Cover photo for Sylvia Dick Karas's Obituary
Sylvia Dick Karas Profile Photo

Sylvia Dick Karas

September 26, 1930 — April 29, 2023

Daniel Island

Sylvia Dick Karas

Sylvia Dick Karas died peacefully in her sleep on Saturday, April 29, 2023 at the age of 92.

Born September 26, 1930 to Alexander Colclough Dick and Dorothy Adams Hamilton Brush in New York, Sylvia lived most of her life in New York City. She attended The Brearley School until she left to continue her love of dance. She instilled her love of dance in her daughter, Daphne. In her adult life, she enjoyed exploring the City’s museums, restaurants, and theaters. She loved escaping the City for the ocean in Bridgehampton, NY - spending time at her beloved home, Sailaway, with her mother and extended family over the years. Later on she enjoyed returning to the area for the summer, visiting Shelter Island with her brother, niece and nephew. 

In her youth Sylvia was a beautiful and accomplished dancer, training at The American School of Ballet in New York, in Modern Dance at the Martha Graham School and with Gertrude Schurr, May O’Donnel, and Bella Lewitsky. She became one of the Metropolitan Opera’s leading ballerinas. Her top Met credits included “Die Fledermaus”, “Aida”, “Faust”, and “Carmen” among others. With the encouragement of legendary dancer and choreographer Martha Graham, Sylvia became one of the favorites of Ted Shawn and Ruth St. Denis when they were at the Jacob’s Pillow Festival in the Berkshires. Other dance credits include touring with David Brooks as the lead dancer in the Lerner and Lowe musical “Brigadoon”; performing with the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera Co.; the Musicarnival in Cleveland, Ohio; the New York Choreographers’ Workshop; the Ballet Theatre, and with the Greek National Dance Theatre under the direction of Dora Stratou. She also served as a dance instructor at Morgenstern Dance Studio, Cleveland; The American School of Dance, Hollywood; and The Pasadena Playhouse, Pasadena, California. In the fifties Sylvia toured Greece, dancing and performing with her former husband, Athan Karas, a well-known authority on and performer and teacher of Greek folk dance.

Sylvie, as she was referred to by her family, will be remembered for her enduring optimism, exuberant nature, and joyful spirit. She was a constant source of love and positivity for her family and friends - serving as an irrepressible cheerleader and delighting in all their accomplishments. Every undertaking performed by her family was viewed with appreciation, wonder, and enthusiasm. She had a deep passion for books and writing, often penning articles for the Christian Science publications or writing poems. She loved children’s books  - works by Hillary Knight and the Eloise series were a favorite. She aimed to share important lessons with children through literature and history with her self-published book, Washington Says: George Washington’s Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company & Conversation

Sylvia is survived by her daughter, Daphne K. Byers and her husband Ralph; three grandchildren, Chloe Hotze (Paul Hotze), Phoebe Byers (Geoffrey Green) and Lowell Byers (Rachel Meyers), five great-grandchildren, Logan, Margaux, and Barrett Hotze; Ashby and Esme Green; niece Karen Brush and grandniece, Alexandra Brush; nephew Charles F. Brush, IV (Diane Brush) and grandnephews, Charles, Alexander, David and Andrew Brush; and grandniece Christina Wright Bohanek. As well as loving family members: John Dawson, Tony Dick, Rebecca Huber, Jane Leverich, Helen and Hamilton Meserve, Margaret, Chris and Scott Meserve. 

A virtual memorial service will be held Saturday, May 13, 2023, in J. Henry Stuhr Inc., Mount Pleasant Chapel, 1494 Mathis Ferry Road at 2:00 pm. Interment will be in St. Philip's Episcopal Church Cemetery, Bradford Springs, SC at a later date. Arrangements by J. Henry Stuhr, Inc. Mount Pleasant Chapel.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Sylvia’s name to Reading Partners, a 501 c3 nonprofit aimed at improving children’s literacy and distributing books to young readers: Reading Partners, 6296 Rivers Ave, Suite 305, North Charleston, SC 29406
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Sylvia Dick Karas, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, May 13, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

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