Spencer V. Silverthone Dies; Merchant, 88, Was On Titanic

New York Times

Special to The New York Times
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SCARSDALE, N. Y., May 17---Spencer V. Silverthorne, a survivor of the Titanic sinking, died today at his home, 7 Colvin Road. He was 88 years old.

Mr. Silverthorne had been a vice president of the former James H. McCreery & Co., New York, and president of the Donaldson Department store in Minneapolis before his retirement in 1935.

As a young buyer for Nugent's department store in St. Louis, he was a passenger in 1912 on the maiden voyage of the White Star liner Titanic from Southampton, England, to New York.

Shortly before midnight on April 14, when the ship was off Newfoundland, he was sitting in the first-class smoking room on A deck. He felt a grinding jar.

Walter Lord wrote in "A Night to Remember," published by Holt in 1955: "Mr. Silverthorne still sat up with a jolt when he mentioned it."

Mr. Silverthorne ran on deck in time to see an iceberg scraping along the starboard side, higher than the boat deck.

Convinced that the queen of the sea was unsinkable, he calmly went to bed. He was awakened by a fellow buyer, who told him the ship was sinking.

He made his way to the bow and jumped into the dark, icy
water. He swam vigorously away to avoid the suction as the ship went down. Then he reached a half-empty lifeboat, and was taken aboard.

He was one of 705 persons rescued by the Carpathia. More than 1,500 were drowned.

Mr. Silverthorne was long employed by the Associated Dry Goods Corporation and Allied Stores Corporation.

Surviving are a daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth De Montanya of Reno, Nev.; a brother, Ernest V. Silverthorne of Phoenix, Ariz., and five grandchildren.

Related Biographies:

Spencer Victor Silverthorne

Acknowledgements

Mark Baber

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