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Adele Black Silvus

Obituary for Adele Black Silvus

June 7, 1935 - June 19, 2018
Austin, Texas | Age 83


Adele Black Silvus died peacefully on the morning of June 19, 2018, after a fifteen-month battle with metastatic lung cancer. She faced her illness with characteristic courage, dignity, elegance, and strength. One of her children's proudest moments was watching her walk the halls of Texas Oncology, calling each technician and nurse by name, even when the cancer had metastasized to her brain. She was consistently kind and courteous, maintained a noticeably positive attitude, and was a model of grace under fire. She was true to herself to the end.

She was born Adele Davis on June 7, 1935 to Adele Houssels Davis and Clifton Davis in Vernon, Texas, and was later adopted by stepfather Hulon Witherspoon Black. After moving from Vernon to Austin, Adele lived in Hyde Park, Travis Heights, and Tarrytown, ending up only a few blocks away from her future husband, whom she did not meet until college. Adele attended Wooldridge Elementary, University Junior High, and Austin High, class of 1953. At the University of Texas, she was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority and Orange Jackets. Some are surprised to learn that this modest, unassuming lady was a scholar. She was named to Mortar Board, a national college senior honor society, and graduated in 1957 with a degree in Plan II, U.T.'s liberal arts honors program.

Adele graduated, turned 22, and married Robert Frederick Silvus all in a matter of days, in June of 1957. She taught elementary school in Deer Park, Texas until the couple decided to start a family. She returned to the workforce in the mid-1970's, working for the U.T. Art Department, the Texas Attorney General's office, and the U.T. Office of the Vice President and Dean of Graduate Studies, retiring in 1995. Several years after her retirement, she joined the staff of Westlake United Methodist Preschool, where she taught until 2003. Teaching preschool was a natural fit for Adele's gifts of gentleness, patience, and creativity.

In addition to paid employment, Adele belonged to several volunteer organizations, churches, and social groups. She was a current member of the Austin High Class of '53"Lunch Bunch." She was a sustaining member of the Junior League of Austin and the Settlement Club. She grew up in University Presbyterian Church, and joined Covenant Presbyterian Church with her young family. She later joined Westlake Presbyterian Church, in 1977, where she served as a neighborhood care group leader, a Stephen Minister, and a nursery volunteer for many years, until her husband's health required her full attention.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 60 years, Bob Silvus, who died in January of this year and by her brother-in-law, Jim Adkins, who passed away in May. She is survived by her three children, Sarah Shannon Silvus, John Frederick Silvus (Kendra), and Christiana Silvus. Adele leaves behind sisters Marilla King (Carter) and Linda Swan Adkins, as well as niece, Martha Wood, and nephews Kyle Swan (Rachel), Charlie Wood (Jennifer), and Stephen Swan (Cecile). She is also survived by cousins Robert Keith Pigg, Monica Hearn, Merri Bundy, Mary Snow Lopez, ,and Kay Goodman. Most importantly, Adele was the proud grandmother of granddaughter, Caitlin Nicole Silvus and grandson, Ryan Frederick Silvus, who also survive her. She will be deeply missed by her family as well as by her many faithful friends.

The family wishes to thank Paula Pratte, R.N. and the entire "purple team" from Hospice Austin for their kind care of Adele during her final days. Adele loved flowers. Therefore, in addition to flowers, gifts in Adele's memory may be made to the American Cancer Society, Mobile Loaves and Fishes, the Settlement Home for Children, or the charity of one's choice.

A memorial service honoring Adele will be held at Westlake Hills Presbyterian Church at 4:00 pm on Saturday, June 30, 2018.

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Suggested Memorial Donations

  • Gifts in Adele's memory may be made to the American Cancer Society, Mobile Loaves and Fishes, the Settlement Home for Children, or the charity of one's choice.

Arrangements By

Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home North

3125 N Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78705
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