Climbers' family finding strength to move on

Climbers' family finding strength to move on

UPDATE: Funeral services for the pair have been set

PORTLAND, Ore. - The family of two rock climbers who lost their lives in the Columbia River Gorge over the weekend is finding strength in their church, their family and their community.

Tony "T.C." Silva and his sister-in-law, Laura Dyal-Silva, died Sunday while climbing at Horsethief Butte.  The two were roped together when something went wrong and they fell 35 feet onto the rocks below.  Silva died at the scene and Dyal-Silva died later at an area hospital.

Meanwhile, family members want people to know more about the two and how they lived their lives.

Tony Silva was just 30 years old and a detective with the Gresham Police Department.  He leaves behind a wife and two sons, ages five and seven.

"He's one of those people you look up to and say 'man, I'm glad he's serving the public and he's defending the faith,' " said Jason Nichols, Laura Dyal-Silva's brother-in-law.

Laura Dyal-Silva was just 26 years old and attended Multnomah Bible College.  Her husband, Bobby, was climbing with the pair but wasn't hurt.

"She had a drive that I didn't get," said Nichols.  "Rafting the water, enjoying that kind of stuff.  But doing it for a ministry.  That's intense for me."

The family still doesn't know exactly what happened but knowing isn't the most important thing right now.

"They've moved on to another place and I know that place is heaven and it doesn't matter to me how they got there," said Nichols.

Dyal-Silva's first cousin, Chelsea, was at the climb on Sunday and was watching Silva's boys when she saw the two fall.

"At that time, I didn't know what was going on," she said.  "I didn't know if they were OK.  I told the boys 'you know, they're fine, your dad's OK.'  But he wasn't.  So it was really hard."

The timing of the accident, just a week before Easter, isn't lost on the family.  They said it's part of what gives them strength to go on.

"Go on to tell others about what Laura and Tony wanted to tell people," said Nichols.  "And what they lived their life for.  And that's the saving grace of Jesus Christ."

Funeral services for both Silva and Dyal-Silva are scheduled for Thursday at 10 a.m. at the Good Shepherd Community Church at 28986 S.E. Haley Road in Boring. Those planning to attend are asked to arrive early as seating may be at capacity well before the service begins.