Grant Silvernale

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Grant Josiah Silvernale, Jr., passed away in Moscow, Idaho, on October 31, 2017. He was 90 years old. He was born on March 2, 1927, in Walla Walla, Washington, to Grant Josiah Silvernale, Sr., and Leanor M. (Hall) Silvernale. He had fond memories of growing up on the South Hill in Spokane with his three siblings, Mary, Lawrence (Larry), and Peter (Pete). The time spent working in the woods of northern Idaho with his brothers was recounted many times on the deck at the lake cabin and the occasional road trip with his siblings while revisiting his old stomping grounds. He served in the US Coast Guard during World War II, graduating from Radioman School in 1945, and served on Hawaii at Loran Radio Navigation Station 206. We have a scrapbook of his wartime experiences, including reminiscences in Atlantic City in 1945, marching in the Miss America Pageant Parade, and hearing Duke Ellington play at the Zanzabar, to photos from the 1946 tidal wave in Hawaii. He graduated from Whitman College in 1950 and cherished the lifelong friendships he diligently maintained with his Whitman friends.

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After graduating from the University of Washington Law School and being admitted into the Washington State Bar in 1953, he began his career as an attorney in Spokane as a deputy prosecuting attorney and then as an associate at Paine, Lowe, Coffin, Herman and O’Kelly. In 1960, he moved and started what became a 30-year career with the Kirkland firm of Powell, Livengood, Silvernale, Carter and Tjossem. He was a member of the Board of Editors of the University of Washington Law Review, twice elected to the office as a Director of the Lake Washington School District No. 414, and served nearly 20 years as a member of the King County Law Library Board.

Grant married Nancy Dudley Allen on September 16, 1961, in Seattle and they had three children: Joe, Mary and Chuck. The family home on the shore of Lake Washington in Kirkland was a wonderful place to grow up.

Because of Dad, our family has wonderful memories, experiences, and attachments to several places, including Greenwater, Washington, and Crystal Mountain Ski Resort; Indian Wells and the Palm Desert area; Napili Kai Beach Resort on Maui; and, of course, Lake Coeur d’Alene. Dad was one of the founders of the Pilot Rock community on Lake Coeur d’Alene in the 1950’s and he returned to his favorite place on the planet faithfully at every opportunity, hosting countless gatherings of family and friends. His kids and grandkids are forever grateful for this legacy.

Dad gave one toast at every wedding – “May you be as happy as Nancy and I,” and his devotion to his wife of 56 years was steadfast. Dad skied into his 70’s with an old school elegance rarely seen on the slopes today. His green thumb grew everything from sweet corn to orchids. He took great pride in seeing his children and grandchildren achieve educational success in life. He was a lifelong reader and devoured several newspapers a day. Writing skills served him well in his personal and professional life – he didn’t function in life without making a list, he wrote thoughtful messages on the cards his wife organized for him to send on every major occasion, and his log entries for the Turn Point sailboat are the stuff of family legend. A particular log entry is one for the ages – the summer of Watergate cruising with family friends (the Heaths), a rude t-shirt, and a near miss docking experience.

In addition to his wife Nancy, he is survived by his son Grant (Joe) Josiah Silvernale, III (Alexis) of Kirkland, Washington; his daughter Mary Elizabeth Silvernale Shook (Steve) of Moscow, Idaho; his son Charles (Chuck) Edward Silvernale (Trish) of Poulsbo, Washington. He is also survived by his grandchildren: Casey and Carly Silvernale, Boston Massachusetts; Peter Silvernale, Poulsbo, Washington; Ben Silvernale, Seattle; step grandchildren Jacob Brown and Abby Sheldon, Poulsbo, Washington; Grace Shook, Edinburgh, Scotland; James and Jennings Shook, Moscow, Idaho; many nieces and nephews; and three sisters-in-law, Poo Penrose of Shoreline, Washington, Pearl Silvernale of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Joanne K. Silvernale of Seattle.

At his request, the family will hold a private memorial next summer at the lake to scatter his ashes.  The family requests that any memorials be made in his honor to Seattle’s Museum of Flight or Whitman College’s William Allen-Boeing Lectureship and Student Investment Endowment.

While his offspring might not have fully embraced his fondness for plaid pants as holiday wear, bow ties, buying bacon at Costco, or consumption of Two Buck Chuck, Dad’s legacy of generosity, support, and pride in our achievements is greatly appreciated. The family suggests you raise your favorite glass of red wine to a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, friend and community supporter. Dad, we all loved you and we will miss you terribly.


12 Responses to Grant Silvernale

  1. Dick Manning says:

    Grant came along at just the right time for me a young lawyer in the 1960’s. One thing and another brought me in contact with Grant at Powell Livengood and I’ve never forgotten him. He was simply a great guy – full of life – and so importantly a true professional! Our paths crossed many times through the 1990’s. Always a joy to see him – he simply made people feel good. And that’s why I miss him so. We need more like Grant!

  2. Paul and Millie Hall says:

    Words come hard at times like these, Nancy, but Millie and I want you to know that our prayers and feelings are with you and your family. We’ll always fondly remember Grant’s and your friendship over these many years.

  3. Julie Bean says:

    Hi Mary….This is Julie Bean (Angie’s Mom). I’m so sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing. He was very good to me.

    I was involved in a business in Bellevue with two ‘supposedly’ equal partners when I began to question some of what they were doing. I went to your Dad to review a contract my partners gave me. He read the contract and was immediately upset. He suggested I get out of the partnership because my partners weren’t ethical. One of the partners was actually a client of your Dad’s and your Dad was very disappointed in him. He said he wouldn’t allow Angie’s Mother to be involved with these two unethical guys. He suggested that I’d lose less by ending the relationship then instead of later. I took his advise and got out.

    Also, when Angie died, she had a couple of paychecks she hadn’t cashed. I called your Dad to see how much trouble I’d be in if I signed the backs of the checks and cashed them. He said to do that and cash them and he’d defend me if I needed it later.

    Your Dad was a great guy Mary. One of the BEST.

  4. Lilian Khofi says:

    Beautiful eulogy. Heaven has gained. May God the Holy Spirit continue comforting the entire bereaved families.

  5. Carol Radovich says:

    Dear Nancy,
    I am sorry to hear of Grant’s passing. I hope it was a peaceful one. I know it leaves a hole in your heart. You, Poo and I
    all married outstanding men. I am sorry they are not here to share the so called “golden years” with us. Not fair !
    My sympathy and prayers are for you and your family.
    Carol Radovich

  6. Mary Ritter Heitkemper says:

    Mary – this is a beautiful tribute to your amazing dad.
    I am praying for your sweet mom and you and your brothers.
    It is such a hard time.
    Your dad was an amazing example and I feel so blessed to know him.

  7. Kay and Pete Shoudy says:

    Nancy and family: We were saddened to see news of Grant’s passing, but it brought back many happy memories of our 17 years living in the old west Kirkland neighborhood. My favorite story is about Grant and Charlie’s rescue of our little sailboat when it jumped it’s moorings and they went after it in their boat. We remember Christmas tree burning parties, kids flowing through our yards and houses, and swimming in the lake from April to October! Remember the squirrel babies rescue? We miss you all. Grant was a wonderful person and he lived a long and productive life. Keep those good memories strong.

  8. Patty and Jack Haggarty says:

    To Nancy and family,
    A well lived life leaves a lasting impression on everyone it touches. His certainly did, especially with his Rose Point neighbors, who are so grateful for his guidance and participation in the successful establishment of Juanita Bay Park.
    And we remember fondly the tree burning evenings on the bank of Lake Washington.

  9. Patty and Jack Haggarty says:

    To Nancy and family,
    A well lived life leaves a lasting impression on everyone it touches. And this is certainly so true for Grant’s guidance and leadership in helping his Rose Point neighbors in the lengthy process to establish the Juanita Bay Park in Kirkland.
    On a more personal note, our family remembers fondly the tree burning evenings on the shores of Lake Washington.:):)
    With kind thoughts and prayers,

  10. Adrian Archer says:

    Nancy – so sorry to hear of Grant’s passing. I just looked at a picture of you both from the memorial for Jim Powers, (my Dad was thrilled to see you both again). We are left with the wonderful memories of having you as neighbors (so many years ago) next to Kiwanis Park. I remember my Mom always enjoyed any opportunity to babysit the kids and especially had a soft spot for her “Little Charlie”. I especially recall Grant’s kindness when he allowed my brother Chris and I to keep whatever boat we had next to your dock as we were growing up. Seeing the Silvernale name on those two office buildings in Kirkland was always a pleasant reminder of you both. Grant was a terrific guy.

  11. Diana Lyons says:

    Dear Nancy, Joe, Mary and Chuck,
    We were so sad to read about Grant’s transition. He was a gentleman, a lover of people and a purely delightful person. Grant and Nancy were introduced to us by their Christmas Tree Burning party, when our daughter was only four (1980). Sarah always anticipated the tree burning party and loved the occasion to bring the neighborhood children together for an evening of awe and an opportunity to spend time with Grant and Nancy…we loved the same experience for so many years. The tradition caries on, but its just not quite the same with out the Silvernale family and their welcoming home. A few months ago I asked the Columbia Club membership where Nancy and Grant were and they didn’t know. My last conversation was with Grant at the club and he was his upbeat self and interested in my life. Nancy was always the same warm and welcoming lady. They both were relentless to improve Kirkland and their work has not gone unnoticed. Please know that we feel sad for your loss and grateful for knowing your wonderful father. I would appreciate hearing about Nancy too. Sending you hugs and lots of love.
    XOXO Diana and Michael Lyons 1640 10th Street West

  12. Valerie Washington says:

    I meant Grant in 2009. I became his fitness coach and that relationship lasted through July 2017 when he and Nancy moved to be near Mary. He worked out 3 times a week. Over the course of those years we grew into a friendship. Nancy commented we spent more time talking about finance, politics, sports (especially golf) and social issues during our sessions. We laughed a lot and Nancy would peek in and say “hey what’s with all the noise” Grant gave me his Scotty Cameron putter and his travel bag. He enjoyed watching me grow and enjoy the game. He packaged jelly beans and nuts for me so I never ran out. He and Nancy invited me and my girlfriend to spend time with them in Indian Wells so we could play golf in the winter. Such a gracious and loving couple. I learned of their family and friends along the way. Grant always told me what a lucky and blessed life he had and how grateful he was. He took time to listen to my story. He expressed a loving appreciation for my journey. He claims the distinction of turning me in a capitalist as he helped me understand how to grow my business. Our Liberal and Conservative debates led us each to deeper personal awareness greater then the global debates. He always felt he was the best in shape man of his age. His doctors agreed. I don’t know what took him but I am confident he lived in joy right up to the end. As an unlikely pair….a 90 year old white man Conservative from the PNW meets a 60 year old black woman Liberal from New York. We bridge huge gaps to create a joyous, honest and open friendship. I miss my friend. R.I.P. Grant. Love, Valerie

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