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Barry Silverman

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Barry Silverman Obituary
Barry Silverman

July 31, 1940 - August 18, 2014

Longtime Berkeley resident Barry Silverman passed away on August 18, 2014. He died from complications due to brain seizures at the age of 74 with his wife, Carolyn, by his side and his two children, Joshua Silverman and Kerry Fiero, nearby.

Barry was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA where he attended Fairfax High School. He left L.A. after finishing high school and joined the army reserves, returning to L.A. to attend Los Angeles City College. He soon felt the pull of the Bay Area and landed in Berkeley in 1962. He attended UC Berkeley for both undergraduate and graduate studies completing a MBA in 1965. Soon after he married Wende Heath and they had two wonderful children, Joshua and Kerry.

Barry had a keen intellect, terrific sense of humor, and a commitment to truth and justice. He was actively engaged in the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley. He attended many rallies and protests over three decades (and even spent a little time behind bars for it).

Barry went on to work under Harry Bridges as Research Director at the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and finished his career there under James Herman. He worked tirelessly helping to negotiate longshore and warehouse contracts on the West Coast and Hawaii. He was a smart negotiator and a strong advocate for working people all of his life. Barry taught collective bargaining at SF City College in the 1970s and early 80s. He really loved teaching, his students, and was proud of his abilities as a teacher. He was also an outspoken member of the Alameda County Grand Jury 1995-1996.

Barry's career at the ILWU was cut short in 1988 as a result of a cerebral hemorrhage but he went on to live a life full of camping adventures and trips to Europe with Carolyn.

Barry was strong willed and even stubborn at times, but you always knew where you stood. He was a straight shooter and those around him were put at ease by his honesty and kindness. Barry was passionate about baseball, jazz music, horse races, the great outdoors and he LOVED being a father and grandfather. Barry immersed himself in the culture of Berkeley and was a fixture at Peet's on Solano Avenue and the MLK Jr. Middle School track where he walked and ran thousands of miles. He held a deep love for Carolyn, his wife of 26 years, and the house they shared with their two cats, Chester and Sophie.

He is survived by his wife, Carolyn Corbelli, former wife Wende Heath, brother Richard Silverman, son Joshua Silverman, daughter Kerry Fiero, son-in-law Gian Fiero and grandson Gianardo Fiero.

A memorial will be held at 12:00 noon September 13, 2014 at Epworth United Methodist Church, 1953 Hopkins Ave., Berkeley.

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Aug. 31, 2014
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