Duane Charles Silvis, enjoyed a rich life

May 21, 2020

Duane Charles Silvis, 92, passed away peacefully at Harrison House in Georgetown Monday, May 11, 2020. Duane, an only child, was born April 16, 1928, loving son of the late Charles and Margaret Silvis of Pleasant Unity, Pa.

Duane graduated from Saint Vincent's College with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering. Subsequently, he was employed by Stupakaff, then Glass Beads, both ceramic product manufacturers in Latrobe, Pa. In 1967, he accepted a position at Fairchild in Sunnyvale, Calif., working with fiber optics. His next move was back east to Airpax Electronics in Cambridge, Md., much closer to family. Then in 1971, he moved across the country to join Motorola in Phoenix, Ariz., as an electronic packaging engineer. Soon he convinced his parents to winter nearby and his family and friends to visit. At Motorola, he enjoyed a long and fruitful career in the application of ceramics in electronic circuit systems. He also obtained five patents for processes to integrate ceramics into chip design for the dissipation of heat and for mounting the chips on system boards for use in early computers.

As a youth, his parents instilled the values of  family, service and religion. This was evidenced by the many lives he touched and the stories they shared. Always a faithful and supportive member of the Methodist Church, he found a "church home" wherever he resided. In addition, he was an active member of the Free Masons. Boy Scouts played a huge role in his life from childhood forward. His membership spanned over 60 years. During that time, he was the recipient of many of Scouting's highest awards including: Eagle Scout, the Order of the Arrow Vigil Award, Wood Badge, Silver Beaver, Thunderbird, and a myriad of other honors for his service and leadership. 

His many interests included hiking, camping, golf, playing the piano, the sax, and chess, as well as vacation travel and family visits. As an avid hobbyist, he enjoyed creating jewelry with copper enameling, then later silver with turquoise and other southwestern desert gemstones. He delighted in finding rough treasures in the desert and transforming them into beautiful southwestern jewelry by cutting, grinding, polishing, and mounting them. 

After his retirement, he volunteered with the Maricopa County Juvenile Courts as a member of the board that recommended alternative approaches to rehabilitate juvenile offenders. Following his wife's death in 2011, he moved to Delaware to be closer to family. There his outgoing personality and sense of humor won him many new friends.

Duane was preceded in death by his granddaughter, Courtney Silvis; his son-in-law, Dennis Anderson; his wife, Leslie; and his first wife and mother of his children, June Balter. He is survived by his children: Cynthia Anderson, Duane Silvis Jr. and his wife Dana, and Karen Bartholow and her husband Marshall; his grandchildren: Lynnette Klopp and her husband Geoffrey, and Ryan Silvis and his wife Leanne; and great-grandchildren: Darby and Riley Klopp and Bret and Shane Silvis.

Graveside services will be held at a later date due to the pandemic. Arrangements are being handled by Parsell Funeral Homes and Crematorium, Atkins-Lodge Chapel, Lewes.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation in his memory to the Epworth United Methodist Church of Rehoboth Beach, DE,, or to the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts. 

Please visit Mr. Silvis's Life Memorial Webpage and sign his online guest book at



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