Hertha E. Silver, 92, champion figure skater - The Buffalo News
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Hertha E. Silver, 92, champion figure skater

June 17, 1921 – Oct. 5, 2013

Hertha Elizabeth Silver, of Williamsville, a figure-skating professional for more than six decades, died Saturday in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst. She was 92.

Born Hertha Garon in Vienna, Austria, she was encouraged to take skating lessons at age 12 after she was spotted at a local ice rink.

Groomed by skating champion Karoly Schaefer, she went on to take international top honors at a figure-skating festival in Poland. She later become Austria’s junior ladies champion and a gold medalist.

Sent by her mother to live in England at age 17, she began a career of skating in ice shows there. Moving to New York City in the early 1940s, she was featured soloist in the Rockefeller Center Ice Show for three years before starring in her own shows and in traveling ice shows that toured the nation.

She also gave performances and lessons at Grossinger’s Resort in the Catskills and designed and sold skating outfits in Manhattan.

Concluding her show career, she became a teaching professional, first in Lynn, Mass., where one of her early students was Frank Carroll, who went on to coach Olympics and world champions such as Michelle Kwan.

In 1954, she married Francis Silver, an insurance agent, and they lived in Portland, Maine, before coming to Western New York when he became a manager for New York Life.

Mrs. Silver helped found the Kenawan (now Ken Ton) Skating Club in the Town of Tonawanda and taught in Olean, where she coached a synchronized skating team that won a gold medal in the Empire Games. When she retired about 10 years ago, she was director of adult skating at the Jamestown Skating Club.

She also was an avid golfer and enjoyed travel and knitting.

Her husband died in 2007.

Survivors include a daughter, Karen Furlani, and a son, Patrick J.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Thursday in Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church, 8500 Main St., Clarence.

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