November 16, 1946 - November 27, 2021
On Saturday, November 27, 2021 Don Silversides passed away at the age of 75 from pancreatic cancer. Don is survived by his spouse, Rhoda Witherly, her children Michael (Stacy) and Kate (Chris) and grandchildren Sophia, Violet, Natalie, and William. Don is also survived by sister Kathy (Ron) and niece Nicole. Don was predeceased by his parents Robert and Ida Silversides, and his brother Doug.
Don was born and raised in Prince Rupert, BC, as were his parents. He went to school in Prince Rupert until the age of 13, and then attended the Prairie High School in Three Hills, Alberta, an associated school of the Prairie Bible Institute. Following completion of Grade 11, Don enrolled at the Trinity Junior College in Langley. He then attended law school at the University of British Columbia, graduated in 1969, and was called to the bar in 1971.
Don practiced law in Prince Rupert with the same firm for over 50 years. Following completion of law school, Don articled at MacDonnell, Graham & Errico. He became an associate lawyer in July 1971, and then a partner the following year at the firm then known as MacDonnell, Graham, Errico & Silversides. Don had been the managing partner for the law firm now known as Silversides, Merrick & McLean for over 35 years. The firm has continuously operated as a partnership in Prince Rupert since its formation in 1908.
Don had extensive volunteer services with both law-related and political organizations. Among some contributions, he was a Life Bencher of the Law Society of British Columbia and served on the Society's Executive Committee. He was also formerly a Director and Chair of the Legal Services Society of BC, the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC, and the Law Foundation of BC. For over ten years he was also a tribunal member at the British Columbia Health Professions Review Board.
Don had a great love for politics. A lifelong Liberal, until recently Don was the Acting President of the BC Liberal Party. Over the years Don served on the Executive of the Provincial BC Liberal North Coast Riding Association, and the President of the Skeena Federal Liberal Association. Don also was on the federal Liberal national campaign committee and acted as campaign manager and campaign chair for several candidates in provincial and federal elections.
Locally, Don previously served as a Director with the Muks-Kum-Ol Housing Society, as well as a Director and former President of the Prince Rupert Chamber of Commerce.
Whenever Don was not involved with his legal or political work, he enjoyed construction and repair projects at his and Rhoda's second home in Usk, BC.
Our family would like to thank his physician Dr. Crawshay, the home care nurses from Northern Health, and the local pharmacists for their compassionate care. The family would also like to acknowledge and thank his partner Sam McLean, Don's assistant Trina MacDonald, and all the staff at Silversides, Merrick & McLean for their support over the last few months.
A service will be held on Tuesday, December 7, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. at the First United Church, 636 Sixth Avenue West in Prince Rupert.
Memorial donations may be made to the Prince Rupert Salvation Army for their Christmas appeal.