Emmogene (Jean) Molly Silver
On Monday, January 23rd 2017, just shy of her 93rd birthday, Emmogene (Jean) Molly Silver ended her arduous and noble 10 year journey with Alzheimer's and crippling arthritis. She persevered until the end trying to make sense of the world around her. Though her disease could produce fear, her last years and days were also filled with many moments of clarity and deep humor. Many times when her children or grandchildren would visit, the sparkle of maternal love and recognition shone in her eyes as she'd so naturally fall into the role she cherished as mother and grandmother, rising to the occasion, asking questions, full of the purpose that fulfilled her the most in her lifetime. Up until her last week she was whispering inventive stories to visitors and her wonderful caregivers with the undeniable intent to relay a clever tale delivered with a wry smile, a raised eyebrow, and a wink.
Jean was born February 6th, 1924 in Riverton, Washington, in a house that stood where SeaTac airport is now. She was the 2nd of 8 children born to Cecil Edgar and Dorothy Gilmore Higman. She attended Sunnydale Elementary and had fond memories of those school years all of her life. Jean loved roller skating and horseback riding as a youth, and she was a huge help in raising her younger siblings. After Highline High School, she joined the workforce at Boeing - Plant 2 where she worked proudly for many years as part of the war effort. She welcomed her first child, Paulette, with husband Gordon Slovarp during this time.
In 1957, she left Boeing to marry Alaska Airline pilot Sam Silver. Over the next 6 years, Jean and Sam welcomed Susan, Mark and Bruce into their West Seattle home, where Jean lived out her days. Jean's career included work at Sears as well as her well-suited position as Hostess at the fine dining restaurants in The Camlin and Edgewater Hotels.
Hawaii was a favorite spot amongst the many places Jean traveled in her life, starting her trips across the Pacific in the 1940's. Once a pilot's wife, there was a lot more of the travel that she so loved, always flying standby to meet up with Sam with their 3 children who she'd always dress in Sunday's best to travel. Flying standby with 3 little kids was no small feat, often having to entertain/wrangle her kids for hours in airports across the world as she waited near ticket counters hoping she could get them all on the next flight.
Jean was always the embodiment of grace, dignity, and perseverance. Her generation modeled pulling themselves up and carrying on throughout the many challenges they faced in life. Jean always demonstrated impeccable poise, style and resolve. Both her Irish heritage and Aquarian birth sign contributed to her "never give up" spirit (as well as being just a wee bit stubborn). She lived for and loved her family and her home of 60 years where there was always an open door policy for her and her children's many friends and extended family. All were welcome -- as long as she could feed you something wonderful. Jean was the original Martha Stewart, from her incredible recipes and table settings to her world class flower arranging and gift wrapping. A true creative force, her Easter eggs, Halloween pumpkins, and Christmas trees throughout the years were all masterpieces. There are so many things to say about the mother, grandmother, sister and friend who was loved by so many. Through the sadness of her loss there is also deep relief in knowing that her struggle is over now.
Jean is proceeded in death by her son Bruce, her parents, ex-husbands Sam & Gordon and her brothers Vern, Art, Dale, and Gus Higman.
Jean is survived by her children, daughters Paulette (Milo) Mateer (Burien) & Susan Silver, and son Mark Silver (both of Seattle); grandchildren Shellee (Barry) Kaimakis, Todd Mateer, and Lily Silver (Seattle); great-grandchildren Zakkary & Madison Mateer, Dominic & Natasha Kaimakis; sisters Marcella Martin and Joan Higman, brother Gary Higman; daughter-in-law Margaret Silver and her daughters Leslie, Elizabeth & Alexandra Silver (Fargo); and many nieces and nephews.
Jean was laid to rest next to her son at Riverton Crest Cemetery. Her Celebration of Life will be at Salty's on Alki on Sunday, February 5th from 12:00 to 3:00 In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer's Association
. Condolences can be sent to ssmanage@msn.