University employee dies of heart attack in squash game

More than 300 of his family and friends attended Javier Silva-Biotti’s funeral.

by Tiff Clements

Javier Silva-Biotti, a human resources consultant with the Academic Health Center, and a family man and good friend to many, died Saturday. He was 43.

Silva-Biotti collapsed during a squash game at the University’s recreation center. Carolina Silva-Biotti, Javier’s wife, said the medical examiner’s office told her the cause of death was a heart attack.

Cathy Fejes, a human resources consultant at the Academic Health Center, said Javier Silva-Biotti’s responsibilities included advising department managers and employees on issues including staffing, University policies and labor relations.

Fejes said Javier Silva-Biotti was knowledgeable, compassionate and always willing to help.

“He was a terrific colleague,” she said.

Carolina Silva-Biotti said friends and family were extremely important to her husband.

“He was the kind of person that loved friends,” she said. “If he became your friend, it was forever.”

More than 300 friends and family members attended Javier Silva-Biotti’s funeral Thursday. Carolina Silva-Biotti said such a showing reflected her husband’s attitude toward friendship.

“(Javier felt) if you respect and love your friends they will treat you well in a time of need,” she said.

Javier Silva-Biotti had many interests and passions, Carolina Silva-Biotti said.

“He was the perfect presentation of a renaissance man,” she said.

He took up the guitar eight years ago, and played in two bands, High Bridge and Camino Azul. Javier Silva-Biotti was also an avid squash player and enjoyed traveling.

Javier Silva-Biotti was born in Chile in 1962. He received a scholarship to Macalester College in St. Paul in 1981, and completed a degree in psychology at the school in 1985.

A mutual friend introduced Javier to his wife and they married in 1996. The couple had one daughter, Isabella, in 1999.

Javier Silva-Biotti worked for the University for 11 years, eight as a human resources consultant in the University’s Office of Human Resources and the remaining three with the Academic Health Center.

Javier Silva-Biotti is survived by his wife, Carolina; daughter, Isabella; parents, Jorge and Eliana; and siblings, Loreto, Jorge and Valeria.

Vadim Lavrusik contributed to this report.