Beloved father, avid hunter, traveler, published author
Sam Silvas, a Claremont resident for 22 years, died March 8. He was 57 years old.
Born June 5, 1964 and raised in Lincoln, California, Sam graduated in 1982 from Lincoln High School where he was elected senior class president and “Knight of the Night”.
He then earned his BS in Business Administration from California State University, Chico in 1987. Soon after, he discovered that his true passion was writing, which he pursued until the last days of his life. . He eventually attended St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California as the inaugural member of its Master of Fine Arts program. He earned his MFA in Creative Writing in 1997.
In 1998, he met Tamra Horton while they were both teaching English at American River College in Sacramento. The couple moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana so she could complete her college education. There, he worked as a sports editor for Louisiana Football Magazine, covering high school and college athletics across the state. As a result of that experience, he became a lifelong fan of the Louisiana State University Tigers.
The couple moved to Claremont in 2000 when Tamra began teaching at a local community college. Their daughter, Hadley Silvas, was born in 2003, and it was there that her most committed years at Claremont began. He helped coach Hadley’s teams over the many years she played in Little League, Fast Pitch, AYSO and CYB. In 2014, he was elected to the Condit Primary School site council. Sam was Hadley’s biggest fan, always in the stands for her softball games and water polo games at Claremont High School.
The family spent the 2014-2015 academic year in Warsaw, Poland, while Ms Horton taught there. During this year in Poland, he accompanied his family on visits to 41 cities in 18 countries.
Still writing, in 2016 his collection of short stories, “Stanton, California”, was published. Based on her experiences growing up in the small town of Lincoln, the collection was nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
His love for hunting began as a young boy with his father, first with a rifle and later with a bow. His annual hunting trips to Chester, California with his father and their fellow hunters were a highlight for him each year.
Many people amass some sort of collection in their lifetime. Sam gathered some friends. He stayed in close contact with people he knew from kindergarten through his college days and with those he met along the way in other states and then in other countries. He was well known for calling someone out of the blue just to catch up.
“Among the dozens and dozens of condolences we’ve received, a constant refrain has been that people have truly appreciated his enduring commitment to their friendship,” his family said.
Sam died at Pomona Valley Hospital of complications from COVID-19, despite being vaccinated and boosted.
“Those who knew him would say he was one in a million,” Ms Horton said. “Sadly, he is now one of a million people in this country lost too soon to COVID-19.”
He is survived by his mother, Adell Silvas, and his sister, Tracy Silvas, both of Lincoln, California.
He also leaves behind the woman who simply called him “the love of his life”, Tamra Horton, and her daughter, Hadley Silvas.
All four women are devastated by his sudden passing.
A memorial will be held at 5 p.m. Friday, May 20 at the Woman’s Club of Claremont, 343 W. 12th St., Claremont 91711.