NAUGATUCK — Julio R. da Silva, 74, passed away Friday, Feb. 24, 2023. He was the loving husband of Maria Simoes da Silva and son of the late Julio and Regina da Silva, formerly of Naugatuck and Portugal, Julio’s beloved birthplace.
Julio and his wife, Maria, were married for 45 years. Julio was a gentle, loving and kind man who will be dearly missed by the many people whose lives he touched.
Julio attended schools in Portugal and the U.S. after settling in Naugatuck at age 14. He graduated from Naugatuck High School in 1967 and earned an associate degree in Spanish-English interpretation and translation from the Latin American Institute in 1969. He also studied Spanish at the College of Artesia in New Mexico. He was fluent in Portuguese, English and Spanish and often used his skills to help others.
He worked at Heminway & Bartlett Manufacturing in Watertown, and later Coats of North America, for 33 years. Julio also worked at Biocompatibles in Oxford until his retirement in 2014.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Julio was an accomplished accordionist and contributor to the Portuguese community in Greater Waterbury.
He won the Connecticut Accordion Competition in 1966. Julio also arranged music for a local band, “Nos, Vos, e Elas” (“Us, You, and Them”), and played Portuguese and American music throughout Connecticut under band leader Joe Branco.
He also played concerts throughout New England and New Jersey, raising money for the construction of Our Lady of Fatima Church in Waterbury, a cornerstone of the Portuguese-American community of Greater Waterbury.
Julio was a dedicated communicant of Our Lady of Fatima, where he served as Eucharistic minister and a volunteer at annual feasts and other church activities. More recently, Julio volunteered at Naugatuck Adult Education, helping beginner students learn English.
Julio also enjoyed traveling, especially visiting his hometown, Monte Murtosa, Portugal, but also new adventures in Hawaii, Florida, California, Canada, Bermuda and Las Vegas.
Enjoying steamed lobster dinners on the deck in Cape Cod and snacking on “malassadas” at the Portuguese Bakery in Provincetown, Mass., were also among Julio’s favorite things to do.
Julio was a fan of Benfica, one of Portugal’s national soccer teams, and loved playing cards, watching TV golf, game shows and classic movies, reading mysteries, and cheering on nephews and nieces at their concerts, athletic competitions, and school events.
In addition to Maria, the love of his life, Julio will be missed and remembered by his brother, John da Silva and his wife Rosaura; Maria’s sister and brother-in-law, Maria and Jack Vieira; and Julio’s sister-in-law, Rosa Maria Simoes.
“Tio Ju” will also be dearly missed by two generations of nephews and nieces, Helena Vieira, Linda Cocchiola (Michael), Roger Simoes (Ana), Susan Vieira, Jennifer da Silva Hamilton, Christopher Da Silva (Jackie); and his grandnephews and -nieces, Natalie and Joaquim “Jack” Vieira, Michael and David Cocchiola, Justin and Anissa Simoes, Jeremy and Benjamin Hamilton, and Eleanor and Katherine da Silva. He is also survived by cousins in the U.S. and Portugal.
He was predeceased by his grandparents, Joao da Silva and Ana Luisa Oliviera, and Jacinto and Flavia Nascimento Reis; his father- and mother-in-law, Agostinho and Maria P. Simoes; his brother-in-law, Roger Simoes; and nephew, Joaquim S. Vieira.
Visiting hours were Wednesday, March 1, 2023, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Buckmiller Thurston Mengacci Funeral Home, 82 Fairview Ave., Naugatuck. Friends and family met directly at Our Lady of Fatima Church, 2071 Baldwin St., Waterbury, on Thursday, March 2, 2023, for a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. Burial followed in St. James Cemetery in Naugatuck. The family requested that COVID-19 precautions be strictly adhered to and that everyone attending wear a facial covering.
Julio’s family is grateful to the following caregivers, Donna Massaro, Liz, Cindy, Kristin and Bridgette from VNA Health at Home; Dr. Ralph Tremaglio and his staff; Barbara and Mary from AccentCare Hospice and Palliative Care; Kate and Brandon from the 9th floor at Waterbury Hospital; Mary and Janice from Access Rehab; and Victoria Horta and Tracy Litke for their kindness and companionship although too short.
Donations in Julio’s memory may be made to Shriners Hospitals for Children, 516 Carew St., Springfield, MA, 01104-2396; or Brain Injury Alliance of CT, 200 Day Hill Road, Suite 250, Windsor, CT 06095.
To leave an online condolence, please visit buckmillerthurstonmengacci.