Seventy years plus a harness racing fan

10:21 AM 27 Jul 2012 NZST
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If there's harness racing in heaven you can guarantee Silvestro (Sylvester) Filancia will have the best possible view in the most pristine grandstand God has on offer.

On Tuesday (July 24) harness racing in New York lost one of its greatest servants when Sylvester passed away. He had just celebrated his 94th birthday some 12 days earlier.

Unbelievably Sylvester was a 70-year fan of Yonkers racing. He has been at virtually at every meeting since the 1940s.

Sylvester was known to all the race drivers and most trainers – certainly all the race office employees. He probably knew some of their grandparents because Sylvester was part of Yonkers raceway – long before they were born.

There’ll never be another harness racing fan like Sylvester.

He was just a tremendous lover of the game. He was like part of the Yonkers Raceway furniture. In fact track officialdom recognised his loyalty with a Winner’s Circle photo of him on his 94th birthday just days ago (July 12).

Sylvester’s funeral will be held on Friday (July 27) at Saint John the Baptist Church, Yonkers with a requiem Mass at 11am. Interment: St. Joseph’s Cemetery.

The great man’s death notice read:

Silvestro Filancia, of Yonkers, died on July 24, 2012. Born to Pietro and Clementina DiVito Filancia. Beloved husband of Gena Germani Filancia. Loving father of the late Maria Taylor. Father in law of Dr. Kevin Taylor. Dear brother of the late Sal, Robert, Italo and Gemmino Filancia, Antonetta Gurka, Giovanna Coccia and Maria Dora Filancia.

Brother in law of Rocco (Ann) Germani. Adored grandfather of Ryan and ChristopherTaylor. Also survived by many nieces and nephews. He was a WWII Army veteran and the owner of Silvestro’s Barber Shop on Central Ave for over 50 years until his retirement.

He was an avid racing fan and was well known by Yonkers Raceway employees and friends. Reposing Flower Funeral Home Inc, 714 Yonkers Ave, with visitation Thursday 1-5 & 7-9 pm.

Duane RANGER (editor)

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