- John Walter Silvernail, 74, passed away peacefully from complications from COPD on January 19, 2018. He was born on August 3, 1943, in Middletown, CT, to Walter R. and Martha (Koster) Silvernail.
John grew up in a quiet Connecticut River town. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Connecticut and did his graduate studies at the University of Maine.
John moved to Maine in 1971 and to Bucksport in 1977 where he built a home and his life on the side of Jacob Buck Mountain. The mountain was his favorite place on earth with its vistas of Waldo Hancock Mountain and the Penobscot Bay.
John spent his career helping those in need as a social worker. He was a pioneer in the early fight to find a cure for HIV/AIDS and care for those afflicted as a co-founder of the Eastern Maine AIDS Network. John was also a social worker for the Penobscot Nation Department of Human Services and as an admissions social worker at Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center.
John loved arts and craft, painting, drawing, and creating throughout his life. He adored animals, particularly dairy goats. John experienced the world, at 68 years old, traveling around the globe with only a backpack and curiosity.
John is survived by three sons, Michael A. Silvernail of Arlington, MA, Benjamin N. Silvernail and partner, Tracey MacDonald, of Orrington, ME, and Andrew K. Silvernail and his wife, Shelby, of Lake Forest, IL; six grandchildren, Benjamin, Koster, Spencer, Alyssa, Molly, and Emily, and many nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his son, David M. Silvernail, and his sister, Norma (Silvernail) Dolan.
There will be visiting hours to celebrate John's life on Saturday, January 27, 2018, at Mitchell Tweedie Funeral Home, 28 Elm St., Bucksport, ME, from 3-5 p.m. Burial will take place at a later date in the spring. www.mitchelltweedie-young.com
In lieu of flowers, John wished to establish a scholarship at Bucksport High School for students pursuing a career in the arts. You can send donations to: John Silvernail Scholarship for the Arts, c/o Andrew K. Silvernail, 471 Hastings Rd., Lake Forest, IL 60045.
Published on  January 22, 2018