Silvana Martini Schuster passed away on Sunday, September 12, 2021.
Born on June 28, 1943, in the then-Italian province of Istria, Silva immigrated to the United States in 1951 under the Displaced Persons Act and settled in East Chicago, Indiana. She attended St. Patrick's Elementary School, East Chicago Washington High School, the Ray-Vogue Art School for fashion and costuming, Calumet College of St. Joseph, eventually completing a BA in Psychology from Indiana University South Bend.
Silva married John C. (Jack) Schuster in 1964 and moved to South Bend where Jack accepted a position with St. Joseph Bank. They joined the Sacred Heart Parish at Notre Dame and founded their family. While raising her children and caring for her aging parents, Silva found time to devote her considerable talent and energy to numerous causes, including her children's schools, the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, the South Bend Opera, the Southhold Dance Theater, as well as the local Alzheimer's Association. After she moved to Indianapolis in 2007 to be near her beloved grandchildren, she devoted time to the Italian Heritage Society of Indiana and the Indianapolis Opera, and sang in the Laudi Cantores Choir of the SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral.
Possessed of ebullient energy and boundless curiosity about the world, Silva was known for her eagerness to invite all people to her table, where she served wonderful food cooked seemingly effortlessly, and invited all to talk and share their lives. Along with friends and family, she filled her life with art, literature and music, especially her beloved opera, and created beautiful gardens in all her homes. She continuously cultivated her sartorial talents as she grew older, making numerous bridal dresses for loved ones, and overseeing costuming for the Opera of the University of Notre Dame, including her triumph for the production of L'incoronazione di Poppea.
In later years, Silva devoted time to travel, visiting five continents in her wanderings, and bringing back rich stories and beautiful photographs of her adventures with various friends, old and new.
Silva was predeceased by her husband, Jack, and her son Carl Joseph Schuster, as well as her parents Romana Biboli Martini and Atto Martini. She is survived by her son, John C. Schuster Jr., her daughter, Nicole Marie Schuster, her son-in-law, Gabriel Hawkins, her two grandchildren, Anna and Jack Hawkins, and her brother, Mario Martini (Rosemary). As well, she is survived by her nieces, Christine Lantz (Brian), Rebecca Barton (Edward), Renee Kluck (Michael), and her nephew, Philip Martini (Amara) and eight grand nieces and nephews, one great-grand niece, as well as other family in the US, Italy and far flung locations like Brazil and New Zealand. Her generous cosmopolitan spirit ran deep and was a blessing to all who knew her.
Visitation in Indianapolis will be on Sunday, September 19, 2021 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Lauck & Veldhof Funeral & Cremation Services - 1458 South Meridian Street. A reception for friends and family in South Bend will be held on Monday, September 20, 2021 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Sacred Heart Parish Center, 104, Notre Dame, IN (sacredheartparish.nd.edu). A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at the University of Notre Dame. Internment will follow at Cedar Grove Cemetery.
Memorial contributions in lieu of flowers are suggested to the Alzheimer's Association, Greater Indiana Chapter, and the Italian Heritage Society of Indiana. Envelopes will be provided by the funeral home in Indianapolis.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Silvana Maria (Martini) Schuster, please visit our floral store.