Major (Retired) Manuel Morales Silva passed away peacefully at home on October 29, 2015.
Manuel was born in Nogales, AZ to Mexican immigrant parents Pablo & Juventina Morales Silva on April 11, 1930. He spent his early childhood in Sierra Vista, AZ where his father worked at the Fort Huachuca Army Base as a cook for the “Buffalo Soldiers”. He then moved with his family to Bisbee AZ, where his father opened a restaurant in the section of town called the Brewery Gulch. He graduated from Bisbee High School in 1949 and went on to Arizona State College (University) in Tempe, graduating in 1954 with a Bachelor of Science degree. He was the first in his family to attend and then graduate college. While at ASC, he ran track for four years, becoming the Captain of the Varsity Track Team for the 53′-54′ school year, and medaled in the 2 mile.
After graduating from ASC, he enlisted in the United States Air Force, spending 20 years of service to his country, before earning the rank of Major. He traveled all over the world, eventually meeting and marrying his wife of 45 years Elaine Helen (Matz) of Detroit, Michigan in 1959. After being stationed at home and abroad for 16 years (including Germany, where two of his daughters were born) Manny’s final military orders brought him to Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, AZ in 1970, where they raised their six children. After retiring from the Air Force in 1974, he went back to school and received his Master’s degree in Special Education. He became a special education teacher, then vice principal and eventually principal, working in the Glendale, Phoenix and Tolleson School Districts before retiring in 1994.
He is pre-deceased by his wife, Elaine Helen Silva, his parents Pablo & Juventina Morales Silva, brothers Robert, Pete & Rudy Silva, and sister Alice Silva. He is survived by his sisters Stella Rojo & Grace Ruiz of Bisbee, brother Tony Silva of Phoenix, his children Danielle Wickander of Peoria, Patricia Silva of Phoenix, Maria Silva of Glendale, Elizabeth Wolff of Wilmette, IL, Robert Silva of San Mateo, CA and Stephen Silva of Los Angeles, CA. He also leaves behind 7 grandchildren Zachary & Spencer Wickander, Sophia, Harrison & Caroline Silva and Kyle & David Wolff. Manny was inducted into the Arizona Hispanic Sports Hall of Fame in 2004 for his illustrious track career while attending Arizona State College (now University). A caring and devoted father, brother, friend and mentor, Manny dedicated his life to the service of others and his country. His humor, intelligence and quick wit will be greatly missed. Good night, sweet dreams. Memorial service will be held at 3:00 pm on Wednesday, November 25, 2015 at the Southern Arizona Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 1300 Buffalo Soldier Trail Sierra Vista, AZ 85635. An additional memorial service will be held at 12:30 pm on Friday, November 27, 2015 at Brophy College Preparatory Chapel, 4701 North Central Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85012. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to Hospice of the Valley, 1510 East Flower Street, Phoenix, AZ 85014 (602) 530-6900. Arrangements entrusted to Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home.