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Christopher Silleroy

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Christopher Silleroy Obituary
Silleroy, Christopher

Lt. Christopher F. Silleroy, USN (Ret.) died unexpectedly on November 29, 2016, at age 70. He is survived by his devoted sister, Dr. Rene S. Silleroy; and his caring brother, Woods Silleroy; as well as by a world of admirers. A private family service will be held and he will be buried with full military honors at the National Veterans Cemetery in Santa Fe.

In 1967, Chris was a smart, popular, and successful UNM senior and student leader who had scored in the 99th percentile on the LSAT. His intense patriotism led him to postpone his enrollment at a prestigious law school and instead to volunteer for the US Navy. Serving for two tours in Viet Nam, he was an officer loved by those who served under his command. In May 1970, he was critically injured while serving in the River Boat Division on the Mekong River. Although it was predicted that he would not survive the night, his grit and determination led him not only to survive, but to thrive for forty six and a half more years. He remained a kind, loving, patriotic, and cheerful person who encouraged and inspired all who knew him. His enduring optimism can best be revealed in his own words:

The "Gotten" Greater Than The "Gone"

Any incident in our life is not all bad. Everything we do may seem at short range to be all one or the other, but a more careful look reveals a mix of both; in other words, what at first seems like a tragedy carries with it benefits… seen only after a period of time.

As an example, at first my war injury tried to end my life in every way possible; then, I began to see what other baggage was included in the deal. Now I have more patience; I set and work towards goals much better than ever before and all in all, I've had a great gain the area of efficiency.

The only drawback is the time it took for me to realize this. I wasted all my time feeling sorry for my losses, then I came to understand that sorrow pays very small dividends. Forget self-sorrow and start looking for opportunity. The best of life is found in tomorrow… not in sorrow. Get after it!!


Most of us eventually will praise a victor. Victors come to us in two distinct varieties. The first is that leader who overcomes every obstacle in his path while in pursuit of a goal. The second is a person able to endure all that fortune conspires to lay on him or her during a lifetime and yet be true to his idea of what is right. The second is just as much a Victor as the first, but he may not get the favorable press in his lifetime. Often, someone has to die before we realize the greatness of someone's life. One may be victorious over an enemy, while the other survives life's adversity. Who could say one is greater than the other?

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you seek out a disabled veteran and visit him in his home or in a VA Hospital. Please visit our online guestbook for Chris at

Published in Albuquerque Journal from Dec. 10 to Dec. 11, 2016
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