Maria C. Silveira

Published 3:57 pm Thursday, April 7, 2011

APRIL 7 – Maria C. Milian Silveira passed away Sunday, April 3, 2011. Born in Cuba, she was the daughter of the late Juan Jose Milian Arocha and Rosario Rey Milian, and sister of the late Juan Jose Milian Rey. She was preceeded in death by Michael A. Silveira Jr., her childhood sweetheart and husband of 60 years.

In 1962 she emigrated from Cuba, where she was an accomplished educator, earning numerous honors and the country's highest appointments in her field. Her passion for literature, foreign languages, philosophy and education was reflected in her subsequent accomplishments, to include earning a Doctorate of Philosophy and Education from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. In 1964 she joined the Faculty of Longwood College, where she taught for almost three decades. While at Longwood, she was Advisor of Alpha Phi and founding member of Sigma Delta Pi and was the recipient of the Maria Bristow Starke Faculty Excellence Award. Dr. Silveira was also a visiting Professor of Foreign Languages at Hampden Sydney College and the University of Virginia. Her numerous awards and honors included being named Foreign Language Association of Virginia Teacher of the Year and being nominated for National AATSP Outstanding Teacher Award.

A truly outstanding member of her community, Maria Silveira was an active member of St. Theresa Catholic Church. She was also member and past President of the Woman's Club and the Ruth Adams Garden Club in Farmville.

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A woman of many hats, figuratively and literally, Maria enjoyed gardening, crocheting and knitting, entertaining, music, cooking and cake decorating, a hobby which helped contribute to the Silveira Scholarship at Longwood University. Her determination, grace, and beauty were exceeded only by her warmth and exuberance. She enriched the lives of all who knew her-family, friends and students, all of whom are left with great sorrow. But alas, the Heavens have a bright new star!

Left to cherish her memory are four daughters, Maria Harris Lenett (Steve), Mireya Hayes (Grant), Rosa Mann (Edward), and Virginia Gills (Ryan); seven adoring grandchildren, Eleina Hayes Espigh, Anne Carrington Harris Meinecke, Grant Hayes II, Michael Leighton Hayes, Laura Elizabeth Mann, Holden Gills, and Addison Gills; five great-grandchildren; two sisters, Milagros Linares (Frank) and Ivelise Owen (James) and two brothers, Rafael and Enrique Milian.

A funeral mass will be held Friday, April 8, at 11:30 a.m. at St. Theresa Catholic Church with a private interment to be held later. Family will receive friends Thursday evening (today) from 5-7 p.m. at the Puckett Funeral Home.

Puckett Funeral Home, Farmville, is in charge of arrangements.