The Altamont Enterprise, December 13, 2007
VOORHEESVILLE — Richard Silberman is missed by his own 6-year-old son to whom he was devoted, and he is also missed by the children he knew as a bus driver for the Voorheesville schools.
"One of the mothers who came to the funeral said she never had time to read to her twins. When Rich got them to school 10 minutes early, he’d pull a book from their book bag and read to them," said his wife, Linda L. Keech Silberman. "They had gumballs on the wall because of him," she said, referring to a reward system for reading books.
"He really loved the kids. One boy misses the way they used to talk. Rich really got to their level," said Mrs. Silberman.
Her husband died on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2007, at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany. He was 58.
He had acute leukemia, which was diagnosed just nine days before his death, said Mrs. Silberman. "We thought he was tired all the time because he worked so hard," she said.
In addition to working as a bus driver for Voorheesville, where he lived on Maple Road, Mr. Silberman commuted to Menands where he worked as a dispatcher for the police department there.
"He loved his work," said his wife.
He was appreciated by those he worked with. "He was fun. He was a little light-hearted," said Michael Goyer, the transportation supervisor at Voorheesville. "He was definitely safety conscious. He really knew and liked the kids he drove"When you go to look for a team member, you can only hope for someone like Ric".He’ll be missed," said his supervisor.
Sarita Winchell, a Voorheesville administrator, told the school board this week that Mr. Silberman’s death was "a real tragedy." She said, "The bus drivers are very upset"Our condolences go to his family."
Born in Kingston, N.Y., Mr. Silberman was the son of Phyllis Silberman and the late Roger Silberman. He was a veteran of the United States Army. Mr. Silberman served stateside as a medic, his wife said, and he was a member of the American Legion Joseph E. Zaloga Post #1520. He was also a member of the Blue Knights, the Polish American Community Center, and the Fraternal Order of Police.
One of his best friends introduced him to Linda Keech, who would become his wife. "From our first date, we’ve been together," she said.
She described her husband as a caring man with a great sense of humor. "He liked to tell jokes," she said. "He’d break the ice that way."
He was devoted to his son, Robert James. He became a father rather late in life, said his wife, and so valued the experience all the more. "It was a turning point for him," said Mrs. Silberman. "He was so proud"He was a good father. He was always there for his son."
The two of them built blocks on the floor together and laid train tracks in the cellar, she said.
"We all miss him. His little guy misses him terribly much," said his wife, as she cried. "No one will replace him. That’s from the heart."
Richard Silberman is survived by his mother, Phyllis Silberman; his wife Linda L. Keech Silberman; and his son, Robert James Silberman. He is also survived by his aunt, Coralie Kaplan, and cousin, Lynda Kaplan, both of Kingston; and by his father- and mother-in-law, James and Theresa Keech of Albany.
He is survived, too, by his sister-in-law, Norma J. Decker, and her husband, Michael, of Colonie, and his brothers-in-law, James W. Keech Jr., and his wife, Linda, of Loundonville, and Stephan D. Keech and his wife, Annette, of Colonie. He is also survived by several nieces, nephews, and many friends.
His family would like to thank the entire staff of the intensive care unit at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany for all of the care they gave him.
Funeral services were held Monday at the New Comer-Cannon Family Funeral Home in Colonie with interment in Memory’s Garden in Colonie.
Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of the giver’s choice. Messages for the family maybe left on-line at www.NewcomerFamily.com.