Mary Elizabeth Silvia Butt Silvia (Betty), Age 89, of Virginia Beach, VA, passed away on April 16th 2022. She was blessed to die peacefully at home with all her family by her side.

Betty was born in Newport Rhode Island to Frank P and Mary Silvia on November 14th 1932.  She attended Berkley Peckham Middle School and graduated from Saint Catherine’s High School. She was a graduate of Catholic University in Washington DC, receiving her bachelor’s degree in Nursing June 1955. She married James Anthony Butt Jr on July 16th 1955 in Newport Rhode Island.  After having her four children, she went back to school, becoming a Nurse Practitioner in 1982. She was a pioneer in the development of this new healthcare role in Virginia, even testifying before the VA Legislature to secure prescriptive rights becoming one of the first to receive those privileges.  Her work as a nurse covered many different specialty areas in Emergency Room, Home Health, Internal Medicine, Cardiac Care and Nursing Education. She worked in several hospitals to include Maryview, DePaul and Norfolk General.  Betty was a nursing instructor for Commonwealth Healthcare and Old Dominion University. In 1997 when Medicare expanded coverage for home health services, she was instrumental in the startup and policy development for Commonwealth Healthcare.  She was honored to have several of her nursing articles published in the national Nursing/Medical trade journals over the years.  Everyone who’s life she touched in some way experienced her brilliant intelligence, calm in the face of chaos and her deep faith that brought clarity to all challenges.  She was selfless in her love and caring often putting others needs above her own.

As an adolescent she belonged to a singing group called “Two Dots and a Bett”. They sang Andrews Sisters songs at Minstrel Shows and on the radio in Newport.  She loved sharing the farm life and culture of Newport and her Portuguese heritage with friends and family. The family’s two-week vacation to Newport every August was always a cherished time together filled with stories from the past.  As an adult she enjoyed hosting dinner parties, cooking, international travel, Spice Girls Investment Club and her many book clubs. Betty was an avid reader and loved to watch movies.  You could always talk her into going out to lunch. She had a real gift for storytelling and a wonderful sense of humor that made her a joy to be around. She was a wonderful Mother, Wife, Sister and Friend.  Betty could always be counted on to give good, honest and supportive advice followed up with powerful prayer. Her siblings, children, nieces, nephews, friends and even her children’s friends called her to talk through problems and get her advice.  It is truly amazing to see how many friends she had who loved her.

Betty Butt Silvia is preceded in death by two husbands James A. Butt Jr. (1999) and Charles P. Silvia (2017). Also preceding her in death are sisters: Joan Holthous, Patsy Sheehan, Margaret Botelho and brothers Arthur, Francis and Billy Silvia.   

Betty is survived by her brother Raymond Silvia and all of her children; Mary Gerarde and Shelby Hood, James Francis Butt, Ryan Matthew and Evgeniya (Eve) Butt and David Andrew and Kathy Butt. She is also survived by three grandchildren; James Paul Butt, Daniel Patrick Butt and Adelina Ryan Butt. 

Betty is also survived by her step-children and their many children. The surviving children of Charles P. Silvia are Dr. Charles and Molly Silvia, Jim and Christine Silvia, Dan Silvia, David Silvia and William and Ruth Lescher. Thomas Silvia proceeded her in death. 

Her funeral Mass will be held 11:00 AM on May 10th, 2022 at 11:00AM the Church of the Holly Family (1279 N Great Neck Rd, Virginia Beach), with inurnment to follow at Rosewood Memorial Park (631 N. Witchduck Rd, Virginia Beach, 23462.  The reception will immediately follow the services at 4400 Sheffield Drive, Virginia Beach 23455. Memorials and flowers can be sent to Rosewood Kellum Funeral Home, 601 North Witchduck Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23462.  Please visit to send condolences for the family.