Photography 05

Nancy Silvernale

October 30, 1934 ~ December 15, 2020 (age 86)


Nancy Dudley Allen Silvernale passed away in Moscow, Idaho, on December 15, 2020. She was 86 years old. She was born on October 30, 1934, in Seattle, Washington, to William McPherson Allen and Dorothy Dixon Allen. She had fond memories of growing up in the Highlands in Seattle with her beloved sister Dorothy (Poo). After her mother died in 1943, her father married Mary Ellen (Mef) Field and she welcomed two stepsiblings, James (Jim) and Ellen.

For much of the first part of her life, her father was President of the Boeing Company. She had amazing stories and pictures to share from her life with Bill Allen and his role as a pioneer in ushering in the jet age. One of our favorite photos is from 1959 with her in a flight attendant uniform standing next to her father after landing in Rome on a sales flight for the 707. We asked her many times to recount her memories of Tex Johnson’s infamous barrel roll of the Dash-80 over Lake Washington. Throughout our lives, after any trip we took Mom would always ask us what type of Boeing plane we flew on.

Nancy married Grant Josiah Silvernale, Jr., on September 16, 1961, in Seattle and they had three children: Joe, Mary and Chuck. While Grant worked as a lawyer, Nancy took care of the home front and was a wonderful mother. She was at all her children’s events and her positive support continued with her grandkids.

Mom could give a master class in friendship. The sisterhood of her Kappa Kappa Gamma friendships formed at Whitman College lasted the rest of her life. We answered the phone growing up knowing it was always for her. Her Christmas card list was so long that we complained anytime we were recruited to assist in its production. Grant spent a fair portion of his married life patiently waiting at the door of any event they attended while she said her goodbyes. The family thanks everyone who took the time to keep in touch with Mom; her last hours were spent listening to notes of love and friendship being read out loud to her.

Grant and Nancy were huge community supporters of Kirkland, the city they lived in throughout most of their marriage. Organizations like the Creative Arts League and the Kirkland Courier benefited from her time and talent. She was a powerhouse fundraiser and most proud of her work to help start the Kirkland Performance Center (KPC).

Mom had a lifelong passion for photography. Besides coral lipstick, the one thing always in her purse was her camera. When developing her film, she would make doubles to send to family and friends. More than one person has told us that the bulk of the photos from their childhood come from her.

Preceded in death by Grant in 2017, she is survived by her son Grant (Joe) Josiah Silvernale, III, of Kirkland, Washington; her daughter Mary Elizabeth Silvernale Shook (Steve) of Moscow, Idaho; her son Charles (Chuck) Edward Silvernale (Trish) of Poulsbo, Washington. She is also survived by her cherished grandchildren: Casey Silvernale, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Carly Silvernale, Seattle, Washington; Grace Shook, Edinburgh, Scotland; James and Jennings Shook, Moscow, Idaho; Peter and Ben Silvernale, Poulsbo, Washington; and step grandchildren Jacob Brown and Abby Sheldon, Poulsbo, Washington.

The family will hold a private memorial next summer in Missoula, where she will join her parents and Montana pioneer relatives at the Missoula City Cemetery. The family requests that any memorials be made in her honor to Seattle’s Museum of Flight or the Kirkland Performance Center. The family extends its deep appreciation to the caring staff of Good Samaritan Moscow for their service in the last three and a half years to our parents.

Dad gave one toast at every wedding – “May you be as happy as Nancy and I,” and their faithfulness to each other lasted until the end. We have no doubt that as Mom left this earth, she was calling out into the universe for Grant (achieving that pitch as only she could) so they could reunite. In her honor, the family suggests you make a cup of tea, review old family photos, and think about how you can make your community a better place. Mom, we loved you and we will miss you terribly.

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