Gladys Rosa Silveira, 86, of Middletown, Rhode Island, passed away at home October 8, 2019, with her loving family by her side, after a brief, but courageous battle with cancer.
Gladys was born on November 3, 1932 in Newport to the late Antonio C. Rosa and Rose E. (Andrews) Rosa. She was the beloved wife of Manuel D. Silveira, Jr. for 68 years, married on Thanksgiving Day 1950. She was the love of Manny’s life and will be dearly missed.
Gladys was a lifelong resident of Middletown. She graduated from Rogers High School in 1950 and in 1977 received her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education from CCRI. In 1957 Gladys followed her dream and founded Silveira Kindergarten & Nursery School dedicating her talent, energies and passion to education. She provided thousands of local children and Military children from around the world with educational opportunities. She never turned a child away and always provided a nurturing, enriching “Fun with Learning” environment. Her philosophy “Like a tree, lovingly nurtured, a child will grow” remains, as her legacy and passion for Early Childhood Education continues today in its 64th year at Silveira’s.
In her early years Gladys was involved in PTG’s in her children’s schools. She later served on the Middletown School Committee from 1986–1998. She was Vice-Chairwoman 1990-1996 and Chairwoman 1996-1998. She was instrumental with many initiatives, but in particular the implementation of public kindergarten.
Beyond academics, Gladys strongly believed children should expand their learning. She volunteered in 4-H, Girl Scouts, Jesus Saviour CCD, Norman Bird Sanctuary, and the Middletown Library. In addition she was a member of Middletown Republican Women, Garden Club, and Jesus Saviour Rosary Sodality. Gladys was a lifelong parishioner and dedicated Catholic at Jesus Saviour Church.
Gladys was an avid beach goer, enjoying every summer at her favorite place, 3rd Beach. She loved traveling in winter to Florida and Puerto Rico. In her younger years she enjoyed sewing, nature walks, and gardening.
Besides her husband, Gladys is survived by her 7 children, Rosemary S. Medeiros, Manuel D. Silveira III (Kathleen), Thomas D. Silveira (Patricia), all of Middletown, Marjorie S. Crogan of Springfield, MA, Barbara A. Cavanagh (Robert) of Little Compton, James D. Silveira (Susan) of Plainfield, CT, and Theresa Spengler of Middletown. She also leaves her siblings, James C. Rosa (Merriall) CA, Mary Ann Balance (Carl) MD, Julia T. Humble (Jack) NC, Alice E. Escobar of Portsmouth, 18 grandchildren: John & Elizabeth Medeiros, Corrie Berry, Matthew Silveira, Rebecca, Thomas, & Michael Silveira, Christopher, Katelyn, & Coreen Crogan, Sean, Alison (Snow), & Andrew Cavanagh, James, Nicole, & Kathleen Silveira, William & Jessica Spengler, 11 great-grandchildren, many cousins, nieces and nephews, and son-in-law David Spengler.
Besides her parents, Gladys was predeceased by her sister Lena Rosa, her brother, Antone C. Rosa, Jr., her son-in-law John J. Medeiros, brother-in-law Joseph Escobar, and sister-in-law Patricia Rosa.
Many thanks to the amazing caregivers, Middletown Rescue, Newport Hospital 5th floor, Dr. Cicchelli’s office, and VNS.
Calling hours will be held on Monday, October 14, 2019, from 2-4 PM and 6-8 PM, at the Memorial Funeral Home, 375 Broadway, Newport.
Funeral services will follow the next morning from the funeral home at 8:00 AM and will continue with a Mass of Christian Burial at 9:00 AM at Jesus Saviour Church, 509 Broadway, Newport. Burial will follow at St. Columba Cemetery, Middletown.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Gladys R Silveira Memorial Scholarship, Middletown Public Schools, 26 Oliphant Lane, Middletown, RI 02842; Jesus Saviour Church, 1 Vernon Avenue, Newport RI 02840; or Three Angels Fund PO Box 4003 Middletown, RI 02842.