SILBER JR., PAUL GEORGE (1925 ~ 2015). The following is an obituary for Paul Silber, former member of the Texas House of Representatives. The obituary was provided by Porter Loring Mortuary of San Antonio.
Paul G. Silber, Jr. left in the morning of November 19, 2015 for his final hunt. Born 15 January 1925 in San Antonio to Paul G. Silber and Jewell Joslin Silber; his life changed at age 6 when the Depression forced his mother to return to teaching. He and his younger brother, Dr. John Silber, deceased, former Chancellor of Boston University, grew up in an environment of intellectual wealth and monetary poverty.
He graduated from Jefferson High School, where he was an ROTC Captain, member of the Rifle Team, and an Eagle Scout. He entered Texas A&M College in June 1942, where he was in Troop A Cavalry. He left college and enlisted in the Army as a private in July 1943 and was commissioned a 2nd Lt. Infantry at Ft. Benning, GA in November 1944.
He joined Company G, 34th Infantry, 24th Division in January 1945 where he was critically wounded by a Jap mortar shell on February 4th while in command of the 2nd Platoon at the Battle of Zig Zag Pass on Luzon in the Philippines during World War II. He was awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Combat Infantry Badge.
After months of hospitalization, he was medically retired from the Army as a 1st Lt. While in the Army, he met and married Phyllis Hayden in Ft. Sam Houston Chapel, 25 October 1946.
They returned to Texas A&M, bought a small house and finished his studies, graduating in August 1949 with a BS Degree in Mechanical Engineering and was honored with a membership in Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. They returned to San Antonio with their daughter Paulette and bought a farm in Cibolo where they lived while he did engineering work for his father's architectural firm and then the Air force.
In 1957, he entered private practice when he and his wife opened his consulting Engineering Office. In 1970, he was elected to the 62nd Texas Legislature and served one term as a Representative from Bexar County. He was Chairman of the Special House Committee on School Finance. During 50 years of engineering work, he was responsible for the mechanical and electrical engineering for countless major school projects in the San Antonio area, as well as office buildings, hospitals, churches and military installations.
His public service activities involved being Campaign Manager for the Good Government League when Lila Cockrell was elected Mayor and Henry Cisneros was elected Councilman. He was Chairman of the Charter Revision Committee, which set up single member City Council Districts, served five years as a member of the Small and Minority Business Advisory Committee, and ten years on the Plumbing Board. He was Vice President and Director of the North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce from 1978 through 1980. As a member in the Texas Society of Professional Engineers, he served as President and was Engineer of the Year in the Bexar Chapter. He was a Registered Professional Engineer in Texas and eight other states.
Mr. Silber was a lifetime member of the First Presbyterian Church, a former Trustee for St. Luke's Episcopal School, a 66 year member of Alamo Kiwanis Club and numerous professional societies. He was especially honored when Trinity Oaks Foundation created the annual Lt. Paul Silber Award to recognize the example he set demonstrating to wounded Veterans that life after disabling wounds can be meaningful, productive and rewarding.
Paul had a great passion for farming and ranching, but thought he was hardly successful at either. He was an avid arborist, planting thousands of trees across Texas. He was committed to soil and wild life conservation, loved hunting and archeology and was instrumental in the development and adoption of the Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River Management Plan.
He is survived by his precious wife Phyllis H. Silber, his loving daughters, two adoring grandchildren, two adorable great grandchildren, and numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, who all wish him a speedy journey as he joins his comrades and buddies at the happy hunting grounds in the sky.
Mr. Silber will lie in-state on Tuesday, November 24th from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM at Porter Loring on McCullough.
On Friday, November 27th, a Graveside Service will be held at 3:30 PM at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin, TX with Full Military Honors.
On Saturday, November 28th, a Memorial Service will be held at 1:30 PM at First Presbyterian Church, 404 North Alamo.
In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to: Alamo Area Council of Boy Scouts of America, 2226 NW Military Hwy., San Antonio, TX 78213 or Trinity Oaks Charity, 9385 Miller Lane, San Antonio, TX 78266 www.trinityoaks.org or to the charity of your choice.