Famous CA Saddle Maker David Silva Passes Oct. 16, 2007
(Item: DAVID SILVA OBIT.)
A longtime Fair Oaks resident, David Silva, passed away on Tuesday, October 16, 2007. David was born in San Jose, Calif., on February 6, 1921, to Juana and John Silva. He was preceded in death by all of his brothers and sisters, as well as his lovely wife, Juanita. He is survived by daughters Sylvia Campbell of Carmichael, Susan Mentze of Sheridan and son David Jr. of Fair Oaks. He was dearly loved by three grandchildren, Sydney Nance, Sarah Mentze and Ben Mentze. He was also loved by eight great-grandchildren, Janos Levin, Isaac Gatlin, Madelynn Mentze, Sofia Gatlin, Jonah Mentze, Simon Mentze, Oscar Mentze, and Cecelia Nance. His two sons-in-law, Frank Campbell and Earl Mentze will miss him greatly.
David was a WWII veteran who served in the South Pacific. He loved to tell stories of combat and close calls, always giving glory to God for keeping him safe and for bringing all four brothers home safely from the war.
David was a master saddle-maker. His father John was a cinch-maker when David was young, so David went with him to saddle shops all over California delivering hand-spun cinches. David was enthralled with the old time saddle-makers and dreamed of becoming one. After the war, he eventually was hired by the famous Visalia Stock Saddle company, where he became a master at hand-tooling leather. Over the years, he was trained to not only tool leather but to make the well-known Visalia saddles. The Visalia saddle shop was destroyed in the Town & Country Village fire in 1963, so he opened his own shop, Silva's Village Saddlery, at 2628 Marconi Avenue. The shop thrived as both a retail saddle shop and custom saddlery for thirty-four years. David made many friends during those years at the shop. The old time "general store" atmosphere of the shop drew old timers and young buckaroos as well. After David's retirement, he was honored with the Don King Saddlemaker of the Year Award. He displayed it proudly in his home.
David was a born-again Christian and was willing to share his faith with anyone and everyone who would listen. His family was with him as he passed away at Oakridge Skilled Nursing Facility. He is in Heaven, reunited with his Savior, his loved ones and free from pain and suffering.
Funeral services will be held at Reichert's Funeral Home at 7320 Auburn Blvd. in Citrus Heights on Wednesday, October 24, at 11:00 a.m. Burial will follow at East Lawn Cemetery at Greenback and I-80.
Published in the Sacramento Bee on 10/21/2007.