on August 3, 2014 - 8:29 PM
, updated August 3, 2014 at 9:15 PM
May 7, 1926 – July 11, 2014
Julie “Ace” Patrick, of Downey, Calif., a South Buffalo native who was one of the stars of Roller Derby during its glory days in the 1950s and 1960s, died July 11 in Los Angeles after a short illness. She was 88.
Born Julia Patrick, one of 10 children, she attended South Park High School, where she was a standout athlete. She worked as a cashier at the former Century Theater.
Selected at a local roller skating event in a contest for a spot on Roller Derby, she began skating professionally in 1946 and competed on banked tracks across the U.S., in Europe and in Asia.
Upbeat and cheerful, a fan favorite, she was known for her speed, her scoring ability and her gymnastic moves, such as shooting through another player’s legs and jumping over the pack in a swan dive.
She was a captain and longtime member of the sport’s flagship team, the Los Angeles Thunderbirds.
She was inducted into the Roller Derby Hall of Fame in 2004.
A biographical sketch in Roller Games Annual magazine in 1963 said she lived in Bell Gardens, Calif., and owned and operated two beauty shops.
She continued to live in the Los Angeles area after her retirement from professional skating and made appearances at Roller Derby events.
Described as an animal lover, she was especially devoted to her dogs.
Survivors include two sisters, Eleanor Green and Rose Genendlis, and a brother, Frank.
Services will be private.