Sidney Hollis Radner, 91, of Holyoke and Palm Beach, Fla., died June 26 at the Jewish Nursing Home in Longmeadow after a brief illness. He was the widower of Helen (Cohen) Radner. Born in Holyoke, he was the son of William and Edythe (Hollop) Radner. He was a graduate of Worcester Academy and Yale University. He was known internationally in the gaming, magic and escape venues, but locally he was best known as the former owner and operator of the American Rug Co. in Holyoke. He served in the U.S. military during World War II, working as an investigator on crooked gambling in the Armed Forces. A protégé of Houdini’s brother Hardeen, he traveled the U.S. doing escapes from handcuffs in police stations, and writing several books on card games. He was the past director of the Houdini Hall of Fame in Niagara Falls, Ontario, and was Honorary Curator of the Houdini Historical Center in Appleton, WI. He also assisted the FBI with special investigations. He made appearances on national television including the Tonight Show, Today Show, History Channel and BBC. In Holyoke, he was past president of the Holyoke Chamber of Commerce, a member of Holyoke Rotary Club, the Masons and Melha Shriners, and on the Board of Directors of the Western Massachusetts Better Business Bureau. He was a co-founder of the Volleyball Hall of Fame in Holyoke. He is survived by two sons and daughters-in-law, William and Lisa Radner of West Springfield, and Richard and Thanee Radner of Las Vegas, NV; two nieces, Dawn Packer of Scottsdale, AZ and Lauren Radner of Austin, TX; and a nephew, Barry Katz of Malibu, CA. He was predeceased by a brother, Zoel Radner. Memorial contributions may be made to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, PO Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284-9168, to the Congregation Sons of Zion, 378 Maple St., Holyoke, MA 01040, or to the Sinai Temple, 1100 Dickinson St., Springfield, MA 01108.
ASCHER-ZIMMERMAN FUNERAL HOME