Nature 19

Silvey (Wood) Barge

February 6, 1933 ~ March 17, 2024 (age 91) 91 Years Old

Silvey Barge Obituary

Silvey Wood Barge of Sewickley, Pennsylvania died peacefully on March 17, 2024. She is preceded in death by the Rev. Dr. James S. Barge who was her best friend and partner in life. Jim and Silvey, as they were affectionately known, were married on June 5, 1953 and embarked on a lifetime dedicated to the service of others for 67 years until Jim’s death on July 12, 2020.

Silvey was born February 6, 1933, on a farm near Perry, OK, where she grew up with her parents, Lew and Ruth Wood, and brothers Jack and Joe, who have preceded her in death. She graduated from Texas Christian University, becoming the first from her family to attend college. While at TCU her greatest joy came in the Student Christian Association, where she personally met and was influenced by many early civil rights leaders including Bayard Rustin, Roy Wilkins, and Philip Randolph.

Her life was dedicated to service, and she often referred to herself as a professional volunteer. Throughout her life she was involved in a variety of church and community volunteer activities. During her years in Springfield, Illinois (1965-1986) she served on the Board of Memorial Medical Center, as President of Friends of Memorial Medical Center and the YWCA, where she was given an honorary life membership. Other activities include Chair of Consortium on Governmental Concerns, Church Women United, President of P.E.O. Chapter BF, Book Review Club, United Way and school volunteer. During her retirement years in St. Paul, MN as a member of House of Hope Presbyterian Church, Silvey served as an elder and deacon and was an active participant in several community agencies. She was a member of P.E.O. Chapter CS, and AAUW where she was privileged to share in writing the history of the St. Paul Branch of AAUW, From the Beginning. She thoroughly enjoyed working as a Technical Librarian at Hanson Engineers, Inc., Springfield, IL, and as an Administrative Assistant at Better Homes and Gardens, Des Moines, IA which brought joy and wider learnings into her life.

Silvey and Jim shared a passion for travel, learning, good conversation, and music. They read widely and loved to attend lectures and concerts, most recently at the Chautauqua Institution where they would spend time with family and friends. Silvey was thoughtful and considerate wanting to make sure that others felt welcome and included. She was generous with her time throughout her life whether it was volunteering at church, local service organizations, or in her retirement living community. Her thoughtfulness, generosity, and consideration of others will be missed by her family and friends.

Silvey was proud mother to J. Kevin (Courtney) Barge of The Woodlands, Texas, and J. Stephen (Kathleen) Barge of Sewickley, Pennsylvania, and proud grandmother to Aaren (Sreemoyee Som), Cameron, Genevieve, Jackson, and Scarlett Barge. 

A memorial service and interment to celebrate the lives of both Silvey Wood Barge and Rev. Dr. James S. Barge will be at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Springfield, IL, on June 1, 2024 at 11:00 am and interment will be in the church’s Memorial Garden. Memorial gifts may be made to Westminster Presbyterian Church, the Chautauqua Institution or to the charity of your

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Memorial Service
June 1, 2024

11:00 AM
Westminster Presbyterian Church
533 S Walnut Street
Springfield, IL 62704
Guaranteed delivery before the Memorial Service begins


Chautauqua Institution
Chautauqua NY 14722

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Westminster Presbyterian Church
533 S Walnut Street, Springfield IL 62704


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