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Silver, Jack Samuel - 60 - Portland, Oregon
August 3rd 1948 - July 23rd 2009, Born in NYC, New York

Click on this link for a slide show of Jackie's life:

Jack Samuel Silver

Born: Aug. 3, 1948, in New York City

Died: July 23, 2009, in Clackamas

Survivors: Wife, Patricia; daughter, Natalie; son, Matthew; mother, Minnie; sister, Ilene Montabond; and three grandchildren

Service: Private service will be held

Remembrances: Robison Jewish Health Center at Cedar Sinai Park or National Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
When Jack Silver decided to be a shop teacher, he barely knew which end of a hammer to use.

Raised in apartments in New York City and Maryland, he had no experience with woodworking or metals. Still, he threw himself into it, as he did with everything, and became not only a shop teacher, but a great one. He taught at Brown Middle School in Hillsboro for 27 years.

After he retired, he and his wife, Pat, started a preschool with their daughter, Natalie. Jack didn't plan to be too involved with it, but he discovered that he loved little children as much as he loved middle schoolers. It wasn't long before he was hooked and was there for several hours every day. The children called him "Big Jack."

Jack didn't do anything half-way. When he got involved in something he researched it backwards and forwards, became an expert on it, and tried to share his enthusiasm with anybody who would listen.

Jack died suddenly July 23, 2009, of encephalitis at age 60.

Jack was born in Brooklyn, and moved to Silver Spring, Md., when he was 11. His mother was a stereotypical Jewish mother; Jack was the golden child and she indulged him, cooked all his favorite foods and let him buy expensive clothes. In high school, he cruised around in a 1959 DeSoto two-tone convertible.

When he started at the University of Maryland in 1966, he was clean-cut and straight and pledged Tau Epsilon Phi, the Jewish fraternity. Larry David, later of "Seinfeld" fame, was its president. The second week of school, he met Pat Weill and it was as if he'd never met a woman before. They were pinned six weeks later.

By the time Jack finished college, he had long hair and a mustache, had dabbled in the usual vices of the 1960s, and was a fervent Dead Head. He had planned to become a dentist but wrote across an organic chemistry test, "There's no reason to know this stuff!" He changed majors to English, but one day of student teaching put that idea out of his head forever. He held several jobs, including as a milkman. He and Pat were married in 1970.

One day he learned that the university was recruiting students to become shop teachers and he applied. He'd had no experience but took to industrial arts immediately. It was a perfect fit.

After teaching in Baltimore for several years, Jack applied for teaching jobs in the West and Hillsboro was the only school district that replied. He moved Pat and his four-year-old son to Oregon in 1976.

Jack co-taught shop at Hillsboro with Tom Wiggers for 18 years. They usually had about 45 students at a time. Music blared from the special speakers Jack installed, competing with the sounds of machines and the jabber of students.

Jack often opened the shop at 7:30 a.m. so students could work on projects before school. They lined up at the door. Not only did he make the shop fun, he shared his many other pursuits: juggling, cribbage, show tunes. He organized the school talent shows and coached basketball.

Jack and Pat bought a house, really a shack, her parents said, on a wooded lot in the Burlingame neighborhood of Portland. He remodeled the kitchen, re-wired and re-plumbed the house, and did all the woodworking. Their daughter was born in 1980.

Jack became a health nut. He and Pat ate a strict diet. Jack went to a gym every morning, meditated and did yoga every day.

Music and reading were fundamental to his life and he was eager to share with others. He had about 7,500 songs on his iPod and often burned CDs for friends.

He was famous for giving books. This summer he was working on a play structure at the preschool with one of the fathers, Brad Nile. Jack told Brad that he "had to read" "The Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett. A week or so later, Brad was surprised when the book arrived from Amazon. A couple days later, the sequel arrived. No one knows how many copies of "The Kite Runner" Jack gave.

Jack had several rental properties and a company selling sports cards. He had thousands of cards and had invented a system for organizing them. He also collected stamps and coins and was a fish fancier, setting up 30-gallon tanks in both his home and the pre-school.

After he and Pat retired, they traveled. He particularly enjoyed Turkey, Thailand and Barcelona.

He worried as fervently as he did everything else; he worried about his family, the environment, the wars, the stock market. An early and ardent Obama supporter, he drove people crazy fretting that Obama might lose the election.

He was a devoted son. His mother moved to Portland in 1995, and Jack visited her daily at the Robison Jewish Health Center. He became involved in the lives of other residents there and started a current affairs discussion group.

"When the word got out of his sudden illness, his intensive care room was packed with people coming to say goodbye," his brother-in-law Richard Weill says. "Teachers, students, people he worked out with. I could not believe a person could know so many people!"

"He was always there for you, always upbeat, such a positive person," says Bryant Jaksic, a former student. "Not having that person in your life is a tough loss."

-- Joan Harvey; joanharvey@news.oregonian.com


Schools Attended
Montgomery Hills Junior High School
Bethesda Chevy Chase High School & Albert Einstein High School
University of Maryland


Other Interests
Jack loved to go to his club and work out. He was very much into a healthy lifestyle with healthy choices for his diet as well as his exercise regime. He meditated and did yoga daily. He loved to go to his club and work out and then sit in the sauna with his buddies where world affairs and financial issues were discussed. I would always ask him what they had talked about that day.
Jack loved to read and to share with friends his favorite books at the moment. He also loved music and would burn CD's for everyone he met.
Jack was an incredible father to Matt and Natalie. He didn't hesitate to help his children with whatever they needed . His grandchildren were very important to him. We would take many trips to visit them and take them to our hotel to swim, sleepover or play games.
Jack was a devoted son who visited his mother Minnie at her nursing home everyday for the last 15 years. He once told me it wasn't a problem because he had learned so much from and about her that he really enjoyed her company.
We loved to travel and had just gotten back from our favorite place in Amsterdam and Barcelona.

Jack passed from an illness that attacks 1 in 1 million people. He was that in life too, 1 in a million...... He was loved by many and will be missed .



This Remorial was Created By: barbara singer jennai