John K. "Kevin" Silk
John K. "Kevin" Silk of Cambridge died on December 19 at Mass General Hospital surrounded by his family after a battle with cancer. He was 77.
Born in Cambridge and raised in Belmont, Kevin was a longtime resident of Wellesley and Cambridge MA, proud that he overlooked Mt. Auburn Hospital, the place of his birth. Kevin attended Belmont public schools and graduated Belmont High School in 1956. His academic achievements earned him a GE scholarship to attend Harvard University where he majored in physics and played trombone in the marching band, graduating in 1960. He earned his Ph.d in Astro Physics from MIT graduating in 1968.
Kevin enjoyed a career in private industry leading projects for AS&E in Cambridge and Bloch Engineering in Pittsburgh. He participated NASA's Skylab project in the early 1970's and traveled the world delivering technical support and helping solve complex problems. His signature ability was taking highly complex ideas and translating them so that they could be better understood. He was a first class writer and his calm, quiet manner along with keen intelligence helped instill confidence in his work that was recognized by both colleagues and clients.
Outside of work, Kevin was a passionate cook whose day revolved around what he would make for dinner. He hosted many "Head of the Charles" and Christmas parties where he enjoyed planning the menu and doing the cooking. He was a lifelong supporter of the Boston Symphony, Handel and Hydn society and ART in Cambridge. He was an able carpenter and handyman, dutifully remodeling his home in Wellesley room by room for 15 years, even tackling some plumbing and electrical tasks, but never again wallpapering as he said a man should "recognize his limits."
Kevin was lucky to have loved and been loved by three great women. He was married to Laura Wright Silk of Sewickley PA for 32 years who predeceased him due to cancer in 1992. He found love again with Rosa Bonanno Shinagel of Belmont and Cambridge, MA, who too died of cancer in 1997. For the past 15 years, Kevin shared his life with Charlotte Troubh of Portland, ME and Cambridge, enjoying trips to Tanglewood and Maine, concerts and museum visits in Boston and many memorable meals both at home and in favorite restaurants. Kevin is survived by his dear friend Charlotte Troubh of Cambridge, MA, his daughter Christy Curran of Needham, MA and his son, Sean Silk of Los Angeles, CA. He enjoyed the company of his family and was especially proud of his five grandchildren, Jack and Margaret Curran and Anna, Nicholas and Gabriella Silk. A memorial party will be held for Kevin at a later date.