Audrey Zoloto, 70, speed skating champion, teacher

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Audrey Zoloto (nee Ames), 70, died on Jan. 20, 2011 at home in River Forest. Born on April 7, 1940, the youngest daughter of David and Frances Ames, she enjoyed a quintessentially American childhood on Chicago's Northwest Side. As a youth, she excelled at speed skating, winning national and North American championships in the early 1950s. In addition to her national and continental victories, Audrey won consecutive Silver Skates derbies in 1954 and 1955. The races, sponsored by the Chicago Tribune, attracted elite speed skaters from across the Midwest.

Off the ice, she distinguished herself by becoming the first female all-class president of the Roosevelt High School Student Council. After attending the University of Illinois, she began a 35-year career as a Chicago Public School teacher. She taught various grades and several subjects at Lowell School, Bud Long School, John Hope Academy and Joseph Lovett Elementary School. A talented sketch artist and musician, she often played the piano at all-school assemblies.

At the age of 25, Ms. Zoloto met her husband at a beach party in Michigan City, Ind. After several years of dating on and off, Herb Zoloto arrived unannounced at her parents' home and said, "I just stopped by to see if you wanted to get married." They were married in Chicago in September of 1970.

During an eight-year maternity leave from teaching, she began the most fulfilling chapter of her life, raising her three children in River Forest. Intimately involved in each of her children's lives, she never missed her sons' sporting events and always relished opportunities to shop with her beloved daughter. Steadfast in her love for her children, she led by example, relating to each in a simple, direct and honest way.

In countless ordinary ways, she was an extraordinary individual. A devoted daughter, loving sister, committed wife and adoring mother and grandmother, her sense of decency and style endeared her to all who had the good fortune to know her.

Audrey Zoloto is survived by Herbert, her husband of 40 years; her children, Amanda (Ben) Range, Phillip (Katie) and Daniel (Amanda) Zoloto; her sister, Carol (Robert) Rubin; her grandchildren, Carson and Anna Range and Nathan, Franklin, Julia, Grace and Noah Zoloto; several nieces and nephews; and many friends. A service was held on Jan. 25 at Oak Park Temple.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to a charity of the donor's choice. Arrangements were handled by Lakeshore Jewish Funerals.

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