Otto H. Silvan, 86, passed away peacefully, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009, at his son Wayne’s home in Big Sandy, after a courageous battle with cancer.
His funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, 2009, at the United Methodist Church in Big Sandy, Mont., with Pastor Marvin Eldridge officiating. Burial will follow with full military honors at the Big Sandy Cemetery, and a fellowship luncheon will be held at the church immediately after the graveside service. Memorial contributions in Otto’s honor may be made to the Chouteau County Hospice, the Big Sandy Medical Center or to a memorial of one’s choice. Services and arrangements have been entrusted to Holland & Bonine Funeral Home. Otto was born Dec, 6, 1922, at Hopp, Mont., to Vaclav and Bessie (Suchy) Silvan. He was raised in the Hopp area and attended country schools to sixth grade. Otto became a young man at an early age, due to losing his father in a wagon accident southwest of his parents' homestead. Otto joined the Army in 1945. Otto’s job in the Army was truck driving, and he received an award for driving 40,000 miles with no accidents. While in the Army, Otto would send home his pay to his sister, Libby, in order to make payments for the land he was purchasing. After leaving the service, he worked for Chris Skaalure for several years which involved walking back and forth from his parents' place six miles. Otto had very fond memories of working for Mr. Skaalure and often remarked what a wonderful person he was. After working for Mr. Skaalure, Otto was able to purchase the Daggett farmstead southeast of Big Sandy. At the tender age of 30, Otto met and married Betty (Fry), also of Big Sandy, June 27, 1953, and they were married for 56 years. Together they had four children (James, Wayne, Lynn and Kevin). Their youngest son, Kevin, preceded him death. Otto enjoyed farming and farmed with his son Wayne until his death. Otto was a pilot and loved to fly, urging his boys to do the same. He and his older brother, Joe, owned a Luscomb airplane. Another favorite "big boy toy" of Otto’s was his “hog” (Harley Davidson motorcycle). After purchasing his hog in Great Falls, he drove it to his home southeast of Big Sandy. One of Otto’s biggest enjoyments was watching his sons, Wayne and Kevin, participate in hill climbs throughout the United States and Canada. He also loved the tractor pulls all the boys participated in. Otto loved music and playing his steel guitar at country dances. Later on, Fish and Game put the Silvan Pond on the map and stocked with bass. The fishing was wonderful, and Otto enjoyed fishing his pond daily. Grandpa Otto is what everyone called him. Grandpa had eight grandchildren, and he loved teaching them to drive, starting with his oldest grandson Darrell, to Corey, Jenny, Nolan, Amy, Sadie and Mariah. Unfortunately by the time Suzy was old enough to start her driving training Grandpa’s driving days were over. He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Libby Fry, Ann Borley and Josie Rorke; brothers, Joe and George Silvan; his son, Kevin Rick Silvan; nephew, Don Silvan and mother in-law, Mary Ann Adamec. Otto is survived by his wife, Betty, of Big Sandy, Mont.; daughter, Lynn Faber of Big Sandy, Mont.; sons, James (Julie) Silvan of Helena, Mont., and Wayne (Sonia) Silvan of Big Sandy, Mont.; sister, Mildred Ekenbarger of Yakima, Wash.; eight grandchildren, Darrell (Darla) Silvan, Corey (Lacey) Silvan, Nolan Silvan, Jenny and Amy Silvan, Sadie, Mariah and Suzy Faber. Great-grandchildren, Mary Elizabeth Silvan, Eli Walter and Brendon Silvan.