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March 7, 1923 - Aug. 14, 2012
Helen Ryan Fischer, who was hired by Buffalo Bob Smith as a singer on local radio programs, died Aug. 14 in Absolut Care of Orchard Park after a brief illness. She was 89.
The Williamsville resident was born in Buffalo and attended Fosdick-Masten Park High School. Her passion for music developed at a young age. In her late teens, she was hired by Smith as a singer in the Dave Cheskin Studio Orchestra. She sang several nights a week and also did jingles for local radio stations in the early 1940s.
Smith, a local broadcasting legend who later achieved national fame for his "Howdy Doody Show," used to call her "the kid," according to Mrs. Fischer's relatives. She also used to sing at a now-defunct Buffalo restaurant.
She preferred her radio gig over performing in front of an audience, said niece Sandi Russo.
Mrs. Fischer later worked as a house mother in a boys cottage at Gateway Longview.
She is survived by a son, Jack Niederpruem, and a daughter, Judy Riggs.
A graveside service will be at 1 p.m. Friday in Forest Lawn.