DANBURY, Conn. – Benjamin DaSilva Jr., a longtime Danbury educator and lifelong resident, died on Sept. 30.
He began his career as a teacher in Stamford, then came to Danbury to teach at the new Hayestown Avenue School. Next, he became the assistant principal and then principal of King Street School. He later served as director of elementary education and then assistant superintendent of schools.
In addition to a 35-year career as an educator, DaSilva devoted much of his life to supporting the arts. He was chairman of the Danbury Cultural Commission for 43 years and a long dedicated supporter of the Danbury Music Centre as well as numerous other arts activities.
He was a co-author of the successful textbook, "The Afro-American in United States History," which has been used as far away as New Zealand and Poland. It can be found in many libraries in the world. His other writings include several short stories, two novels, a play that had a successful run at the Sherman Playhouse and a musical that was produced in concert format at the Marian Anderson Recital Hall in Danbury.
He is survived by his wife Jean; son Thomas and wife, Koko and daughter, Maya; his son John and wife Sharon and daughter Antonia; his brother Joseph and wife Linda; sister Phyliss and husband Gerald; uncle Frank DeMunda and wife Michele; sister-in-law Janet; and many nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his first wife Shirley; his brother Anthony and his wife Carolyn; and his brother Richard. He was the son of Benjamin and Rose DaSilva.
Friends and family may call at the Green Funeral Home on Friday, Oct. 6, from 4 to 7 p.m. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Joseph Church, 8 Robinson Ave., Danbury at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, with burial to follow at St. Peter Cemetery.
The family thanks the Regional Hospice and Home Instead for the loving care they provided to him in the last days of his life.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the Benjamin DaSilva Scholarship Fund at Danbury High School, 43 Clapboard Ridge, Danbury, CT 06811.
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