15 West Ave. Spencerport, New York | 21 Main St. Churchville, New York
Obituary of Karl Peter "Pete" Sillay
Rochester/Nashville- Pete was a loving father, grandfather, brother and son. He was a sailor, inventor and entrepreneur that sought to make the world a better place. Pete was born October 15, 1941 in Rochester New York and passed away peacefully on August 1, 2023 in Nashville, TN, leaving behind cherished memories and a legacy of love.
Pete is survived by his sons, Karl Arthur Sillay (m. Elizabeth Gernert Sillay) and Alan Peter Sillay; grandchildren, Andrew Karl Sillay, Caroline Alexandra Sillay and Elizabeth Grace Sillay; mother, Irene Adams Sillay; siblings, Mark Helmuth Sillay (m. Barbara, children Jennifer, Stephen), Pamela Sillay Perotto (children Ronald and Rosemary) and James Arrow.
After attending West High School in Rochester, New York. Pete pursued mechanical engineering at the University of Rochester, where he was a proud member of the Sigma Xi fraternity. Pete and his younger brother bonded over building and fine-tuning a racing sailboat on Keuka Lake, where the family had a cottage. Pete later earned his Masters in Business Administration at SUNY Buffalo (where he enjoyed Skiing at “Kissing Bridge”) before joining Arthur Anderson in New York. His love for sailing and entrepreneurship led him to Saint Lucia where he started a sailing charter company before retiring to complete his professional career as a business strategist at the Southern Company, the owner of Georgia Power. Beyond his professional achievements, he loved participating in Toastmasters, refining his public speaking skills which he used to encourage and inspire others Pete's creativity was centered in inventing and consulting, which he pursued as lifelong passions. In his retirement from Georgia Power, Pete found joy in the tranquil waters of Lake Lanier where he continued inventing, documenting and sketching his ideas and sailing. His love for and belief in the therapeutic nature of sailing led him to volunteer in the "Heart of Sailing" program, where he shared his passion with children with autism. Despite a courageous five-year battle with cancer, Pete's positive outlook and compassion never wavered. He will be dearly missed by family and friends alike, but his spirit will forever sail on in our hearts. Heart of a sailor, soul of an inventor, and words that inspire - Pete’s spirit will forever sail on in our hearts.
Pete's funeral will be held on Saturday, August 12, 2023 in Rochester, New York. A celebration of life will occur at a later date in Nashville. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to the Sail to Prevail foundation which serves to provide therapy through sailing for people with disabilities- a cause to which Pete also devoted his time, talents, dedication and compassion.