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Josephine P. Silvestri, of Wilmington, passed away suddenly in her home on Sunday, December 17, 2023. “Jo” made a major life change, leaving Wilmington and moving to Maryland at the age of 93 to be closer to her grandchildren and great grandchildren. This was a brave move but those who knew Jo, would not be surprised to hear, she made friends and adjusted to her new home quickly.
She was born in Wilmington on March 9, 1928, to the late Sebastiano and Edith (Susi) Pupillo. Jo was predeceased by her husband of 63 years, Nick “Nicky Dazz” Silvestri in 2013, her son, Lawrence, her brothers Paul, Joe and Mario and her sister, Marguerite Wyre.
In the 1940’s, Jo worked in her dad’s corner grocery store in East Wilmington and it was here that she developed her work ethic. After graduating from Wilmington High School in 1945, Jo began working as a secretary for several Magistrate Judges in the U. S. District Court of Delaware where she remained until 1966. Later, she took her secretarial skills to the DuPont company until she retired in 1996.
Jo devoted much of her time volunteering at St. Anthony’s, her parish home, the Ministry of Caring, Ronald McDonald House and St. Francis Hospital. Jo was a great organizer and social chairman. She and Nick planned many trips for their friends, card games and outings for their families to enjoy. With her son and daughter-in-law, Jo and Nick hosted many day-trips to see Broadway Shows in New York City.
Jo was a loyal and faithful friend to everyone. You could be sure your secrets were safe with her and that you would not be judged. Josephine always placed the needs and welfare of others ahead of her own.
Josephine was a very spiritual and devout Roman Catholic, never missing Mass and praying the rosary daily. She maintained her membership in the Blessed Virgin Mary Sodality at St. Anthony’s, even after her move to Maryland. She believed that prayer and sacrifice could accomplish miraculous outcomes when made in the honor of the Lord. She supported the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales throughout her life.
Josephine’s greatest joy in life was being a mother, grandmother and great grandmother. To all three of her children, she was unconditionally devoted and supportive. She formed a special bond with all her grandchildren by freely sharing her time and love. With each of her 8 great grandchildren, Josephine had a special smile and touch.
Josephine is survived by her children Nick (Martha,) Pamela (Garrett) Coleman and her brother Anthony “Tony” (Elaine) Pupillo.
She is also survived by four grandchildren Lauren (Sean) Burke, Andrea (Corey) Andrews, Matthew (Corinne) Silvestri and Anthony Silvestri, and by 8 greatgrandchildren, Maria, Sophia, Jack, Annie, Kate, Layla, Emma and Maddie. Jo also has many nieces and nephews who consider her to be a 2nd mother to them.
Friends and family are invited to Jo’s Mass of Christian Burial on Friday, December 29, 2023, at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 901 N. DuPont St., Wilmington, DE. Viewing will begin at 10:00 AM followed by the Funeral Liturgy at 11:30. Burial will follow immediately at the Cathedral Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Josephine’s name to St. Anthony of Padua Church, 901 N. DuPont St., Wilmington DE 19805; the Oblates Retirement Fund, PO Box 87, Childs MD 21916 or the Ministry of Caring, 115 E. 14th St., Wilmington DE 19801.