Tuesday, September 9, 2014

RIP Lee Silva

Lee A. Silva, a descendant of California Gold Rush pioneers died in August. A retired Las Vegas lounge singer and song writer, a dealer in antique weapons, Lee has been writing for over thirty-
five years, specializing in the history and weapons of the Old West. Silva’s ancestors were California Gold Rush farmers, merchants, miners, and mule skinners. His paternal grandfather operated a hog farm, and his father owned a cattle ranch, bred quarter horses, and started taking the author shotgunning and target shooting shortly after he was old enough to walk. Lee began to
collect antique guns when he was eight years old, and he has been collecting, dealing in, and
writing about them ever since.
 
Lee has worked as a cowboy, lifeguard, taxi driver, jail keeper, hunting guide, process server, insurance investigator, and other jobs while attending San Jose State University, where he majored in wildlife conservation, police science, and creative writing, and earned a B.A. degree in business. After graduating from college, Lee worked as a Porsche and Rolls Royce salesman, abalone and salvage diver and antique gun dealer, and as a Hollywood actor, Lee appeared in daytime soaps and in the TV series Rawhide. He became a headline singer in Las Vegas with his life-long friends Stan Williams and Gil Sabourin, and he continued to sing and teach guitar in the 1960s, '70s, and '80s.
 
While spending twenty-five years as what he calls a "saloon singer," Lee began writing Old West history. Lee Silva was a recognized authority on the gunfighters and weapons of the frontier.  while attending San Jose State University, where he majored in wildlife conservation, police
science, and creative writing, and earned a B.A. degree in business. After graduating from
college, Lee worked as a Porsche and Rolls Royce salesman, abalone and salvage diver and
antique gun dealer, and as a Hollywood actor, Lee appeared in daytime soaps and in the
TV series Rawhide. He became a headline singer in Las Vegas with his life-long friends Stan
Williams and Gil Sabourin, and he continued to sing and teach guitar in the 1960s, '70s, and '80s.
 
While spending twenty-five years as what he calls a "saloon singer," Lee began writing Old
West history. Today, Lee Silva is a recognized authority on the gunfighters and weapons of the
frontier.  Lee was a twenty-five-year plus member of the Western Writers of America, and had been nominated four times for the Western Writers of America Spur award.
 
Lee was married to Susan Leiser from 1955-2008. Sue and her late mother Virginia were partners in the antique business in the 1980's, and in 1990 she met Lee. They were married in the "silver chapel" in Taxco, Mexico in 1993. Sue was a completely devoted and giving wife, for fifteen years. She and Lee were inseparable best friends, lovers, soul mates, partners, and companions, and Lee proudly and affectionately called her his "princess" and "every man's dream woman". Sue died in 2008 after a long battle with cancer.
 
SILVA, Lee A. (Leland A. Silva)
Born: 193?
Died: 8/?/2014, Sunset Beach, California, U.S.A.
 
Lee Silva’s western – actor:
Rawhide (TV) 196? – (deputy sheriff)

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