Recipient of the 2002 EASA Award
Mr. Silveria was born on November 18, 1906 in Newman, California. His childhood was spent helping out his widowed mother by milking cows. When he was 14, he met Frances Lacerda while she was visiting her aunt and uncle in nearby Gustine. She mentioned that she would never marry a farmer, and therefore our recipient set out to find a new career. And so he did. When he was 23 years old, he married Frances.
At age 18, Mr. Silveria graduated from high school and attended Modesto Junior College for two years. While attending college, he took a correspondence course in Theoretical and Applied Electricity from Chicago Engineering Works.
After he finished school, our recipient went to work for Palmer Electric in Modesto, California. After working there for a while, and gaining confidence, he bought a small electric shop in Gustine and began handling jobs for the local people as well as those in neighboring towns and on nearby farms.
In 1956, he moved his shop to Los Banos. From 1960 through 1962, the San Luis Dam was being built just west of town. When failure problems occurred at the dam’s pumping station, our recipient was contacted to handle repairs. Construction engineers visited him and checked out his work. Later they told the project maintenance supervisor that “this is where you will bring your repair work.”
Mr. Silveria served as president of EASA’s Northern California Chapter for two years, starting in 1963. During this time, he visited most of the local service centers and pointed out the real value of chapter meetings. Thus he was able to increase attendance significantly.
In 1989, he sold his shop but continued to handle repairs for the community, working out of two metal buildings on his ranch.
In March, 2001, our recipient’s niece, Mary, asked him to build her an electric car. Though he reminded her that his background was in electric motors, not auto mechanics, they found a VW Jetta that was perfect for the job and made the conversion. When he finished, his niece had the car painted bright pink so everyone could see it. Just over six months later, she was driving it to work. Needless to say, it caused quite a stir in Los Banos. Mr. Silveria turned 95 one month after completing the car.
This commitment to service is evident in the nominating letters received.
(He) is an inspiration to our chapter members with his dedication to quality of business ethics, ethical conduct, performance and workmanship.
Another nominating letter read:
As a competitor in the Fresno, California, area, he has consistently been a leader in sharing his expertise in motor reconstruction and problem solving. He has unselfishly provided his expertise to my company with no competitive nature in any conversations we have had for the last 50 years. He has provided the community in the California Central Valley a tradition of friendship that makes his mark a proud tradition of helping others.
And yet another read:
In the spirit of the award’s criteria, you will find that the richness of the EASA organization is in its people, some who serve nationally or even internationally and some who make a significant mark in a local or regional way. The recipient is one whose name will not likely be well-known nationally, and, because of his longevity, many of us “youngsters” may not be familiar with his achievements.
Most people would agree that our recipient has had an amazing—and long— career.