Leonard S. “Len” Silva was born in Visalia, on July 6, 1936, to Louis and Marie Silva, and passed away April 21, 2014. Len leaves behind his loving wife of 59 years, Helen (Lanning) Silva; four children, Michael (Marianne) Silva, of Encino, Mark Silva, of Boyes Hot Springs, Debbie Silva Riedmuller, of Santa Rosa, and Scott (Francine) Silva, of Sydney, Australia. He also has seven grandchildren, Mikey Silva, Mary (Rob) Silva-Lowe, Kyle, Kasey Riedmuller, Ashley, Jacob and Leah Silva; 13 nieces and nephews; and his brother, Larry (Mary) Silva, of Fresno.
Len graduated from Sonoma High School in 1954 and was married to Helen in 1955. Len served four years in the United States Air Force during the Korean War, stationed at Johnson Air Force Base in Japan, manning radar stations and playing semi-pro baseball, then finishing his enlistment in Tuscon, Ariz. Len worked on the Golden Gate Bridge and as an ironworker, becoming a licensed contractor in Northern California in the mid 1960s. Len and Helen raised their family in Sonoma until 1980 when they moved to Santa Rosa and he became the executive director of the North Coast Builders Exchange. In 2012, Len was inducted into the NCBE Construction Hall of Fame after being involved in and an advocate for the construction industry.
Len was active in Sonoma Valley playing fast pitch softball for more than 20 years, a member of the Sonoma Chapters of the Native Sons of the Golden West, Moose Lodge and Sonoma Valley Rotary. His diverse interests and community service included getting involved with quarter midget racing throughout Northern California, coaching youth football and baseball teams, and becoming a founding member of the Sonoma Valley High School Boosters Club.
Len’s favorite pastimes included playing golf, watching the San Francisco Giants and Forty-Niners, NASCAR races and watching his local grandkids play sports, also traveling to Los Angeles and Australia to see other grandchildren compete. Spending time with family was a great joy to Len and his smile and sense of humor will be missed by his family and friends.
Donations can be made in lieu of flowers to Wounded Warriors Project – In Memory of Leonard S. Silva, 855-448-3997; woundedwarriorsproject.org; or mailed to P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675.
A celebration of life memorial service will be held at the Santa Rosa Golf and Country Club, located on Hall Road in Santa Rosa, on Friday, May 2, 2014, beginning at 4 p.m.