More than 100 family members, friends and coworkers said their final farewells to after she became trapped in an industrial compacting machine at Smurfit-Stone Recycling in Renton. Her coworkers and , but were unsuccessful.
A viewing and memorial service were held in Burien on Friday. A burial followed at Washington Memorial Park and Mortuary in SeaTac.
Silva was born and raised in Ululei and Pago Pago, America Somoa. She graduated from Samoana High School is 2004 and went on to complete a certificate of computer literacy at American Samoa Community College. She moved to Seattle in 2009 and was hired to work at Smurfit-Stone.
Silva is survived by her mother, Eteline Mua Ala; brothers, Aitofele Laifa, Anani Laifa, Matalau Laifa, Minhoar Laifa, Savaliolefilemu Luuga, Aukuso Ala, Fa'alido Ala; son, Marron Sharlene Ala; and numerous extended family members. Silva's father, Matagisa Ala, a lance corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps, died in 2009.
Several large bouquets of flowers and a poster-sized image flanked Silva's white casket, which remained closed during the memorial service, as family members and close friends remember the young woman. Most of the ceremony was conducted in Samoan.
Silva's oldest brother, who spoke first in Samoan and then in English, described his only sister as a determined and stubborn—yet fiercely loyal—sibling. Each child had a plan, he said. His was to join the military; hers was to take care of their mother in Seattle.
The last time he saw Silva was in 2004 when he was deployed to Iraq for the first time. The two had arranged to spend Christmas 2011 together.
"That plan went down the drain," he said.
"A child's job is to take care of their parents. A parent's job is to watch their children grow up," he said. "It really hurt us to see her go at a young age."
Silva will live on in her son, Marron, he said. Even though he's still young, the resemblance is unmistakable.
"The hair, the face and the attitude" he said, noting the similarities. "Her son will carry on her name."
Although Silva's death was ruled accidental by the King County Medical Examiner, Washington State Labor and Industries is conducting an investigation of the incident. The final report is expected to be released by September.