Mary Erma Antone “Silvia” Silva

Posted On December 18th, 2011 -


96, of Honolulu, waltzed right on into the next life on December 08, 2011. Mary was Born April 29, 1915 in Hilo, Hawaii; daughter of August Antone and Maria Augusta de Medeiros Mendonca of Portugal. Mary taught Dance until she was 90. Her studio, Silvia’s School of Dance, on Kapiolani Blvd. taught many locals and visitors the finer points of Hula, Tap, Tahitian, Ballroom, and Swing dancing. Silvia loved what she did and it showed. She wore heels into her 90’s and moved through life with grace and elegance. The last time she went from the living room to her bedroom, though she needed someone there to brace her as she slowly walked, stopped at the hall and graced us with several “ami’s”, the Tahitian hip pivot! She had spunk! One recent day we were so glad to see that Mary felt like she could get out of bed and spend a little time on the couch. While there, she seemed to be asking for a hand getting up. It just looked weird because she was not accepting the help once the caregiver tried to help pull her hands up. Mary was instead asking that her hands be pushed against. Then she said to push harder, and the caregiver was leaning and pushing against Mary’s hands with all her weight. I thought “what is going on here? You’re going to crush my poor weak and feeble Grandmother!” It turns out that Mary was testing the strength of the caregiver! Mary was a Hawaiian Islands tennis and badminton champion a couple times in the late 1930’s through the end of WW11. She got into dance quite by accident, but learned that she was a natural. Soon she was teaching classes and then opened her own studio in 1955 at the Edgewater Hotel. She taught for years at the YMCA, and finally opened her own studio on Kapiolani Blvd., where she continued to teach people from around the world. Mary did have an eye for detail and helped people fine tune their dance skills. More importantly, she had a way with people. She could bring about a confidence, self assurance, and poise in her students that turned the wall flower into the belle of the ball. Mary and her friends all knew how to laugh, because they practiced at it every day!

She is survived by grandchildren Frank Jonathan and Diana, Steven Fredric, Louis William and Robin Silva of Lancaster Ca.; great grandchildren Jonathan Peterson and Emmalee, Brittan Marshall, Michael Anthony, Brooke, Kylie Breanne, Grant David, Garret Hunter, and Sierra Silva of Palmdale Ca.; nephew Paul Williams of Honolulu; Cousin Herbert Mendonca of Hilo. She was predeceased by husband Frank Peter Silva; son Frank Peterson Silva; brothers Ernest and John Antone; sister Louise Williams. We give a special thanks to her dear friends, Jeanette, Mio, and Betty; Neighbors Helga and Evelyn; caregivers Lisa, Flora, Candi, Jon and Emm. “My Fondest Aloha”

- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran