Lt. Col. Joseph John
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Silagy, Jr. (USAF, Ret.)
Lieutenant Colonel, USAF, Ret., Joseph J. Silagy of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida passed away on Saturday morning, September 21, 2013. He is survived by his loving wife Lori, his sisters Bernice Cicchella and Elsie Stab of New Jersey, his son Mark, daughter-in-law Angie and grandson Sean who live in Texas, his granddaughter Lauren who currently resides in Sydney Australia, and his son Eric, daughter-in-law Laura and grandson Maks who also live in Palm Beach Gardens.
Lt Col Silagy was born in Woodbridge, New Jersey in 1929 and remained in the area until he was commissioned as a First Lieutenant in the United States Air Force following flight training in Texas in 1951. Over the next 22 years, he flew a wide range of aircraft including a combat tour in the B-29 Superfortress during the Korean Conflict, the mammoth B-52, the T-33, T-38, and T-39. While in the Air Force, he also attended night school and obtained his college degree from George Washington University.
In 1957, then Captain Silagy was chosen by the Air Force to serve as a technical advisor to Warner Brother's Studios for the filming of the movie "Bomber's B-52" where he worked with stars Natalie Wood, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and Karl Malden. Later in his Air Force career, he served as Assistant Air Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Vienna, Austria where he also flew the C-47. Following this diplomatic assignment, he was posted to the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. where he was the liaison to officers from the air forces of other nations assigned by their governments to their respective embassies in the United States.
A decorated officer and recipient of the Department of Defense Legion of Merit Award, Lt Col Silagy retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1973 and moved with his family to Shreveport, Louisiana where he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Shreveport Budweiser. He was active in the Shreveport community and throughout the state and served as President of the local chapter of Sales and Marketing Executives, President and District Governor of the Shreveport Rotary Club, Chairman of the Board of the Beer Industry League of Louisiana, and Director of the Northwest Louisiana Chapter of the American Red Cross. He was also a board member of several financial institutions in Louisiana. In 2007, Joe and Lori moved to West Palm Beach and later, to Palm Beach Gardens.
A memorial service celebrating his life will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, September 27th at the South Campus of the Christ Fellowship Church at 5312 Northlake Boulevard in Palm Beach Gardens. For those wishing to honor Lt Col Silagy, the family requests that in lieu of flowers, a donation be made to the Wounded Warrior Project at www.woundedwarriorproject.org
Published in Shreveport Times on Sept. 24, 2013