Ernest F. Silvestri, 84

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Southborough – Ernest F. Silvestri, 84, died at home Monday, April 16, 2012, after a brief illness.

Born in Paterson, N.J., he was the son of the late Ernesto and Helen (Romaniello) Silvestri. He leaves his wife, Patricia (Schaft) Silvestri of Southborough, and his son, Maximilian S. of Brooklyn, N.Y.

Mr. Silvestri came of age near the end of World War II and he served his country in the Army, fortunate that the war was almost over. For the rest of his life, cruise ship vacations held no interest for him, saying his service aboard a troop ship headed to the Panama Canal was all the seafaring vacation he's ever need.

His love of design, and a bribe of a new car by his father, took him to Ohio University where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Architecture. He spent 17 years at the firm of Lee and Lee in Paterson, designing schools, churches, and commercial structures.

For Mr. Silvestri, just designing buildings wasn's enough, so he spent 20 years in Monmouth County, N.J., building high-rise and residential buildings. He was a master of utilizing limited space and making a house into a home.

His hobby was food: talking about it, shopping for it, cooking it, and, of course, enjoying it with friends and family. He learned traditional Neapolitan cuisine from his mother and grandmother at home. From his father, he learned wine making and the art of making holiday celebrations an event to remember. Throughout his life, people pestered him to open a restaurant, but they missed the point that, for him, cooking was a way to show his love for the people he cared about.

A funeral home service will be held Monday, April 23, at the Morris Funeral Home, 40 Main St., Southborough. Family and friends will be welcomed at 1.30 p.m., with a service following at 2.30 p.m.

Memorial contributions may be sent to the Wounded Warrior Project at www.woundedwarriorproject.org.

To send words of condolence to the family, visit www.morrisfuneralparlor.com.