bob, went into the U.S. Marines. He played football on the Marine Corp team before going overseas on an aircraft carrier doing "police actions" following World War II. After he served in the Marines he enrolled at Duke University and then transferred to Fordham University (where his Dad attended and got his law degree) playing football for both Universities. Bob got a few offers and an invite to pursuit his football career with the New York Giants while he was attending Fordham. He opted not to pursuit that. Bob at this point needed a full time job and he wanted to get married, settle down and raise a family with the love of his life, Frances. A cute little curly haired girl who had her eye on Bob and she knew that Bob was a keeper. They both had it right. Bob and Frances were married June 14, 1952 at Nativity Church. That plan worked out pretty well. Sixty Five years of marriage, 6 kids, 17 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.
Bob and Frances moved from DC to Kensington, MD in the late Summer of 1955. Ann Marie and Maureen were already born and Robby was on the way in a few weeks. They needed more room than a row house could provide so it was off to the suburbs in far out Kensington. Another great move. Eventually, Johnny, Billy, and Patty Jean came along as the family did their part to help keep Holy Redeemer stocked with fresh students. Holy Redeemer was the new focal point and the Bob was front and center there. Usher, Coaching, star of the parish plays and talent shows, and so on. Many warm and long lasting friendships were provided at HR. Bob's twinkling blue eyes, willingness to help and volunteer and a personality to match were all endearing trademarks. A lot of smiles and laughs for many years.
Bob loved to coach and he did so for many years. Many people remember Bob for all the years he helped as an assistant coach ( along with Mike Nolan) with Maus Collins, the Head Coach at John Carroll High School and many years later at Gonzaga. So many of the players Bob coached were always grateful for his advice and good humor. Up to this very day, former players would seek out Bob and come by to say hello and check in. A real nice tribute. The same held true for the kids he coached at Holy Redeemer when they were in grade school.
Bob was a true family man and he took tremendous joy and happiness with his kids and then grandkids and eventually his great grandchildren. He made all the games of his grandchildren. They always knew he was there because they would smell his cigar and see him sitting on his woven collapsible metal chair off to the side or on a hill. He was a fixture and there was always great anticipation not knowing exactly when you would notice Granddad's arrival.
Professionally, Bob worked as a sales representative for most of his career. Initially he worked for the Jos. M. Zamoiski Co selling Zenith TV's and stereos, followed by Chrysler AirTemp, GTE Sylvania, Panasonic and then Executive Vice President of Sales for Douglas Distributing which distributed :Thermadore, Jenn-Air, Sub Zero, Viking etc. brand appliances. Upon retirement , Bob worked part time as a Marshall on the golf courses at Congressional Country Club where he made many friends and acquaintances and always had a good line or two to make people smile and enjoy themselves.
On behalf of Frances Silk and all of the immediate and extended Silk family we thank all of you for your prayers, kind words and heartfelt sentiments. It means everything in the world to us. Thank you for being a part of Bob's life and celebrating all the good that came from it.
Visitation at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, 9705 Summit Ave. Kensington, MD 20895 on Wednesday August 16 from 5:00 until 8:00 pm where Mass of Christian Burial will be on Thursday, August 17 at 11:00 am. Interment Gate of Heaven Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Little Sisters of the Poor, 4200 Harewood Rd NE, Washington, DC 20017, www.littlesistersofthepoorwashingtondc.org Arrangements by Cole Funeral Services, www.colefuneral.com
Little Sisters of the Poor
4200 Harewood Rd NE, DC 20017