Aaron Silva was a 15-year-old boy with a contagious smile. He loved animals, especially horses and his pit bull Roxy. Aaron was a student at Kodiak Middle School from 2007 to 2011. He participated in the Class Night activities last May after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. Aaron was an exceptional young man.
He had developmental disabilities that were the result of a chromosomal abnormality called Ring 22 Mosaic, a very rare genetic disorder. Aaron used limited verbal language, but had very creative ways to get his point across. He communicated with his eyes, his facial expressions, gestures and most importantly his smile. He loved to be silly and laugh with others, and he often understood much of what was being said around him.
He overcame many obstacles throughout his life, like walking, learning to communicate and learning everyday tasks. He never gave up.
Aaron’s sense of humor and laugh were awesome. He could lift people up with a high five and make things seem simple. He understood what was most important in the world. He loved his family and his friends openly and was incredibly kind and thoughtful.
He will be remembered for his strength of spirit and his compassion. He loved to reach out to others, some he didn’t even know, and he was always looking for ways to make people smile or make their lives easier. He was as much a caregiver as those who helped to care for him. Through his kind spirit, he taught the community of Kodiak about acceptance and differences.
Aaron is truly a hero in our community because of his kindness, his fight and his ability to face such adversity with grace and strength. He will be dearly missed.
Aaron’s family wanted to be sure that his life continued to be a gift to others. His corneas were donated to two individuals in Alaska and his tumors were given to science.
The family wishes to thank the community of Kodiak for their support during Aaron’s illness. A special thanks to the caregivers who helped him in his final days: Tess, Lulu, Vicky and Jodi, as well as all of the Hope staff. We love and appreciate Nancy Wells, who was there from the beginning of the journey. She was Aaron’s guardian angel. She helped us understand and figure out his disability and was there through every challenge.
Aaron is survived by his mother Gabriella (Gabby) Alvarez, his stepfather Luis Fernandez, his brother Mark Baisa, his sister LeAnn Silva, his biological father Carlos Silva (California), his brother Ernesto Gonzales, his sister-in-law Alma Gonzales and his nephew Andy Gonzales (Mexico), his maternal grandmother Constanza Fuentes (Mexico), his Aunt LuLu Alvarez and cousins Janet and Alberto Rodriguez and Manuel Alvarez (Kodiak), his aunts Norma Alvarez (California), Alma Alvarez (California), Cheo Alvarez (California) and many cousins. He is preceded in death by his maternal grandfather Andres Alvarez, his paternal grandfather Francisco Silva, and his cousin Hayley Orozco.
The funeral Mass for Aaron Silva will be at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011, at St. Mary’s church. The viewing will begin at 3 p.m.
A potluck repast will follow at East Elementary School. Please bring a dish to share. The family is in need of financial support to cover the cost of the funeral. If you are able to contribute please write checks payable to Kodiak Funeral Chapel and send them to Kathy Nussbaum, PO Box 8981, Kodiak, AK 99615.