Cover photo for James R. Silvis's Obituary
James R. Silvis Profile Photo
1940 Jim 2024

James R. Silvis

August 24, 1940 — February 10, 2024


James R. Silvis, 83, died Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. He was born Aug. 24, 1940, in Greensburg where he was a lifelong resident. Jim was a parishioner of Blessed Sacrament Cathedral. He has joined his parents, Jean (Conte) Silvis and James M. Silvis; and his brother, Ron Silvis, who preceded him in death. Jim is survived by his loving wife and best friend of 50 years, Mary Louise Rodgers Silvis. Always together, Jim and Mary Louise enjoyed going to Steelers games, concerts in the park, church festivals, dinners everywhere from The Colonial Inn to Wendy's, vacationing in Stone Harbor, watching “Jeopardy” and “Blue Bloods” and reading on their front porch. They were the light of each other's life. Jim graduated from Greensburg High School, Saint Vincent College and Dickinson School of Law. He served in the Navy as a member of the JAG (Judge Advocate General) Corps. When he and the other young officers were out and about and were asked what the "JAG" on their uniforms meant, they, trying to look tough and rugged, explained that it stood for Jungle Amphibious Guerrillas! Jim practiced law in Greensburg until two weeks before his death and his strong work ethic inspired all who knew him. From playing catch (football and baseball) to coaching their soccer teams, so many of the joys in Jim's life involved his children, Becca Schmitz (Eric), Elizabeth Aquino (Tony) and Jim Silvis (Colette). In the 1980s, when the Greensburg Recreation Board started the soccer program, in order to help coach, Jim had to do a lot of reading to learn about it, because people in the area had never played soccer or even seen a game! Before jogging became a mainstream activity, Jim was running the streets of Greensburg donning his Rec Specs and tiny running shorts. Despite the unfortunate athletic fashion trends of the time, his three children adopted his love for running and continue to follow in his dedicated footsteps. Jim also had a special place in his heart for his eight grandchildren, AJ, Annabelle, and Joey Aquino, Jack and Emma Schmitz, and Maddie, Sam and Charlie Silvis. Their voices brought him such happiness when they visited him while he was sick. He was also fortunate to have a very dear cousin, Marian DeBone, and her husband Barry in his life. So many people have been blessed by Jim's loyalty to his country, family, clients, and prayers of Hail Mary. To quote a note sent to Jim's children upon his death, "Your Dad will always be looked on with smiles, laughter, and wonderment by all those who were lucky to have experienced time with him." Rest in peace, my beloved. Family and friends are invited to attend Jim's Funeral Mass at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 15, in Blessed Sacrament Cathedral 300 N. Main St., Greensburg. Interment will follow in Greensburg Catholic Cemetery. Arrangements are in the care of KEPPLE-GRAFT FUNERAL HOME, INC., Greensburg. Online condolences are welcome at In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Catholic Charities 711 E. Pittsburgh St., Greensburg, PA 15601. 

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, February 15, 2024

9:30 - 10:30 am (Eastern time)

Blessed Sacrament Cathedral

300 N Main St, Greensburg, PA 15601

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