Cover photo for Don Silves's Obituary
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1944 Don 2023

Don Silves

June 25, 1944 — March 22, 2023

On Wednesday March 22nd, while in Nancie’s arms, the sky opened wide, and Don was taken to live eternally with Jesus.

Donald Albert Silves was born June 25th, 1944 to Albert and Lenore Silves of Sumas Washington. He spent his childhood on a Dairy Farm with his parents and two sisters, Carol and Shirley. Don graduated from Mt. Baker High School in 1962 and married Carolyn Starkenburg with whom he had two children, Steve and Jean. As a young man, he served in the army as a Sergeant and was stationed in Germany. Upon his discharge in 1968, Don returned to Whatcom County and began a dedicated career with Intalco Aluminum Corporation as an automotive foreman where he worked until his retirement.

Don remarried in 1980 to Nancie (Paterson) Silves and became the loving partner to her for the next 43 years. He readily accepted the role of father to Nancie’s children and would go on to be “Papa Don” to 10 grandchildren. As a grandfather, Don freely gave his love and attention by attending countless birthday parties, sporting events, band performances and school award ceremonies. He had a sense of never-ending pride for his grandchildren and their accomplishments.

Don was a master mechanic who enjoyed working with cars and he spent countless hours of his free time working nights and weekends in his shop to help support his family. In his younger years, he enjoyed hunting, fishing and boating. In early retirement, he spent many days traveling in his motorhome or relaxing at his river property in Sedro Wooley, along with Nancie and their friends. He was generous of both time and spirit, always there to put another burger on the grill for anybody that happened by.

Later, Don enjoyed a new era of traveling in his motorhome to Arizona for the winters. While in Arizona, he frequently connected with old friends from Whatcom County and made new friends at the park where he and Nancie stayed. As a man who was not comfortable being idle, Don began dedicating more of his time to woodworking, becoming an accomplished woodworker who enjoyed making baskets, cutting boards and more for friends and family.

Don was also an avid sports fan who always welcomed company to share a game on the big screen. In his final years, following the Seahawks and Mariners was a way he connected with family from out of town as was his sharing stories of attending car shows with his prized ‘57 Bel Air. In addition to his family and many hobbies, Don also loved his pets. Over the years, his dogs always had a special place in his heart, as well as a place on his lap. In his final years, it was rare to see Don relaxing in his favorite chair unless it was being shared by one of his yorkies.

For the past 20 years, Don fought for his health with grace and determination and anybody that met him was inspired by his story. He was frequently referred to as a miracle, but unfortunately for all of those that loved Don, miracles are not always forever. His family is eternally grateful for the time that Don had on this Earth and know that his passing is only of his body, as his loving spirit will live on in future generations. Don is survived by his wife, Nancie, his sister, Shirley (Richard), his children: Steve (Teresa), Jean (Michael), John (Andrea), Gina (Marty), Noral (Brendan) and grandchildren: Dylan (Abby), Alicia (Garrett), Mackenzie, Madeline, Veronica, Declan, Tatum, Ciaran, Matthew and Megan, as well as his brother-in-law Jerry Wickwire, nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews and countless friends. He was pre-deceased by his parents, and his sister Carol.

Thank you to everybody who has been there for Don and his family over the years and for your continued prayers. The family would like to extend a special thank you to Shirley and Richard Wiggins for their constant support of both Don and Nancie.

A service to celebrate Don’s life will be held at Christ the King Church in Bellingham on April 11th at 1:00 pm with a reception following. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made at

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm (Pacific time)

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