Louis Silver
Louis Silver 2/14/15-10/08/2009

Family: parents: Herman and Rosa; wife: Sylvia Drexler; children: Robert and Jacqueline.

Louis was one of the two youngest of 8 siblings born to Rosa and Herman Silver. When Louis was only 5 yrs old, his father died in an automobile accident. However, the family regrouped: since Louis’ mother had her hands full running a business and family, the oldest sisters helped raise the younger ones.

Apparently the sisters took very good care of Louis. He was sturdy and athletic and even was a state champion when he wrestled for Durham High School Nevertheless, the sisters were not going to let Louis work too hard.

After he left college, Louiis worked at a local grocery store. One day the manager noticed that an African American man, not hired by the manager, was helping Louis stock shelves. The manager asked the African American what he was doing. The man replied “I help Mr. Louis with the lifting”. It turned out that Louis’ sisters hired him: they didn’t want their baby brother to be exerting himself too much. . When War II broke out, Louis joined the military and was shipped out to Iceland where he served in the signal corps.. He hit the beaches at Normandy, .and later fought in the Battle of the Bulge. However, as he reported to a Durham newspaper on his return home, his most memorable moment occurred when Jewish members of his unit held their first service on German soil, even while planes were flying overhead and enemy shells were falling not so far away. With this show of religious freedom, the purpose of their fighting became crystal clear to Louis. . . The service was broadcast at that time and according to Bob Silver, his nephew, it can still be found on the internet.

After the war, Louis returned to civilian life and bought a grocery store in Graham. At the same time, he was also looking for a wife.. Bob Silver tells the story that Louis was travelling up to the Catskills where he met 12 young Jewish women sitting around a table. He kissed them all and decided that the last one, Sylvia Drexler, was the one for him.. They dated over the next year and in 1950 they married. Sylvia, a Manhattan gir,l, came down to live in Graham and she later reported it was the worst year of her life . Perhaps fortunately for her, the grocery store did not prosper and they later moved to Grreensboro. Louis had a series of jobs, but he finally found a lasting success when he took over a plate glass company in Greensboro which prospered.

Louis was very connected to the synagogue in Greensboro both figuratively and literally. He lived next door and was involved in many activities there. He was on the board of directors for decades and was also chair of the House Committee. However, when he died, he wanted to be buried in the Durham Hebrew Cemetery where his parents and grandparents were buried.