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William J. Nardone - April 16, 2021, formerly of Lewiston, NY, Grand Island resident of twenty years. Known as "BJ" by all who love him, devoted son of William (deceased) and Maureen Nardone(Crowe). BJ graduated from Hamilton College in 1985 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and received his Masters of Business Administration from the University of Rochester, Simon School of Business in 1987. He worked for HSBC Bank USA from 1987 to 2016 in finance, information technology, and audit, rising to Assistant Vice President, Model Analyst in the bank's anti-money laundering division, where he successfully identified fraud transactions that led to the apprehension of perpetrators. He was highly skilled in financial analysis, business analytics, and systems development and programming. An accomplished, self-taught musician in piano and guitar, BJ could play every Beatles song ever written and delighted family and friends with frequent renditions. Fluent in French, he was an avid world traveler and his love of language and almost eidetic memory enhanced his ability to memorize and recite classic poetry, routinely complete the NY Times crossword puzzle in record time, and ace Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune puzzles each evening (he considered letters "a crutch"). He will be remembered for his mental acuity, amiability and warmth, endearing sense of humor, and unending intellectual curiosity. Beloved husband of Patricia Nardone (Finney); loving brother of Elizabeth Fiorica (Nardone); cherished uncle of Thomas, Michael, Peter and Will; loved by numerous in-laws including Norman Fiorica; Mike, Kevin, Sarah, Patrick and Delia Finney; and Lee, Donna (Finney, deceased), Chris, Jessica, and Megan (Hooven) Brownschidle; adored by furbabies Edgar and Allan. Friends may call Tuesday 4-8 PM at the KAISER FUNERAL HOME, 1950 Whitehaven Rd., Grand Island. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday at 9:30 AM at St. Stephen's a Church. Share condolences at kaiserfuneral.com.
Sean R. Duff - April 11, 2021, of Grand Island. Son of Michael and Kathleen (nee King) Duff; brother of William (Jessica) Duff, Christopher (Kimberly) Duff and MaryKate (Michael) Bonning; uncle of Andrew, McKenna, Edmund, Brendan, Ivy and Silas; grandson of Gloria and the late Thomas Duff, and the late Eugene and Katherine King; nephew of David Duff. Friends may call Thursday, 6-8 PM, at Bible Fellowship Center, 1136 Baseline Rd., Grand Island, where Funeral Services will be held Friday, at 10 AM. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Health). Please share condolences at kaiserfuneral.com.
Arlene (nee Wiechec) VeRost - March 25, 1946 - April 13, 2021, at 75, of Grand Island. Beloved wife of Gary VeRost; devoted mother of Todd (Kimberly), Scott, Mark and Brett; adored grandmother of Jordan, Madison, Jenna, Erica, Jacob, Julia, Brooke, Karina, Matthew, Gabriella and Carson; dear sister to Nancy (the late Gene) Snopkowski and Dolores Severino; lifelong friends to Club Group Linda, Peggy, Noreen, Judi, Kathy and Sharon. Longtime Vikings fan and employee of Kaegebein Elementary. Visitation Friday, April 16, 4-8 PM, at the KAISER FUNERAL HOME, 1950 Whitehaven Road, Grand Island. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, April 17, at 9:30 AM, at St. Stephens Church. Interment Assumption Cemetery. Memorials to Hospice Buffalo or the Epilepsy Assoc. of WNY. Please share condolences at kaiserfuneral.com.
Ricky D. Whitmire - April 10, 2021 of Grand Island, New York. Beloved husband of the late Peggy (nee Minton); dearest father of Scott (Kelly), Jennifer (Robert) Galvano, Daniel (Jennifer) and Ricky Jr. (Keri); cherished grandfather of nine; brother of Wendy Whitmire and the late Sharon Palmer and Ronald Whitmire and beloved brother-in-law and uncle. Family present Wednesday, April 14th, 4-8 PM, at DENGLER, ROBERTS, PERNA FUNERAL HOME, 3070 Delaware Avenue, Kenmore, New York. A Celebration of Life will be held at the Bible Fellowship Center, 1136 Baseline Rd., Grand Island, Thursday, at 11 AM. Please assemble at the church. Condolences may be shared at www.denglerrobertspernafuneral.com.
Julia (nee Halicki) Greco - Age 72, of Grand Island, entered into rest on March 26, 2021, after a short, but courageous battle with COVID. Beloved wife and soulmate of Frank; adored mother of Marla (Erik) Decker, Janine Greco and Monica Greco; doting grandmother to Sam and Elliot; dear sister to Winnie (James) Bobeck, James (Melinda) Halicki, Hank (Christine) Szpak, and the late Thomas Halicki, Marlene Hemingway, and Joan Tenhagen; daughter of the late Edward and Harriett Halicki; also survived by many nieces, nephews, friends and extended family.
After high school, Julie worked for New York Telephone for 11 years before leaving to raise her family. Later, she fulfilled her dream to go back to school and obtained a degree from Niagara County Community College in Communications. Her career included starting Jewel Desktop Publishing and becoming the head of the Niagara Wellness Council, which promoted heart health and the NYS Clean Indoor Air Act. Julie enjoyed a full life, loved her family whole-heartedly, was a great cook and talented artist, and enjoyed throwing family parties and tending to her gardens: her property was featured on the Grand Island Garden Tour twice. The family requests flowers be sent to KAISER FUNERAL HOME, Grand Island on Monday. Private services will beheld due to COVID concerns. Share condelences at kaiserfuneral.com.
Patricia A. (nee Hessler) Bennett - April 3, 2021, of Grand Island. Wife of the late William R. Bennett; mother of Sandy (John) Wright, Bill (Julie), Scott (Dorothy) and Ron (Becky) Bennett and the late Patricia E. (survived by husband William) Wilson; grandmother of Danielle, Natalie, Will, Brandie, Amy, Kris, Keli, Korey, Kassie, Nikole, Kaylee, Ben and LeeAnn; loving grandmother "GG" to many; sister of Mary Smith and the late George "Art" (survived by wife Donna) and Willie Hessler. Friends may call Tuesday, 3-7 PM at the KAISER FUNERAL HOME, 1950 Whitehaven Rd., Grand Island. Funeral services private. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice Buffalo.
Olive Oresta (nee Lightfoot) Burch - Died on February 17, 2021 at Elderwood Lancaster Skilled Nursing Facility. After testing positive for Covid-19 in early January she had been in recovery. But the Covid-19 induced fatigued was too much for her body.
Born on May 8, 1921, at the tail end of the 1918-1920 Influenza Pandemic, Olive was 99 years old. Born in a farmhouse in Caton, New York, Olive grew up with two brothers, Whiting and Richard, and her sister Elizabeth. Her father, James Tindell Lightfoot, supported his family as a workman on the New York Central Railroad and as a subsistence farmer, providing all the food for the family. Her mother Mary Eliza Lightfoot's career as a schoolteacher provided the cash income that carried the family through the Great Depression. The farm that was home to Olive was rustic even by pre-World War II standards; no electricity, phone or radio, light was by kerosene lantern, and cooking was done on a cast iron woodstove. Despite tough living conditions, Olive remembered her childhood as a very happy time, working with her father in the barn or driving a horse drawn hay wagon in the fields. Olive thrived on the outdoor life and the joy of working with animals, especially horses.
Olive attended a one-room rural schoolhouse, where for several years the teacher was her own mother. The Lightfoot home was full of learning; Olive and her brothers and sister were all encouraged to educate themselves through books, newspapers, and talk of current events. Olive achieved a Regents Scholarship at Painted Post High School, making it possible for her to enroll at the Buffalo State Teachers College, Class of 1944. At the time education options for women were limited. Olive enrolled to become a Home Economics Teacher because in her words, "It was the closest degree to Science a woman could receive at the time". As a woman she could not sign up for science classes directly; she had to interview with each professor to gain their permission. Persisting by this process Olive took every math and science course that she could. Very often she was the only woman in a classroom full of men. Olive supported herself during college working the second shift at the Tonawanda Chevrolet Engine Plant. At the time the Engine Plant was building aircraft engines for the war effort. Olive's job was to conduct horsepower performance tests on the completed engines. She was a true "Rosie the Riveter"! Olive loved her time at Buffalo State Teachers College, gaining three life-long friends that she corresponded with until Olive was the last survivor. In 2016 at the age of 96 Olive attended her 72nd alumni reunion!
Upon graduation from college, Olive worked as a chemistry laboratory technician at the Linde Corporation in Tonawanda, NY from 1944 to 1951. Her work included creating synthetic ruby glass used in early laser light experiments. While at Linde Olive met her future husband, William Burch, a metallurgical engineer. Olive and William were married on September 3, 1948; the beginning of a joyful 72-year marriage. Olive and William became members of Central Park Methodist Church in Buffalo and later joined Trinity United Methodist Church on Grand Island in the early 1960s. Olive was active in the Trinity Women's Circle for many years, often as the group's president. Olive represented Trinity Church at many Methodist conferences.
A long-time member of the Niagara Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution Olive enjoyed many friendships and supporting the mission work of the DAR. Olive shared her keen interest in current events with her many nieces, her daughters-law, and her two granddaughters by mailing them letters with newspaper articles that showed examples of women contributing to the world. Olive and William enjoyed many travel adventures, visiting cherished family in Colorado or Corning, NY, the many birdwatching trips, and in later years Elder Hostel trips to the islands of Maine. Olive expressed her love by her constant warm smile and by patiently listening before offering words of comfort.
In December 2020, after the loss of her husband in May 2020 and after months of Covid-19 induced isolation at an assisted living facility, she was asked how she felt. Olive answered, "Joyful!". On February 17, 2021, unable to have visitors due to Covid-19 restrictions, at the moment Olive passed away she was holding photos of her cherished great-granddaughter, Oresta Burch-Septer. Olive was pre-deceased by her husband, William, who died of Covid-19 on May 11, 2020. Olive is survived by her three sons Charles, Lawrence (Joan) and Roger (Deborah); two granddaughters Kelsey (Ronald) Reynolds and Colleen (Jonathan) Septer and one great granddaughter, Oresta Burch-Septer; her sisters-in-law Ernestine (Frank) Burch and Mary (Richard) Lightfoot and many cherished nieces and nephews. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Donations in memory of Olive Burch may be made to the Western New York Land Conservancy, P.O. Box 471, East Aurora, N.Y., 14952 or https://www.wnylc.org/planned-giving.
Kathleen "Kathy" (nee Krafft) Lanthier - March 30, 2021 of Grand Island, NY. Beloved wife of Kerry Lanthier. Dear mother of Kristy (Thaddeus) Stevens and Kerry (Nicole) Lanthier. Loving grandmother of Keagan, Averee, Lincoln, Liam, Samara and Lucia. Sister of Joseph (Penny) Darragh, Marianne Krafft and the late Delores (Lenny) Greco. Aunt of Kerian, Toni, Ryan, Megan, Dominic, and Emma. Friends may call Saturday, April 3, 12-4PM at the Lester H. Wedekindt, Inc., Funeral Home, 3290 Delaware Ave., where a funeral service will follow at 4PM. Face coverings and social distancing required. Please share condolences at www.lesterwedekindtfuneralhome.com.
Timothy Rodger Dzierba, - Sept. 5, 1946 – March 9, 2021, a professor at Medaille College for more than 30 years, died March 9 in Albuquerque, N.M., where he had lived since 2015. His family said the cause was heart complications. He was 74.
Born in Buffalo, the second of three children, he attended St. John Gualbert Elementary School and graduated in 1964 from Diocesan Preparatory Seminary in Buffalo, where the yearbook noted that he was the best orator in the class. Deciding not to become a priest, he enrolled at Canisius College, where he received a bachelor’s degree in history in 1968, then served in the Army in the Vietnam War with the 82nd Airborne Division.
Returning from service, he taught at Maryvale High School in Cheektowaga for a year, then was a lecturer for a year at Villa Maria College while earning a master’s degree in history from Buffalo State College. He joined the Medaille faculty in 1972 and went on to complete a doctorate in history from the University at Buffalo. He became a tenured professor at Medaille in 1979 and retired in 2014. He was academic chairman in social sciences from 1976 to 1994, and concurrently served shorter terms as chairman of liberal studies, government services, human services, child youth services and mathematics and sciences. In class, Mr. Dzierba enlivened his lectures in history with his personal experiences during the ’60s and in Vietnam, as well as his extensive knowledge of Buffalo’s past. He was an adjunct professor at Niagara County Community College, the School of Industrial Labor Relations at Cornell University and Daemen College. At Daemen, he twice was a faculty sponsor for programs in the college's annual Academic Festival. He also was invited to make presentations at scholarly seminars in Germany, England and Jordan.
A former Grand Island resident, he was a Sunday school teacher at Trinity United Methodist Church on Grand Island and was chairman of the church’s administrative board. He also served on the boards of directors of the Buffalo Area Council of Churches and Buffalo Area Municipal Ministries.
A music lover, he performed with the Trinity English Handbell Ringers and played glockenspiel in parades with Teddy’s Islettes of Grand Island. He also volunteered for the Asbury Soup Kitchen. Survivors include his wife, the former Rosemary Tweedy; a daughter, Amy Lynn Dzierba; a brother, Alexander; and a sister, Sharon. Services will be private. Written by Dale Anderson (Buffalo News).
Patrick J. Devlin - Age 78, of Grand Island, NY died March 27th, 2021. He was born in Waltham, MA. Patrick served his country honorably as a LT in the United States Air Force and then married the late Andrea (Gann) Devlin, in 1973. They lived together in Hollywood, CA before relocating to Nanuet, NY in 1987. Patrick was a longtime member of the Actors Equity Union as he spent many years working as the stage performer in California. He loved the performing arts and the producing original music. Patrick held multiple senior level management positions at the Mercedes Benz Corporation, until he retired in 2000. He was so passionate about the automobile industry, so he continued to work for Mercedez Benz of Greenwich until 2006 after retirement. Patrick is survived by his beloved son, Albert Jessica) Devlin; three grandchildren: as well as nephew, David Mancusi (Debbie) of Winchester, MA. For family and friends. A Memorial Service will be held at 5 PM on Thursday, April 1st, at SABER FUNERAL HOME, 549 Oliver Street, North Tonawanda, NY (716) 692-0271, followed by visitation until 7pm. (face masks required and COVID restrictions followed) Flowers are welcomed or donations may be made in Patrick's name to the Buffalo City Mission. www.BuffaloCityMission.org.
Joanne Moscati - of Grand Island, a retired registered nurse, died March 26 in Gates Vascular Institute after a brief illness. She was 85. Born Joanne Machelor in Niagara Falls, the fourth of five children, she was a graduate of Niagara Falls High School and the Niagara University nursing program. Mrs. Moscati worked first as a school nurse at Hutchinson Central Technical High School in Buffalo and later in her career was a psychiatric nurse at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. She retired in 1995.
A Grand Island resident since 1972, she was a eucharistic minister at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church and served on the bereavement committee. With many of her family members serving in the armed forces, she was a dedicated supporter of Wounded Warriors and other organizations that benefit veterans. She was an avid fan of Niagara University basketball and other local sports teams. She also was active in the River Oaks Ladies Nine-Hole Golf Club. As the family matriarch, she hosted holiday gatherings for many years and was especially devoted to Bailey and Cody, her Golden Retrievers. Her husband of 65 years, Ronald Moscati, is a retired photographer for The Buffalo Courier-Express and The Buffalo News. Survivors also include two sons, Ronald Jr. and Robert; a daughter, Deborah McCoy; a brother, John Machelor; 11 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in St. Stephen’s Church, 2100 Baseline Road, Grand Island.
Theron E. Bastian - March 23, 2021. Loving husband to Margaret Bastian (formerly Figler); predeceased by his first wife Nancy (nee Olson); father to Renee (Daniel) Gietz, Stacey (Terry) Pilinko and T. Scott (Debra) Bastian; step-father to Roman (Karen) Figler III, Bobbi (Mike) Hopkins and Jim (Sabrina) Figler; grandfather to 17, great-grandfather to six and great-great-grandfather to three; brother of Cheryl Alden, Lynn Nalbone and the late Bryce (Sue) Bastian; also adored by many nieces, nephews and friends. Theron was a graduate of St. Lawrence University and M.I.T. He worked in many capacities at Carborundum Co. then started IVAL, helping clients find undervalued stocks. Interests included the outdoors, being "punny" and sailing on his beloved Niagara River. A private family service will be held Saturday, March 27 at 11 AM. Virtual attendance is welcomed via live stream. Link will be available at sttimothygrandisland.com. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Timothy Lutheran Church, 1453 Staley Rd., Grand Island, 14072. A Celebration of Life will be held this summer. Please share condolences at Kaiserfuneral.com.
Michael C. Wall - Of Grand Island, March 20. 2021. Beloved Husband of 40 years to Jeanette Wall; loving step father to Michelle McGraw, James (Mindy) McGraw, Karen (Patrick) Gendrue and Ted McGraw; grandfather to seven and great-grandfather to five; son of Margie Clark Bray and the late Fred J. Wall; also survived by siblings, Freddie (Chris) Wall, Elysha Hill and Sandra Samples. Michael was a veteran of the Army. He'll one day be united with his Bugger Bear.
Mark G. Wiesmore - Of Grand Island, entered into rest on March 20, 2021. Beloved longtime companion of Julie A. Naimi; devoted father of Dustin Woodall (Katelyn) and Taya Wiesmore (Randy); adored grandfather of Arabella Woodall; loving son of Gregory and the late Bonnie Wiesmore; dear brother of Mike, Kenny and Brett; dear nephew of Neet and Gerri (Joe); also survived by nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Relatives and friends may visit the LOMBARDO FUNERAL HOME (Northtowns Chapel), 885 Niagara Falls Blvd. near Eggert/Sheridan Dr., on Saturday from 2-6 PM for a gathering in Mark's memory. Online condolences may be offered at www.lombardofuneralhome.com.
Thomas K. Hayes - March 18, 2021, of Grand Island. Predeceased by wife Lucy Hayes; father of Lauren (Chris) Baron and Shannon Hayes; loving partner to Sue Kowalski. Brother to Dan (Valerie) and Jim (Terry) Hayes; also survived by nieces and nephews. Friends may call Sunday, March 21, 2021, from 3-7 PM at KAISER FUNERAL HOME, 1950 Whitehaven Rd., Grand Island. A Memorial Mass will be held Monday, March 22, at St. Stephen's Church at 11 AM, 2100 Baseline Rd., Grand Island. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice Buffalo. Please share condolences at Kaiserfuneral.com.
Jean M. Crowell - March 18, 2021, beloved wife of the late Donald R. Crowell; loving mother of Donald R. (Carol) Crowell II, Kathleen (Daniel Hodiak) Doldan, Judith (John, DDS) Herman, Margaret (Donald) Bray; predeceased by son, Thomas M. Crowell and daughter, Barbara (Jay, DDS) Clark; cherished grandmother of 16; great-grandmother of 17; sister of the late Robert F. (Late Patricia) Kenific; also survived by dear nieces and nephews. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Tuesday, March 23, at 11 AM, at St. Stephen's Church, 2100 Baseline Rd., Grand Island. To ensure safety and health for all, please wear a face mask and maintain social distancing.
Julia M. Alcorn Ballester - Peacefully passed at home on November 11, 2020 following a brief illness. Predeceased by Jose M. Ballester; loving mom to Kathleen (Paul), Patrick, Barry, Kim (Tim), Maria (Dan) and Virginia (Scott); proud Abuela to 14 grandkids and adoring GG to 13 ½ great grandkids; mom at heart to Kathy Wilson and Hardy Brown.
Born outside Belfast, NI on March 21, 1933 as the seventh of 11 children, Julia came to the US in 1965, where she soon met Jose. While growing their family, she worked as a bookkeeper and bank teller on Grand Island until her retirement. Older in years, but young in spirit, Mom was always up for any type of adventure, no matter how big or small, which she approached with child-like innocence and awe, and a little mischievous air.
She was never without her knitting, making blankets and sweaters for every baby of family and friends and numerous items for charity. She loved games of all sorts and enjoyed nothing more than an evening playing cards or dominoes (just watch out, she cheats!). Mom also loved to read and write poetry, sing (a little off key and making up her own words) and discovered a wonderful talent for drawing and watercolors in her 60s. Any place we went, not a single dog could go by without her stopping to pet it and no baby could pass without an adoring comment. Mom welcomed everyone she met like they were family and was loved back that same way - how could you not love that brilliant smile and Irish lilt? Her love for us was evident by her enthusiastic support of anything we did, no matter how crazy. Absolutely nothing made her happier than spending time with family and friends, and she was cherished by each and every one. Happy birthday, Mom - we'll be raising a wee brown one for you! We miss you every day. Online condolences may be offered at www.denglerrobertspernafuneral.com.
Jack Krajewski - May 8, 1946 – Feb. 9, 2021, a geologist and one of the founding fathers of rugby in Western New York, died Feb. 9 in Golden, Colo., after a period of declining health. He was 74.
Born in Buffalo, the third of six children, he attended St. Joachim’s School, then went to St. Leo the Great School after his family moved to Amherst when he was 11. He was a 1964 graduate of St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute, where he played on the tennis and football teams.
In 1966, he and three University at Buffalo classmates, looking for an alternative sport to play, adopted rugby and convinced the UB administration to provide funds for it. They competed at the club level against out-of-town teams. Mr. Krajewski served as the Buffalo Rugby Club’s first president and remained involved after his playing days were over. He was inducted onto its Wall of Fame in 2008. A posting on the club’s Facebook page notes: “Along with coordinating the Summer BRC Devo’s program along with Ron Astridge, being a member of the Board of Directors and being on the Wall of Fame, Jack can be seen on the sideline at every Buffalo Rugby home game, brandishing a beer in hand and a smile on face.”
After he earned a bachelor’s degree in geology from UB in January 1969, he worked as a curator at the Schoellkopf Museum in Niagara Falls, then had a long career with for the State Department of Environmental Conservation, where he was an engineering geologist. “He was a good rock hound,” his sister Barbara Lipome said. She noted that when the American Falls was dewatered in 1969, “he hung over the Falls in a basket to see how much erosion was taking place.” Mr. Krajewski was a founding member of the Buffalo Association of Professional Geologists and served as its president.
He moved from Niagara Falls to Grand Island in the 1970s. He was a member of the vestry of St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church on Grand Island and sang in its choir. When his children were involved with swimming, he was a board member of the Grand Island Swim Club. A lover of the outdoors, he and his family made annual stays in Allegany State Park for camping, hiking and campfires, where he entertained with his scary “Wambeezil” stories. He moved to Colorado in 2010 to be closer to his grandchildren. Surviving are his wife of 51 years, the former Susan Wilson, a registered nurse; two sons, Todd and Dr. Kevin; a daughter, Lisa Hardison; two sisters, Barbara Lipome and Patricia Klingenmaier; three brothers, Terrence, Michael and Mark; and two grandsons. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date.
John "Jack" Thompson - March 16, 2021. Devoted husband and best friend of 51 years to Jo-Ann Thompson nee Repeta; father of Marc (fiance Paulette), Tom (Cindi), Jackie (John) DeLuso and Joe (Tiffany). Grandfather to Marc, Drew, Madison, Emily, Libby, Grace and his precious Ella Rose (Boo); son of the late Walter and Jane Thompson; brother-in-law of Mary (Jerry) Cichy, Helen (late Leon) Repeta, Helene (John) Smiegel and Suzie (Kevin) Osterstrom; also survived by many nieces and nephews and his fur buddies Jasper and Oscar.
John was a Vietnam Veteran and a life member of VFW 9429 where he held several offices. A life member of DAV. John was was a 34 year member of Erie County Sheriff's Office and part time Grand Island Police. A member of Erie County Badge and Shield and a life member of Whitehaven Rod and Gun Club. John enjoyed traveling with a group of fantastic friends. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Charles DeGlopper Memorial, 2121 Grand Island Blvd., Grand Island, NY 14072. A celebration with family and friends will be determined at a later date. And in Jack's final words "I'm 10-4". Please share condolences at Kaiserfuneral.com.
William M. Popowich - March 8, 2021. Loving husband of 41 years to Antoinette Popowich. Grandfather to Dominique (Brian) Brennan. Father to Donna DeGregorio. Great-grandfather to Lettianna Brennan. He loved spending time with his granddaughter and family and enjoyed going for walks at the local park. Friends may call Saturday, March 13th, 1-3 P.M. at Kaiser Funeral Home, 1950 Whitehaven Rd., Grand Island. Flowers gratefully declined. Share condolences at Kaiserfuneral.com.
Nancy Lee Carlson “Momo” Hayes - age 86, entered into heaven peacefully on March 11, 2021. She leaves behind her beloved children, Peter C (Karie) Hayes II, Jodi (Bradley) Robinson, Karen (Barry) Smith, and Dana (Ross) Erickson; devoted grandmother of Bryan (Chrissy) Smith, Lindsey (Timothy) Lucinski, David John “DJ” (fiancé Tamara) Foote, Ryan Foote, Alison (fiancé Andy) Hayes, Liam Dodd, Annie Hayes, Zoe (fiancé Chris) Dodd; proud great-grandmother of Kennedy Lee, Jack, Aria, Vera, Koda, Kaylee. Daughter of the late, first generation Swedish-Americans Oscar and Koren Carlson.
Nancy was born in Mount Kisco, NY, raised in Pleasantville, NY. Graduate of SUNY Cortland ‘56. After graduation, Nancy raised her family in Tonawanda and then on Grand Island, where she proudly resided for the remainder of her life. Nancy’s children fondly remember her as a remarkable mother. Nancy, a well known substitute and special education teacher in the Grand Island School District for 44 years, was a true Viking even after her retirement in 2001.
Throughout her life, Nancy enjoyed traveling to Wales and other European countries, as well as New England; she enjoyed no place more than being on Grand Island surrounded by her family and friends. Better known as “Momo” to her grandchildren, and eventually the community, Momo supportively spent her free time enjoying her grandchildren’s football, lacrosse, hockey, basketball, softball games and swim meets; choral, band and orchestra concerts. Momo also dedicated special time to each grandchild focusing on proper dining etiquette that became known as “John’s Flaming Hearth Prep School.”
Every Friday, for the last 40 years, Nancy got together with her “Domino Group” to play various games and enjoy each other’s company. She would even teach her grandchildren and great granddaughter, Kennedy Lee, her domino “secrets” to make sure the game continues to pass on through generations.
Nancy was a well known patron of The Village Inn, The Beach House, and Adrian’s for many years. Nancy dedicated her time over the years to Young Life, YWCA, The Neighbors Foundation, and Trinity United Methodist Church. Nancy was a faithful and committed member of the congregation for over fifty years. During her time spent at Trinity she was the UMW president, head of the “Pink Bags” committee that donated toiletries to women veterans, volunteered her time at any function benefiting the church and in the office supporting in any way she could. Nancy considered many members of Trinity as family. She lived a life devoted to her faith, her family, and her favorite stores Target, The Christmas Tree Shoppe, and Tj Maxx. Since her passing, we believe their stock value has plummeted. Nancy will truly be missed within the Grand Island community, as a mentor to many, and as the rock and pillar of her family. Her legacy will continue on with her words that she left behind, “Be good and do good. Take care of each other, keep in touch as long as possible. Serve God the best way you know how.”
A memorial service is being planned for June. Memorials may be made to Neighbors Foundation or Trinity UMC, (Pink Bag Project in memo area), 2100 Whitehaven Road, Grand Island, NY 14072.
Michael Andrew Cap - Age 66, of Grand Island, NY, passed suddenly on February 16, 2021. Survived by loving wife Bobbie; father of Bethany (Paul) Hannan and Ian (Lorena) Cap; grandfather of Kathryn and Alex Hannan and Aiden Cap. Brother of Victor (Gloria) Cap, Daniel Cap and Catherine (James) Mulhern. He was a member of Trinity UMC Grand Island, West Seneca Lodge No. 1111 F.&A.M., Ismailia Shriners, Pond Chapter No. 853 OES and the Siberian Husky Club of the Niagara Frontier. He was a 1972 graduate of GIHS and 1976 Buffalo State College. Donations may be made to West Seneca Lodge, 647 Main St., W. Seneca NY 14224 or Ismailia Shriner Transportation Fund, 1600 Southwestern Blvd., Buffalo NY 14224. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Please share condolences at Kaiserfuneral.com.
Faye E. Popiel - March 4, 2021 of Grand Island. Predeceased by her husband, Alvin Popiel; mother of Deborah (the late Richard) Stack, Rebecca Popiel and Judith Seihnel; grandmother of Marisa (Ricky) Lucas, Sarah Wasson, Allison (Macy) Seihnel-Todd, Jeremy (Emily) Siehnel and Anthony Stack; also survived by three great-grandchildren. Please share your condolences online at Kaiserfuneral.com.
Georgette Combes - Age 90, of Grand Island, NY, passed away peacefully on March 1, 2021. In lieu of flowers, memorial offerings may be made to Hospice Buffalo. For full obituary and online condolences, visit mjcoluccifuneralchapel.com.
Joseph A. Pullano - Pullano, Joseph A.- March 1, 2021-After a five-year battle against leukemia. Predeceased by his loving parents, John and Patricia (Heavey) Pullano. He will be missed by his surviving siblings; Jody (William) Malesky, John (Joanne), Peggy (Robert) Carroll, James (Kelly), Jeremy (Jennifer) Pullano, his aunt, Sr. Mary Judith Heavey, SSMN, and an uncle, Martin Heavey. Proud uncle to nine nieces and nephews, one great-niece, and many more cousins and friends. Best friend and “brother” to John Szabo. Also survived by his Smokey Joe’s and Thomas Street family in Charlotte, NC. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date. Our family would like to thank the nurses and staff of the BMT clinic, transplant wing and Drs. Balderman and Ross at Roswell for their care and patience with Joe over the last five years. If desired, memorials may made to the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur Memorial Fund, 241 Lafayette Ave, Buffalo, 14213. As Joe would say, “Rock On, Hunny Bunny!”
Jacqueline Alane "Jackie" Gregorski - 55, of Newark, Delaware, formerly of Grand Island, New York, went to be with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 after succumbing to injuries sustained in an automobile accident. Jackie is survived by her parents Richard J. and Patricia L. (Wade) Gregorski; her sisters, Pamela A. (Gregorski) Jasinski and Deborah D. Gregorski; nephew, Zachery M. Jasinski; and nieces, Emilee M. Setting and Julianna A. Jasinski; she is also survived by her aunt, Sandra (Wade) and uncle, Bruce Coutts, uncle, Frank and aunt, Kay Gregorski, aunt, Florence Gregorski; godparents, Joseph and Elaine Kurek; and several cousins. Jackie was a graduate of the University of Delaware and had a successful career as a paralegal specializing in patents and trademarks, working for Bell South, Reed Elsevier, and most recently Corporation Service Company.
Jackie was a kind and loving soul, with a wonderful warm smile and heart of gold. Jackie was a true believer in our Lord Jesus Christ and took every opportunity to evangelize to bring people closer to our Lord. Jackie has a special love for animals, especially yellow labs and her parents' chihuahua Holly. Jackie is going to be sorely missed by everyone that knew her. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 AM, on Monday, March 1st, 2021 at St. Mary's of the Assumption Church, 7200 Lancaster Pike, Hockessin, Delaware 19707. A private interment will take place at a later date at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Lewiston, New York at a time convenient for the family. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Faithful Friends Animal Shelter at www.faithfulfriends.us. For condolences, please visit online at www.chandlerfuneralhome.com.
Irmgard T. Hohbach - Of Grand Island, age 97, passed away peacefully on February 22, 2021. She was the beloved wife of the late Hans Blazy, and the late Alfred Hohbach Sr; a devoted mother of Karin (Robert) Meisner, Charlotte (Russell) Burr, and stepson Alfred (Ruth) Hohbach Jr.; a loving grandmother of Robert C. Meisner, Russell D. Burr, Kimberly (Miguel) Diaz, Amy (Dean) Kinkoph, Karen (Kenneth) Comfort, and Jennifer (Randy) Bauer; and a great-grandmother of Michael Kinkoph, Alyse Burr, Ethan Kinkoph, Sadie Burr, Dominic Burr, Roman Diaz, Isabella Diaz, Cody Comfort, Christopher Comfort, Victoria Bauer, and Jonathan Bauer. Born in Breslau, Germany to Ludwig and Johanna Nebes, Irmgard attended an Academic High School and a Trade School. During World War II at the age of 19, she became an accomplished Morse Code Operator, and after served as a Nurse's Aide who cared for many wounded soldiers including one named Hans Blazy, who later became her husband. She also worked as a Lab Technician at the University of Buffalo. She was a faithful and a devout member of the New Apostolic Church for over sixty years. Due to the current Covid and social distancing requirements, a private Church Service will be conducted for the immediate family only. Messages of condolences can be sent via the website of the KAISER FUNERAL HOME at kaiserfuneral.com (click onto 'Home', 'Obituaries', 'Irmgard T. Hohbach', 'Continue Reading', and 'Send Condolence' is at the bottom).
George P. Ihle, Jr. - Age 87, of Lakeland, FL, formerly of Grand Island, NY passed away peacefully after a brief illness on February 15, 2021. George was born in Buffalo, NY on August 15, 1933, the son of the late George P. Sr. and Louise Ihle. He graduated from Riverside High School before serving in the Marines for four years. After returning from the service he married Patricia Robinson and they celebrated their 65th anniversary this past October. In addition to his wife he is survived by two sons, George P. Ihle III (Lisa) and Robert J. Ihle (Andrew Kiener), his brother Philip Ihle, his grandchildren Jennifer (Dominic) Florio, George P. Ihle IV (Anna) and Jason Ihle (Brittani) and his great-grandchildren Brayden, Noah, Benjamin, Madison, Kendall and Lincoln. He was predeceased by his brothers Harvey Ihle Sr. and Richard Ihle. Private services will be held at a future date.
Dr. Emil Geering - Formerly of Grand Island, died February 20, 2021 at age 97 in Meadowbrook Care Center, Cincinnati. His strong will to live was inspiring, and he is sadly missed by his family. Emil was born in Yonkers, N.Y. on February 8, 1924, to Emil and Anna (Weiser) Geering. He was raised in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., and spent much time in his parents' bakery. Many tales are told of his boyhood mischievousness there!
He received his B. S. From Hobart College while in the U. S. Navy V-12 program. He served in the Navy in WWII for three years, mostly on the USS Gazelle, a tanker in the Pacific theater. In 1945 he was honorably discharged as a lieutenant (j.g.) He worked for several years at Best Foods Company in New Jersey, then went on to get an M.S., and in 1950 a PhD in organic chemistry (both at Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn.)
He was married to Marion Petchel in the Lady Chapel of Saint Patrick's Cathedral in New York City on July 25, 1953, and he and his wife moved to Western NY in 1954. He was employed at Hooker/Occidental for 37 years, during which time he earned 49 patents. He was a manager in Research and Development, and later in Technical Services. During this period he also earned an MBA from the State University of NY at Buffalo. He was a member of the American Chemical Society and the Royal Society of Chemists.
Emil was a man of many talents: woodworking, including furniture and sculpture; piano playing on his beloved Steinway; gardening; bookbinding; cooking and baking artisanal breads; and abstract painting (for which he was honored with an exhibit at Manhattan College in NYC.) He coordinated many blood drives on Grand Island for the American Red Cross, and served on the Grand Island Memorial Library board for nine years, five as president.
A frequently used expression of his was, "Everything is relative," which his wife joked would be on his tombstone someday as it so aptly depicted his outlook on life and being. He lovingly cared for his dear wife through her long illness and death in 2009. Failing health eventually dictated that he move to Crescent Springs, Kentucky to live with his oldest daughter, Anne (Rick) Gaunder, and then to a nursing home. His other beloved children are Timothy (Linda) Geering, Mason, OH; Mary Louise Geering, Brooklyn, NY; and John (Kris) Geering, Mountain View, CA. He is survived by nine grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and his older sister, Anna Cross of Pittsfield, MA. Funeral arrangements will be private due to COVID concerns. Burial will be in St. Stephen's Cemetery, Grand Island, New York. Condolences may be offered at kaiserfuneral.com. Memorial contributions may be sent to Grand Island Memorial Library, 1715 Bedell Rd., Grand Island, NY 14072. A video memorial celebration of Emil's life will be held at a later date. Please contact John Geering at email@example.com for information.
Mary A. (nee McNulty) Loder - February 7, 2021 in Bradenton FL. Mother of Audrey (Ryan) Shaw, grandmother of Caitlin Shaw, sister of Patricia (Bud) Yensan, the late Margaret “Peggy” (Bob) Hooper, Shirley (Jim Brice) McNulty, Michael (Kathy) McNulty and Roberta “Bobbi” (Ken) Champagne; daughter of the late Michael and Patricia McNulty; Also survived by many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and lots of friends. No services are planned at this time. Memorials can be made to Hospice.
Terrence E. Hall - February 8, 2021. Formerly of Grand Island and Kenmore, NY. Beloved son of Gladys (nee Wilsman) and the late Lester B. Hall; dear brother of Timothy (Sue), Gary (Cynthia) Hall and Pamela Klein; survived by nieces and nephews. A private memorial will be held at a later date. Terry served in the US Marine Corp. and was a counselor with the Erie County Mental Health Group; he also enjoyed boating, fishing and riding his Harley. Arrangements by JAMES E. GRACE FUNERAL HOME, INC.
Jane E. Chervinsky - February 13, 2021, age 74, after a short illness of Grand Island. Loving wife of 51 years of David Chervinsky. Also survived by three children, Robert (Heidi Plowy), Richard, James; one grandchild, Riley Chervinsky of Lawtons, NY; one sister-in-law, Alice (Joseph) Murray of Silver Spring, MD; one brother-in-law Nicholas (Nancy) Chervinsky of Brewerton, NY, and numerous nieces and nephews. Predeceased by her parents Timothy and Marion O'Brien of Niagara Falls, two brothers, Charles (Beth) O'Brien of Columbus, OH, John (Donna) O'Brien of The Villages, FL, and one brother-in-law John (Kirsten) Chervinsky of Somerville, MA. A funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, February 27th at 11AM at St. Stevens Church, 2100 Baseline Rd., Grand Island. Flowers declined. Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer's Association or the charity of your choice. Please share condolences at kaiserfuneral.com.
Barbara Ann (nee Llaveria) Morabito - February 18, 2021, of Grand Island. Wife of 70 years of the late Daniel F. Morabito, Sr.; mother of Mark (Debbie) Morabito, Rosenna (late Ron) Federice, Daniel F. Jr., Kathleen and Joseph P. (Susann) Morabito; also survived by eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren; sister of Dolores Holtzworth, Peggy Jo (Michael) Platt and Mary Lu Llaveria. Our hearts are broken. Mom, you have left a huge hole in our chest. We wish we had more warm hugs, more long talks, more sweet words of encouragement, more loving looks. Gone is that beautiful twinkle in your eyes when Dad walked in. You are now free and reunited with your sweetheart of 70 years. So perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy. So with one more kiss, Mom, you're on your way. Fly on Eagle's wings... A Memorial Service for Barbara and Daniel will be held at a later date. Memorials may be made to Hospice Buffalo. Please share condolences at kaiserfuneral.com.
Valerie Lynn (nee Glosser) Fraser - February 18, 2021 of Grand Island. Life partner and best friend of Bobby Fraser. Proud mother of Jeremy (Nadine) Fraser and Rachel (Fred) Hahn. Proudest nana of Chloe and Pyper Fraser, Jacoby and Gavin Hahn. Big sister of Tammy Neumann and Jamie Seyler. Best friend of Sandy Edwards. Services private at a later date and held at the convenience of the family. Please share condolences at kaiserfuneral.com.
David A. Waite - 84, passed peacefully from this earth, into the arms of his Heavenly Father, on Monday, February 8, 2021, at his Grand Island home, surrounded by his loving family. David was born July 13, 1936, in Niagara Falls, to Clarence and Catherine Waite. He was the older brother to two siblings, Richard and Elizabeth, who preceded him in death. He was a 1962 graduate of Buffalo State College, and taught for many years in the Williamsville Central School system. He retired in 1993. David enjoyed working for many years with the Christian Service Brigade, and also singing in various choirs. David was married for 59 years to his dear wife, Anne, who passed in 2019. He is survived by his daughters, Susan (Jeffrey) Rutledge, Rebecca Waite, and Catherine (Brian) Prell, four grandchildren, Elizabeth (Kurt) Rutledge-Aikens, John (Brittany) Rutledge, Jonathan (Megan Wessner) Prell, Katelyn Prell, one great-granddaughter, Rosemary Anne Prell, several nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews. A private memorial service will be held at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice Buffalo. Share condolences at Kaiserfuneral.com.
June 14, 1929 – Feb. 11, 2021
Dorothy Holloway Westhafer - 91, a co-founder of the Kenan Center Arts Council who was an enthusiastic supporter of the arts and advocate for the preservation of green space, died Thursday in Niagara Hospice in Lockport after a brief illness. A resident of Grand Island for more than 30 years, she had lived at Brookdale Memory Care Center in North Tonawanda for the past year.
Born in Akron, Ohio, she graduated from Buchtel High School in Akron and then from Miami University of Ohio with a bachelor's degree in art education. She married the Rev. James Westhafer, a widower with a young daughter, in 1951 and moved to Dayton, Ohio, where he served as co-pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church.
The Westhafers moved to Lockport in 1962, when Rev. Westhafer became pastor of Lockport First Presbyterian Church. Both were instrumental in the founding of the Kenan Center when William Rand Kenan died and left his Locust Street home and property to the church. It was Mrs. Westhafer's Christmas gift of homemade peanut brittle to assistant pastor Ivan Orloff that inspired the assembly line peanut brittle production that financed the Lockport Interfaith Group.
Mrs. Westhafer was elected to the Lockport Board of Education in 1967, serving eight years. She was chairman of the Citizens Advisory Committee that worked to create the Gulf Wilderness Park in Lockport and was active in the Lockport YWCA. She was a member of the New Century Club in Lockport and a member of the League of Women Voters for more than 60 years.
She went back to college at the age of 43, earned a master of fine arts degree from the University at Buffalo and served as the first director of the art gallery at Niagara County Community College campus in Sanborn. She taught art history at SUNY Buffalo State and Niagara University and later became a docent at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, often guiding tours for classroom groups.
After Rev. Westhafer's retirement in 1984, the couple traveled to Turkey, Greece, Thailand, Nepal and India. The couple moved to a home on Lake Ontario in Burt in 1975 and to Grand Island in 1988. Rev. Westhafer died in 1992.
Mrs. Westhafer was a charter member and served on the board of directors of the Western New York Land Conservancy, supporting such projects as the Niagara Escarpment Preserve and the Stella Niagara Preserve. She served on the Grand Island conservation commission from 1993 to 2016, the last 10 years as chairman, working to identify and preserve valuable green space and forest as home-building accelerated on the island.
Mary Cooke, who served as Grand Island supervisor during Mrs. Westhafer's tenure on the commission, said: "Dorothy Westhafer was tireless in her efforts to preserve green space on Grand Island and to educate others about the benefits of environmental conservation. From writing articles on various topics to being out in the field, Dorothy was always there leading others. We hiked many areas, planted trees, worked on annual beach sweeps and street cleanups and cleaned out invasive plant species on town properties. Her hard work and positive attitude set a fine example for others. Anyone enjoying the outdoors on Grand Island can thank Dorothy Westhafer for helping to preserve it."
Mrs. Westhafer was an avid supporter of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and in her later years particularly enjoyed the Friday morning coffee concerts. She was a member of Riverside Presbyterian Church in Niagara Falls, serving as an elder, lay reader and representative to Presbytery. She was a longtime member of a Grand Island book group and a member of the Grand Island Friends of the Library.
She enjoyed tennis, ice skating, swimming, Scrabble, baking, bird watching, stargazing, watercolor painting and duplicate bridge and had a lifelong passion for gardening. She was a talented seamstress and eagerly tackled projects around the house, whether it was refinishing furniture, caning chairs or dismantling her garden shed.
She is survived by a son, William; three daughters, Elizabeth O'Brien, Jean Westmoore and Gail Webb; nine grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. Due to the pandemic, funeral services will be private with a memorial remembrance planned at the Kenan Center in late summer or fall. Burial will be in Wooster Cemetery in Wooster, Ohio.
Melinda “Mindi” Marie (Davis) Schwarz - was born to Ron and Patricia Davis (Vincent) on April 1, 1966 in Grand Island, New York. She departed on February 10, 2021 from the comfort of her home in New Braunfels, Texas at the age of 54. She was the faithful wife of Stephen Schwarz and loving mother to Matthew Schwarz. Mindi is survived by her mother, Patricia Davis and her step-father, Roland Payer, brothers Scot and Todd Davis, her husband and son, and many more adoring relatives.
Mindi had the privilege of blessing many hearts of those with whom she came in contact. She was a devoted mother, raising her son all the way until college, never missing a beat when it came to his success. She was also a passionate and loving wife, standing by her husband through the worst of times and thriving during the best. Mindi often enjoyed cooking, shopping, perusing social media and loving every second with her two cats, Gracie and Fred. Melinda was a blessing to many and will be dearly missed.
Barbara M. (nee Massman) Becker - Of Grand Island, entered into rest February 2, 2021. Beloved wife of Thomas R. Becker; devoted mother of Laura D. Freeman; bonus daughter, Jessica Morgan; devoted grandmother of Victor Jr., Gianna D. and Vanessa D. Freeman; loving daughter of Dorothy and the late George Massman; dear sister of Mark (Melinda Wilson) Massman and Margaret Massman; loving friend of Irene Dunn Paligo. No prior visitation. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated Thursday at 9:30 AM, at St. Stephens RC Church, 2100 Baseline Rd., Grand Island. Servies will be live streamed. A Celebration of Life will be celebrated at a later date. Arrangements by the LOMBARDO FUNERAL HOME. Condolences may be shared online at www.lombardofuneralhome.com.
Daniel F. Morabito, Sr. - February 1, 2021, of Grand Island. Husband of Barbara Ann Morabito (nee Llaveria); father of Mark (Debbie) Morabito, Rosenna (late Ron) Federice, Daniel F. Jr., Kathleen and Joseph P. (Susan) Morabito; grandfather of eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren; brother of Peter (Anita) Morabito. How do you say goodbye? It is with a very heavy heart we are writing this. Dad, you lived an amazing 90 years. So many, many people are better because of you. We are going to miss your hugs, our talks, your infectious laughter, your smile, the twinkle in your eyes when you looked at Mom! Dad we miss you! So now no more pain and one more kiss, you're on your way ... fly on eagles wings. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorials may be made to Hospice Buffalo. Share condolences at kaiserfuneral.com.
Remembering Roslyn Gerard - Submitted by Alice Gerard
On Christmas Day, my mother, Roslyn Gerard, died after a long and passionate life at the age of 99.
Born Roslyn Faust, she lived history, experiencing the Great Depression as a child in Brooklyn, New York, and, during World War II, she worked as a Rosie the Riveter-type. She met my father, a young economist named Roy Gerard, on a blind date and, in June of 1951, the couple married. Their 61-year-long marriage featured Scrabble matches, milkshakes, and joint research projects. My mother found her life’s calling as an adult, as a nontraditional student at Syracuse University, where she earned a master’s degree in social work and a doctorate in sociology, while raising four daughters. She went on to have a career in the academic world, teaching both sociology and social work in various universities. She retired from Niagara University in 1985. At home, she loved to cook and to bake and to read. Favorite authors included Robin Cook, Jean Auel, J.K. Rowlings, Ken Follett, Ellis Peters, and Edward Rutherfurd. She also loved watching mysteries, such as “Murder She Wrote,” featuring Angela Lansbury as Jessica Fletcher.
In later years, she took great pleasure in watching old television westerns, especially “Have Gun, Will Travel.” She continued to enjoy cooking until her mid-90s. She had a wild sense of humor and, one day, after returning from a shopping trip, she let me know that she had a great surprise for me. She grinned gleefully as she presented the Limberger cheese, which had been the source of many smelly food jokes. Of course, I had to eat it. She laughed uproariously as I sampled the cheese, which tasted better than it smelled. Oddly enough, she never took a taste test. She also took delight in car rides. Vivian Gerard said, “My best memories of Mom were of our ice cream runs and long drives around the island, hunting down weeping willows. Second best was her utter enjoyment going through Delta Sonic and singing at the top of her lungs. I miss her smile and singing the most.”
My mother fought a valiant five-year battle against Alzheimer’s disease. Even after her diagnosis, she enjoyed taking car rides to look at houses and trees in Amherst or to look at the lake and the lighthouse in Hamburg. She took pleasure in the simple things: a muffin, some cheese, and a kiss on the cheek. The family is hoping to hold a memorial service sometime in the future for people who knew and loved Roslyn Gerard to share their memories of her. We also request that memorial donations in her name go to the Alzheimers Association, 6215 Sheridan Drive, Suite 100, Amherst, New York. Checks, with Roslyn Gerard’s name on the memo line, can be made to “Alzheimers Association WNY.” In addition to Vivian and me, Roslyn Gerard is survived by daughters Diane Gerard, Laura (Michael) Hassan, grandsons Devin (Chrisha) Dilley and James Thompson, and great grandchildren Claire, Adelise, and Elliott Dilley.
Norman C. Graesser - Of Tonawanda, NY, and formerly of Grand Island and Buffalo, went to be with our Lord on January 27, 2021. Born on December 6th 1929, he was 91 years of age. He was the loving and devoted brother to Ruth Graesser and Dan (Ruth) Graesser; the loving father of Edward (Cindy) Graesser, Daniel Graesser, Mary (Bryant) Pfalzer, John Graesser and the late Monica Graesser; and grandfather of James Bishop, Patrick Bishop, Justin Graesser, and Matthew Graesser. He was pre-deceased by his parents Harold and Monica (nee Neu) Graesser.
Viewing will be open at the Lombardo Funeral Home, 885 Niagara Falls Blvd, Amherst on Thursday, February 4th, from 4-8 PM. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, February 5th, at 9 AM, at St. Amelia's R.C. Church, 2999 Eggert Road, Tonawanda. Family and friends are invited. Online guest book available at www.lombardofuneralhome.com. As you prepare to attend, please be mindful that face coverings and six foot separation are required. For webcast of the mass visit www.stamelia.com/watch-live/. Capacity restrictions may cause a brief delay to entry at the viewing. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Mental Health Advocates of Western New York (eriemha.org). Born in Buffalo NY,
Norm attended the St. James School and then went to the St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute. In September 1951 he was inducted into the US Army, and served in Korea in A Battery, 9th Field Artillery Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division. He was awarded the Korea Service Medal with two Bronze Service Stars and the United Nations Service Medal. He carried out his service dutifully and held a deep love of God and country throughout his life. After his service he went to and graduated from Canisius College, and began his family. He became an Industrial Engineer at the Chevrolet Motor Division of GM in Tonawanda and had a long and successful career.
He had many interests and loved the outdoors and travel. The family is forever grateful for the loving home and upbringing he provided for them on Grand Island. He was a selfless man who frequently did things for other people and never wanted anything in return. He was greatly liked and enjoyed many friendships. Later as a resident of Tonawanda, he was a long time board member for the Dover Station townhouses. In his senior years he became an active member and participant of the Amherst Victorian Dance Society. He loved the friendships he made in the group, and ascribed his agility and overall good health to the benefits of dancing and social activity with them. He was a keen craftsman and expert at solving complex mechanical and electrical problems. More than anything else he was a wonderful father who loved and cared for his family above all other earthly things.
Dolores Norma Pastore - Age 90, of Grand Island, NY, passed away after a short illness on Wednesday, January 27, 2021. Born in Niagara Falls, NY, she was the daughter of Samuel Costanzo and Margaret (Graber) Costanzo; and predeceased by her loving husband Leroy; her daughter Donna Marie; her granddaughter Andrea Lynn Frisina; and her siblings Mary (Critelli) Gersitz, Margie Macri and John Costanzo. Dolores is survived by two children, Joanne (Franklin) Frisina of New City, NY and Gregory (Patricia) Pastore of Grand Island, NY. She is also survived by eight grandchildren and nineteen great-grandchildren. Prayers will be said at M.J. COLUCCI & SON NIAGARA FUNERAL HOME, for her immediate family, but all are welcome for Dolores' Mass of Christian Burial on Monday, February 1, 2021 at 10:30 AM, in Holy Family at Mt. Carmel Church, 27th Street and Independence Avenue, Niagara Falls, NY. Interment will follow in St. Joseph Cemetery, Niagara Falls, NY. If desired, memorial offerings may be made to John R. Oishei Children's Hospital, 818 Ellicott St., Buffalo, NY. Visit www.mjcoluccifuneralchapel.com for full obituary and online guest register.
Dorothy A. Wendel - June 19, 1935 - January 26, 2021, of Grand Island. For 65 years she was the loving wife of the late Donald J. Wendel; mother of Laura Matthews, Terry (late Colleen) Wendel, Marianne (Paul) Heinen, Mark (Louise) Wendel and Christopher (Marla) Wendel; grandmother of Jonathan Matthews, Andrea, Alison, and Tara Wendel, Julianne (Gregory) Becker, Andrew (Sarah) and Jacquelyn Heinen, Carolyn (Dave) Lansom, Brian (Christine), Michael (Jess) Wendel, and Elizabeth Wendel, Nicholas and Daniel Wendel; great-grandmother of Elliot and Jacob Matthews, Cora and Eila Lansom, Jeffrey Becker, and Claire Heinen; daughter of the late Raymond and Alma Cobb of Nashville, Tennessee; sister of JoAnn Escue and the late Herschel Cobb, LouEtta Serviss, Bill Cobb and Vilda Roy. Friends are welcome to attend a Mass of Christian Burial on Saturday, at 11 AM, at St. Stephen's Church, 2100 Baseine Rd., Grand Island. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice Buffalo. She married Donald Wendel in 1952, attended Doyle Beauty School and worked as a hairdresser for many years. She was a devoted mother and homemaker who loved and adored her family while living on Grand Island for over 50 years. Please share condolences at kaiserfuneral.com.
Meredith Coleman Anding Jr. Aug. 31, 1941 - Jan. 8, 2021 - a retired University at Buffalo faculty member who was a pioneering civil rights activist in Mississippi, died Jan. 8 in Brandon, Miss., after a short battle with leukemia. He was 79.
Mr. Anding was one of the Tougaloo Nine, a group of students from historically Black Tougaloo College arrested for staging a read-in at the all-white main library in Jackson, Miss., in March 1961. Trained for the read-in by Medgar Evers, then-president of the Jackson branch of the NAACP, the group sat reading quietly at different tables in the library, which had books and other resources that were unavailable at Jackson’s Black library. They refused to leave when police arrived and were jailed, charged with breach of the peace. Their arrests led to demonstrations at Jackson State College and a march on the jail led by Evers. Found guilty, the nine students were fined $100 and given suspended sentences. The incident prompted a successful NACCP lawsuit to integrate the library in 1962, one of the first civil rights victories in Mississippi.
Born in Myles, Miss., about 40 miles southwest of Jackson, he was one of 11 children. His father, a refrigerator repairman, and his mother, a seamstress, moved the family to Jackson when he was a child. He first enrolled in Jackson State University after graduating from high school in 1958, then transferred to Tougaloo for his sophomore year. Active in the West Jackson NAACP Youth Council, he accompanied Evers on freedom rides. “The influence of my father and numerous negative experiences with Jim Crow laws certainly inspired my fight against inequality,” he wrote in a Viewpoints essay in The Buffalo News in 1995. His father was a member of the NAACP and one of his aunts, A.M.E. Logan, provided refuge for civil rights activists, including the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Taking part in the read-in cost Mr. Anding his financial assistance for college. He left for Chicago, where he had family, and worked at various jobs before enlisting in the Air Force in 1963. Stationed in Turkey and San Antonio, Texas, he was discharged in 1967 with the rank of staff sergeant.
He returned to Tougaloo, earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1969 and came to Buffalo on a scholarship to UB, where he completed a master’s degree in math. At the university, he met Maurice Dianne Buggs, who also was studying for a graduate degree in math on scholarship, and they were married in 1970. He first taught freshman and sophomore math courses at Niagara University, then joined the UB faculty. He was director of mathematics at the university’s Learning Center, then was an instructor and associate academic coordinator at the Educational Opportunity Center. He retired in 2007.
Beginning in the mid-1980s, Mr. Anding and his wife traveled across the nation extensively by motor home. Members of the National African American RV Association, they attended rallies and made many friends. In retirement, they spent winters in Florida and Mississippi. Residents of Grand Island since 1990, they moved to Brandon, a suburb of Jackson, in 2019 to be closer to their son and his family.
Mr. Anding attended the program marking the 50th anniversary of the Tougaloo protest and the dedication of a Freedom Trail marker at the site of the protest in 2017. A longtime member of Bethel A.M.E. Church in Buffalo, where he was a member of the steward board, he had a passion for the outdoors, especially camping and fishing. In addition to his wife, a retired Buffalo high school teacher, survivors include a son, Armaan; four brothers, Dr. H. James, Versie, Winston and Guy; five sisters, Elaine Farrar, N. Deloris Archie, Yvonne J. Bracey, Nelva Johnson and Fyarlance R. “Renae” Wright; and two grandchildren.
John Howard Paasch - a long time resident of Chelmsford, MA, passed away on January 24, 2021.
John was born in Buffalo, New York on October 26th 1944 to Albertha (Grimm) and Howard John Paasch. John grew up and went to school in Buffalo and Grand Island, New York, graduating from Tonawanda High school. He continued his education at the Univsersity of Buffalo receiving his Bachelors Degree in Electrical Engineering in 1967. In 1967 John moved to Massachusetts to start his career as an Electrical Engineer with Raytheon Company in Bedford, MA. While working for Raytheon John graduated from Northeastern University with a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering. He also worked at the Raytheon facility in Andover, Tewksbury, Wayland and Sudbury Massaschusetts Throughout John’s thirty-seven year career working for Raytheon on the Sparrow and Hawk Missile Systems as an Integration Engineer he would travel to Point Magu and China Lake California, White Sands Missile Range in New Mexcio, Huntsville, Alabama, Germany and Crete, Greece.
John was diagnosed with Waldenstrom’s Microglobulinemia a rare form of lymphoma in 2004 and retired one year later. During the past sixteen and a half years he has been active in helping other people with his disease through his participation with the International Waldentroms’s Macroglobulinemia Foundation (IWMF). He would travel to area hospitals distributing informative materials for the IWMF as well as working at their yearly conference.
John enjoyed taking care of his fish pond and a little gardening. He also enjoyed exploring the coastal and country roads of New England in his VW convertible always with a stop to explore a new or familiar town, a new or familiar restaurant, farm stand, orchards for picking apples and peaches, or a picnic by the water. He also enjoyed entertaining his family and friends and was a very kind, and generous husband, brother and brother in law. We all will miss him.
He is survived by his partner and wife of 54 years Penelope Abraham Paasch, his brother Mark Paasch of Grand Island, New York, sister in law Linda Paasch Williamson, of Middleburg, PA, sister in law Judith Abraham and her wife Jean Williams of Williamsburg, MA, sister in law Alexandra Abraham Walter and her husband Charles of Arlington, VA, brother in law Harry Abraham of Billerica, MA and his partner Margaret Quinlan of Quincy, MA, sister in law Stephanie Gillies of Edwards, Colorado, sister in law Nadine Roberts and her husband Norman of Crossville, TN, , brother in law Stephen Grace and his wife Donna of Londondery, NH, brother in law Emil Abraham and his partner Donna of Littleton, CO, brother in law Sumner Joe Abraham and his wife Caroline of Port Orange, FL. He is also survived by Aunt Mary Shaheen as well as numerous cousins and nieces and nephews.
Anyone interested in making donations may do so to: International Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia Foundation (IWMF), 6144 Clark Center Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34238 or The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), PO. 12268 Newport New, VA 23612. Visiting hours will be held on Thursday, from 5:00 – 7:00 pm in the Blake Chelmsford Funeral Home, 24 Worthen St., Chelmsford. Due to gathering limitations, his funeral service and interment will be held privately.
Carl P. Kedrowski - Of Grand Island, NY, January 16, 2021. Son of the late Chester K. and Virginia S. (Kamrowski) Kiedrowski; brother of Kenneth C. (late Camille) Kiedrowski, Susan M. (Joseph) Salamone and the late Zachary Kiedrowski; uncle of Barrett (Jaime) Kiedrowski of Jarrettsville, MD, Bryant (Amy) Kiedrowski of Dublin, OH, Angela Snyder, James (Jacqueline) Salamone of Kissimmee, FL, Tatiana Salamone (David Lombardo) and Alexi Salamone (Shoshana Milich); also survived by ten great-nieces and nephews. Carl attended SUNY Fredonia, Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY and SUNY at Buffalo. He was the director of commercial production at WGRZ TV and received multiple Telly Awards, National Gold Awards and awards for creative excellence (ACE). He was a marketing consultant in NYS and Canada employed by NES Marketing Group, Gelia, Wells and Mohr Marketing Communications, Buffalo Advertising and Erie County Board of Elections. No prior visitation. A Celebration of Life Service will be held at the convenience of the family. Arrangements were entrusted to: ERIE COUNTY CREMATION SERVICE, 824-6435. Please share your condolences at: www.eriecountycremationservice.com.
Dorothy B. (nee Sokolowski) Lew - Left us on January 21st at age 92. Born in Buffalo NY, Dorothy was a long-time resident of Grand Island where she was an active member of St. Stephen's Church. She served on the Altar Society, the Ladies of Charity, and sang in the choir. Dorothy hosted Bible Study in her home and served as a Confraternity of Christian Doctrine instructor. She was a Red Cross blood drive volunteer and was a past president of the Grand Island Golden Age Center. Dorothy was pre-deceased by her husband of 45 years, Alfred M. Lew. Dorothy is survived by her eight children, Frederic (Margaret), Thomas, Gary (Nancy), JoAnne (Patrick) Howard, Judy Lew (Sid), John, Peter (Sandy), and James, fourteen grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren. No visitation due to Covid considerations. Funeral services will be held at a later date. Memorials may be made to Catholic Charities of Buffalo. Share condolences at kaiserfuneral.com.
Concetta (nee DiFranco) Vacanti - Of Grand Island, entered into rest January 17, 2021. Beloved wife of Charles D. Vacanti; devoted mother of Charles A., Eric M. and Michelle E. Vacanti; adored grandmother of Taylor Vacanti; loving daughter of the late Giacinto and Assunta DiFranco; dear sister of Giuseppe (Leslie) DiFranco, Sebastiana (Sebastiano) Madonia, Maria (David) Weber, Giovanna DiFranco and Nicoletta (Edward) Walsh; cherished aunt of many nieces and nephews. Friends and relatives may visit the LOMBARDO FUNERAL HOME (Northtowns Chapel), Wednesday 3-7 PM with a funeral service at 7 PM. PURSUANT TO NYS COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS, OCCUPANCY GUIDELINES WILL BE FOLLOWED. PLEASE WEAR A FACE COVERING. Online condolences at www.lombardofuneralhome.com.
Terry B. Lawson - October 3, 1950 ~ January 15, 2021 (age 70). Beloved husband of Kathryn. Devoted father of David (Clemy) Lawson, Christie (Jim) Birch, Aimee (Pete) Hauer, Jim (Cat) Lawson, Tricia (Dan) Roosa, Matt (Nikki) Lawson, Greg (Beth) Lawson, Kara Lawson, and Kevin (Liz) Lawson. Loving Ada of his twenty-nine grandchildren. Dear brother of Mike (Lindsey) Lawson and Rick Lawson. Loving uncle of eleven nieces and nephews, and great-uncle of four grandnieces and grandnephews.
Terry passed away on Friday, January 15, 2021, at the age of 70 years. Visitation will be held Wednesday, January 20, 2021, from 3pm - 7pm at Vorhis & Ryan Funeral Home, 5501 Montgomery Road, Norwood, OH 45212. Traditional Catholic Requiem Mass will be held Thursday, January 21, 2021, at 10:45am at Immaculate Conception Church, 2310 Robertson Avenue, Norwood, OH 45212. Burial will follow in Gate of Heaven Cemetery.
Tom Zarbo - Of Grand Island, went to be with our Lord on January 18, 2021. Loving husband of 64 years of Elisabeth; father of Mark (Deborah) Zarbo, Heidi (Steve) Fritschi and Elisabeth Zarbo; grandfather of Mark (Emily), Matthew (Erin) and Joseph Zarbo, Heather (Kristofer) Sarik, Stephanie (Jeff) Kincaid, Eric (Selena) Calway and late grandson Zachary Zarbo; great-grandfather of Riley Kincaid and Luca Zarbo. Funeral Services will be held Saturday, at 11 AM, at Trinity United Methodist Church, 2100 Whitehaven Rd., Grand Island. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Zachary Zarbo Memorial Fund c/o Financial Trust FCU, 2014 Grand Island Blvd., Grand Island, NY.
Tom had an adventurous and fun-loving spirit. He loved to talk about his service in the U.S. Air Force as an Information Specialist stationed in Nome, Alaska. His air force training formed his future shining careers as a photographer at the Buffalo News, News Reel Camera Specialist for WBEN Channel 4 and public relations for Bell Aerospace, Mennen Medical and Tops Markets. As a press photographer and cameraman, Tom covered many interesting events, celebrities and earned numerous public relation awards. He was a past Membership Chairman for the Industrial Audio-Visual Association. Tom also did outstanding Civic Service. Including his dedication to the Boy Scouts; serving as Scout Master and on the Tonawanda District Scout Council; past president of the Grand Island Lyons Club and, Grand Island Taxpayers Association. He was recognized by the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce as Civic Citizen of the Year. In addition, Tom loved camping, wood working, old cars, playing pranks and telling corny jokes. Tom was a lifelong member of Grand Island Trinity Church. He will be dearly missed by family and friends. Share condolences at kaiserfuneral.com.
William A. "Andy" Dannels - Of Lewiston, NY, age 92, died peacefully on January 15 in St. Petersburg, FL. The longtime resident of Grand Island will be remembered with much love by his nine children, 18 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and his beloved companion of 22 years, Joan Heine. He was predeceased by his loving wife Arline (nee Adler) in 1997. Their nine children are Wayne of Mentor, OH, Susan Leach of Walden, NY, Diane Hannon of Oglesby, TX, Paul of Clarkston, MI, David of Rota, Spain, Christine Dawson of Brush Prairie, WA, Wendy of Brighton, NY, Colleen Cardarella of Grand Island, and Allen of Clackamas, OR. He is also survived by a sister, Joann Carbone, of Gainesville, FL and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brother Bobby Dannels and sister Peggy Wilson. Andy was raised in Buffalo where he graduated from Bennett High School and then earned a degree in chemistry at Canisius College. He was employed by Durez Plastics, Hooker Chemical and Occidental Chemical. During his 40 year career he was awarded several patents in the field of plastics engineering. His interests included skiing, fishing, gardening and sailing. He was a member of Sandy Beach Yacht Club, where he raced a lightning sailboat that he built by hand. Over the years he also enjoyed trips to many countries around the world. Though a seasoned traveler, Andy was known especially for his devotion to home life, raising his family and making the home a pleasant place for all. He will be remembered as an honest, hard-working, wise, and caring person. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Gifts in Andy's memory may be sent to St. Peter RC Parish in Lewiston, NY or a charity of your choice. Online condolences may be shared at www.brettfuneralhome.net.
Gary M. Stott - Suddenly, Friday, January 15, 2021 at age 70, beloved husband of 46 years to Cheryl M. (nee Ferro) Stott; dear father of Gillian M. Stott and Courtney A. (Nicholas) Sinatra; loving grandfather of Henry J. Sinatra; brother of Kathy Sparks and Dana (Gary) Rzepa; also survived by nieces and nephews. The family will be present to receive friends Friday January 22, 2021 from 2-8 PM at the (Delaware Chapel) AMIGONE FUNERAL HOME, INC., 1132 Delaware Ave., Buffalo. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, January 23, 2021 at St. Stephen Church, 2100 Baseline Rd., Grand Island, NY at 9:30 AM. Family and friends invited. As you prepare to attend, please be mindful that Face Coverings and six foot separation are required at all times. Current capacity restrictions may cause delayed entry. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Gary's memory to Buffalo Renaissance Foundation, PO Box 322, Buffalo, NY 14205 or Sr. Johnice Response to Love Center, 130 Kosciusko St., Buffalo, NY 14212. Please visit Gary's Tribute Page to view his tribute video and share condolences at www.AMIGONE.com.
Ernest Beck - January 17, 2021, of Grand Island. Husband of Maria Beck; father of David (Kathy) Beck and Anita Gruber; grandfather of Victoria, Daniel, Joshua, Morgan and Jonathan; brother of late Kathy Asbach; also survived by nieces and nephews. Graveside Services will be held Friday, January 22nd at 2 PM, at Whitehaven Cemetery, 3089 East River Rd., Grand Island. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Bible Fellowship Center. Ernest was a skilled instructor and a biblical scholar. Share condolences at kaiserfuneral.com.
Rosemarie W. (nee Wilkie) McDonald - January 16, 2021, of Grand Island at age 89. Beloved wife of the late James W. McDonald; loving mother of Karen (Michael) McDonough, Kathleen (Donald) Tompkins, Patricia (Joseph) Mash, James (Cynthia) McDonald, Mary Jo (James) Russo; cherished grandmother of Christopher (Hannah) Tompkins, Kevin (Haley) Tompkins, Joseph Mash, Kelsey (Christopher) Carter, John Andrews, Tiller McDonald, Kathryn McDonald, Shannon Russo, James Russo; daughter of the late Charles and Mary (nee Brooker) Wilkie; dearest sister of Joyce (William) Stratis, and the late Elizabeth (late Al) Stieringer, late Raymond (late Patricia) Wilkie, and the late Eileen (late Bernard) Gallant and aunt to many loving nieces and nephews.
Rosemarie enjoyed travel, social events and outdoor activities with her husband Jim, children and grandchildren including trips to Europe, parties, Bills and Sabres games, sledding, skating, sailing, picnics even in the winter. Rosemarie loved to swim and enjoyed golfing. She was a long-time member of the Grand Island Women's Golf Association and the Grand Island Women's Club.
Rosemarie graduated from Kenmore West H.S. in 1949 and went on to work as a secretary at Western Electric. In addition to caring for her five children, she also worked as a teacher's aide for Buffalo Public Schools and for the YWCA after school program in Grand Island schools. Family and friends are invited to a Mass of Christian Burial on Friday, January 22nd at 9:30 AM at St. Stephen's Church, 2100 Baseline Rd., Grand Island. Social distancing and masks required. Burial to follow at St. Stephen's Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Rosemarie's memory to Literacy, Inc. c/o Jeannine Nadler, P.O. Box 822, Katonah, NY 10536. She loved reading and children, and donations will support books for underserved children. Literacy, Inc. is a nonprofit supported by her grandson, John Andrews. Share condolences at kaiserfuneral.com.
Lawrence J. Hillock, Sr. - age 76, passed away January 15, 2021 at his home surrounded by his loving family. A private Graveside service will be held Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at Parkway Memorial Gardens Mausoleum at 11:00 AM for family only. You can watch the service live by going to www.heritagememorialfuneralhome.com or https://client.tribucast.com/tcid/371720216. In lieu of flowers the family asks that you donate to The Ronald McDonald House of Macon, 1160 Forsyth St, Macon, GA 31201, St. Jude, 262 Danny Thomas Pl, Memphis, TN 38105 or your favorite children’s charity.
Larry was born in Buffalo, New York, on October 19, 1944 to the late John Hillock and Beatrice Hillock. Larry is also preceded in death by his sisters, Editha Kapoor and Lucille Floss and grandson, Kyle Hillock. Larry was raised in Grand Island, New York and served in Vietnam with the United States Marine Corp. He retired from TRW in 2002 as a project manager. Larry started the first local chapter of the Gold Wing Road Riders Association in Warner Robins, GA. He was a member of The Warner Robins Noon Optimist Club. Larry enjoyed spending time outdoors camping, canoeing, and traveling across the country in his motorhome with his wife. He was an avid reader and enjoyed researching genealogy. Larry was devoted to his wife, children and would never miss an opportunity to spend time with his grandchildren.
Larry is survived by his wife of 54 years, Dawn Merrill Hillock; children, Deanna Mines (Rodney), Larry Hillock, Jr. (Heather); grandchildren, Hannah Hillock, Trevor Mines, Erika Mines, Cameron Tagliaferi; siblings, John Hillock (Linda), Robert Hillock (Cindy), Linda Clark (Harold), Randon Hillock (Sue), Hilary Balderas, and numerous nieces and nephews. Please go to www.heritagememorialfuneralhome.com to sign the online guestbook and to leave a condolence for the family.
Susan A. (nee-Matis) Stoffan - age 93, beloved wife of the late George Stoffan entered into rest on Jan. 6, 2021 in Grand Island, New York. She lived in Lakewood, Ohio for most of her life where she was a member of Ss. Cyril & Methodius Catholic Church and the First Catholic Ladies Slovak Union. She was best known for her wonderful baking and impeccable ironing and enjoyed camping, playing bingo, and going to the casinos but most of all cherished her time with family and friends. She is survived by her daughter: Barbara (Peter) Conrad, son: Mark Stoffan, grandchildren: Heather (Joseph) Hill, Chad Stoffan and Erin Stoffan, great grandchildren: Allison & Jason Hill. Besides her husband she was preceded in death by her son George A. Stoffan III and siblings : Joseph Matis, Mary Tutko, Helen Fencik, Veronica Petruchik & Anna Licsak. Funeral Mass will be celebrated Saturday 10:00am Jan.16, 2021 at Transfiguration Parish, 12608 Madison Ave., Lakewood (masks and distancing will be required). Interment will follow in Holy Cross Cemetery. MISENCIK FUNERAL HOME, 36363 Detroit Rd., Avon is in charge of arrangements. A Celebration of her life will be celebrated at a later date.
Ann M. (nee O'Donohoe) Hegarty - Passed peacefully on January 11, 2021 at age 85. Ann was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and steadfast friend to many. Born in Dublin, Ireland, Ann came to the United States in 1957 and proudly became a US Citizen in 2001. Ann lived most of her adult life in Carmel, NY, where she and husband Denis, Sr. raised their four children. In later years she resided on Grand Island. Ann loved spending time with her family, traveling and the theatre. Ann was predeceased by her husband Denis, Sr. and grandson Joseph. Ann is survived by her children Geraldine (Edward), James (Pamela), Raymond (Gina), Denis Jr. (Josephine); grandchildren Edward (Jessica), Katie (Dustin), Sarah, Charlie, Aurora, Molly, Cate; and great-grandchildren Grady and Owen. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. The family extends the most heartfelt thanks to the staff of Springhill Oakview and Forestview in Erie, PA for the wonderful care they provided. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a donation be made to a local food bank or women's shelter in her name. Share condolences at kaiserfuneral.com.
Richard G. Furman - Of Grand Island, entered into rest on January 12, 2021, at the age of 72. Beloved husband of Carolyn (nee Brunner) Furman; devoted father of Courtney (Greg) Lovria and Scott (Hawa) Furman; cherished grandfather of Troy, Logan and Nadia; loving brother of his twin Michael Furman, John Mies and Cheryl Hausner; dear brother-in-law of Thomas Brunner and the late Brian Brunner; also survived by many nieces and nephews. Richard was a retired Buffalo Firefighter. Private Services. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations in Richards name can be made to the ALS Foundation. Arrangements by LOMBARDO FUNERAL HOME (Northtowns Chapel). Condolences at www.lombardofuneralhome.com.
Derek S. Mediak - Of Grand Island, entered into rest on January 13, 2021. Beloved husband of Lisa (nee Foley) Mediak; devoted father of Jason (April) and Lillian; loving son of Linda Mediak; dear brother of Marie Mediak and brother-in-law of Ed (Elly) Foley; cherished uncle of Lindsey and Cole; also survived by many aunts, uncles, and cousins. Relatives and friends may visit the LOMBARDO FUNERAL HOME (Northtowns Chapel), 885 Niagara Falls Blvd. on Tuesday from 4-7 PM for a gathering in Derek's memory. Online condolences may be offered at www.lombardofuneralhome.com. Due to NYS guidelines, occupancy limits will be observed.
Gifford R. Peck - Age 82, of the City of Tonawanda, January 16, 2021, in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital after a brief illness. Gifford was a U.S. Army veteran, retiring from the Army after 38 years of service. He had also worked as a printer for Royal Printing in Buffalo. He was a lifelong member of Union Hook & Ladder in the City of Tonawanda, and a lifelong member of the Grand Island Volunteer Fire Company. He was an active member of the United Methodist Church of Tonawanda. He was the husband of the late Barbara A. (Roe) Peck; beloved father of Lori (late Sidney) Tyrrell, Amyjo (Dan) DeCarlo, and Dawn (George) Garbutt; grandfather of Brittany and Tyler Peck and Dylan Richards. Friends may call at the FRETTHOLD & HAMP FUNERAL HOME, 37 Adam St., Tonawanda, on Friday from 5-7 PM. A funeral service will be held at the funeral home on Friday beginning at 7 PM. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, Kansas 66675 or Veteran's Hospital. Condolences may be shared at FrettholdandHamp.com.
Heidi M. (nee Merz) Lang - Age 59, January 15, 2021, of Grand Island, NY. Beloved wife of Michael Lang; devoted daughter of Joseph and the late Marianne Merz; cherished mother of Sarah Gefell, Laura Lang, Erik (Amy Newton) Lang and Leanna (Axel Barora) Lang; adored grammy of Elizabeth Gefell; dear sister of Joseph (Jane) Merz, Harald (Patricia) Merz and Peter (Diana) Merz; loving daughter-in-law of Ronald (Lori) Lang; also survived by nieces and nephews. Due to Covid restrictions, a Celebration of Life Service will be held at a later date and time to be announced. Please share your condolences online with the family at www.lesterwedekindtfuneralhome.com.
Shirley J. (nee Kruse) Martin - Was called home by her Lord and Savior to rest and sleep with the angels on January 15, 2021. Shirley was born February 14 (Valentine's Day), 1926 to the late Christopher "Christ" Kruse and Rose (Kienzle) Kruse. She is preceded in death by her beloved husband Richard J. (Dick) Martin. She was the devoted mother to Christine (late Edward) Powell of Willis, TX, Carol (Doug) Neill of Willis, TX, and Cathy (David) Klemann of Christiana, TN. Cherished Grandmother of Amanda (Matt) Gregory, Emily (David) Koseluk, and Jagur (Kylie) Klemann and Great Grandmother to Sierra Gregory.
We are all very grateful to God to have had her in our lives. Shirley married her husband on September 11, 1948. They moved to Grand Island in 1951 where Dick started Modern Plumbing which they grew into a successful business. Shirley later worked for Fleischman Fuels before buying the business herself and operated it until she retired in 1993. Shirley was proud of her service to her community. She was a member of the Grand Island Zoning Board, Zonta Club of Grand Island, and the Grand Island Republican Committee. She was recognized for her accomplishments when she was named Citizen of the Year by the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce for her outstanding role in the business community. Shirley will be laid to rest beside her husband in St. Stephen's Cemetery on Grand Island. A celebration of life will be held at a future date. Please share memories and condolences on Shirley's Tribute Page at kaiserfuneral.com.
Barbara Lee (nee Harrison) Ressnan - Passed away at the age of 75 due to complications from a leg infection. She was raised on Grand Island and attended Sidway School, later graduating from Tonawanda Sr. High School. She is survived by her husband, C. Roger Ressman; daughter, Heather (Brett) Sahrle; and son, Jason (Lindsay) Ressman; she is also survived by five grandchildren: Matthew and Mackenzie Sahrle, Jett and Joey Neglia, and Jameson Ressman; in addition, she is survived by her brother, William Harrison of Hemet, California, and Betty Harrison of Wildomar, California.
She was a Speech Therapist at the Chestnut Ridge Elementary School. In addition, she enjoyed her time with her grandchildren, scrap-booking, knitting and reading. She also enjoyed a two-week vacation at Black Lake, NY for 20 straight years. Barbara was also very much at home with the Spencerport Rotary Club and attended Rotary functions with the many Past District Governors and their spouses. When it came to relaxing, she enjoyed her "Knit and Stitch Club", plus an annual trip with the "girls only club." To share a memory visit www.walkerbrothersfh.com. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Spencerport Rotary Club, P.O. Box 274, Spencerport, NY 14559. The funds collected will be sent to the Rotary Foundation. A memorial service will be held at a later date when the current health situation subsides.
Elizabeth "Liz" (nee Besio) AuClair-Smith - Of Grand Island, NY, entered into rest January 6, 2021. Beloved wife of the late Gerald AuClair and the late Robert Smith; devoted mother of Sandra (Darrell) Mondrala and Denise (Michael) McMahon; adored grandmother of Lynn Marie (Patrick) Reap, Cheri Beth Weber, Erin (Brian) Russo and Kerry-Lynn (John) Brown; cherished great-grandmother of Hunter, Conner and Mathew Reap and Dylan and Evan Russo; loving daughter of the late John and Lois Besio; dear sister of the late Norma (late Richard) Hess and the late Arlene (late Richard) Mowry. No prior visitation. Arrangements by the LOMBARDO FUNERAL HOME (Northtowns Chapel). A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Friends and relatives may share their condolences online with the family at www.lombardofuneralhome.com.
Vincent J. "Vinny" Pantano - Beloved husband of Rosary Ann (Agati) Pantano; loving father of Michele (Michael) Lauria, Rosary Ann Cancilla, Andrea (Troy) Villafuerte, and Salvatore (Carla) Pantano; adoring grandfather of Michael, Bianca, Mitchell, Alexander, Vincent, Alexandra, Jenna and Vincent; loving brother of Salvatore (Lori) Pantano, and the late MaryAnn (late Sam) Monaco; son of the late Salvatore and Clara (Ziemecki) Pantano. The family will be present Wednesday, from 3-7 PM, at the PERNA, DENGLER, ROBERTS FUNERAL HOME, 1671 Maple Road. Family and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial celebrated from St. Stephen's Church (Grand Island), on Thursday,January 14th, at 9:30 AM. In lieu of flowers, donations in Vincent's name may be made to Hospice Buffalo, Inc. Vincent retired as a lieutenant after serving 32 years in the Buffalo police department. Condolences may be shared online at www.denglerrobertspernafuneral.com.
Phyllis Ann (nee Handley) Pierce - Age 84 of Grand Island, passed away peacefully on January 2, 2021 from COVID-19. Phyllis was born in Niagara Falls to the late Charles E. Handley, Sr. and Evelyn I. (nee Dennis). She was a Niagara Falls High School graduate and was employed as a Secretary at Hooker Chemical until she left to raise her children. She was a member of the St. Paul's United Methodist Church Choir, Hooker Chorus, a longterm member of Trinity United Methodist Church, WOW, and The Bishop's Committee. She worked as a Volunteer for the Grand Island Help Center. She was an amateur artist who drew for her children. She enjoyed musical concerts and theatrical productions. She traveled extensively to visit family members across the country. Phyllis spent her final three years as a resident of Rosa Coplon Living Center at the Weinberg Campus in Getzville where she was admired and loved by the nursing staff for her friendliness, as she happily marched up and down the hallways.
She will always be cherished by her family and friends for her caring warmth, joyful laughter, and sunny smile. She was a devoted wife, loving mother, and faithful friend who deeply touched the lives of others. Besides her parents, she was predeceased by her stepmother, Dorothy Handley; brother Charles E. Handley Jr.; and daughter Susan E. Pierce. She is survived by her devoted and beloved husband of 61 years, Halbert E. Pierce III; son David (Robin) Pierce of San Antonio, TX; and daughter Amy (Anthony) Pacini of Land o'Lakes, FL; brother Robert (Debi) Handley of North Tonawanda; sister-in-law Jane Handley of Dublin, OH; many cousins, nieces, a nephew, and close friends. A memorial service will be held at Trinity United Methodist Church on Grand Island at a future date. Share condolences at www.kaiserfuneral.com.
Janeene (nee Phance) Stoddard - Of Mesa, AZ, a resident of Grand Island for over 50 years, passed away peacefully on January 6, 2021 at the age of 82 to join her recently departed husband and best friend Fred of 61 years. Survived by two sons Paul (Lisa) and Phil (Jill) and one daughter Amy (Wylie); grandmother to ten grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Janeene served as a registered nurse for over 45 years working the ER night-shift at Kenmore Mercy Hospital in Tonawanda and the Banner Healthcare System in Mesa, Arizona. She was a talented artist who also loved cooking, sewing, and tackling a challenging crossword puzzle, when she and Fred weren't traveling. She cherished the time spent with lifelong friends and was always making new ones in retirement through her golf, painting and quilting groups. An avid Bills fan to the end. A Memorial will be planned for late spring. Share condolences at kaiserfuneral.com.
Jean E. Wholahan - January 7, 2021, age 106, of Grand Island. Wife of the late Allan D. Wholahan; mother of Clifford B. (Inger) Wholahan of Blaine, MN, Paul M. Wholahan of Grand Island and the late John D. Wholahan; grandmother of James Wholahan of San Diego, CA and Emma Smith of Louisville, KY; also survived by two great-grandchildren; sister of the late Arthur Wilbanks. Funeral services private. Share condolences at kaiserfuneral.com.
Addition by Leonore Tetkowski: In Memory of Jean Wholahan.
We should not let the death of Jean Wholahan at age 106 on January 7 go without remembering and appreciating her amazing,, very long life on Grand Island. She has been an inspiration for me since the 1950s, when her husband, Allan, and I worked on the Citizens' Committee for the High School. It was Jean who encouraged me to join the League of Women Voters, which became a major part of my life. In her quiet, modest way she worked diligently on various committees for an informed electorate. She took on necessary work like League budget preparation. It was Allan who had the first computer of anyone we knew, and who was deeply involved in using his new skills to work with us on League publications, like preparing “Know Your Officials”.
Many meetings and much committee work led to our deep ongoing friendship. As Jean aged she continued her lifelong interest in good government, and even when her eyesight was failing, managed to follow news events. She never missed a voting opportunity.
Her ability to remain independent until well after her 100th birthday astonished her friends. Her clear memory allowed her to share with me very early experiences of her childhood and early youth. Her interest in annual geranium plantings and activities of her little Island Presbyterian Church, of which she was a founding member, continued throughout her life. Her optimism never failed!
I drove her to a garden nursery for her to chose her geraniums each spring. I remember the one that turned out to be the last time. As I was dropping her off back at her home, Jean thanked me and said, “Will you do this for me next year?” I replied, “Sure, Honey!"
Nicholas A. Beyers - January 3, 2021, of Niagara Falls, formerly of Grand Island. Brother of Joseph (Glenda) Beyers, Jean (the late Rod) Waldrip and Allen (Diana) Beyers; son of the late William and Genevieve Beyers; uncle of Ashley and Eric Hoffmeister; also survived by many cousins. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Share condolences at kaiserfuneral.com.
Jane M. (nee Biggie) Goris - January 8, 2021, of Grand Island. Beloved wife of the late Charles H. Goris; loving mother of Lynne (George) Heim, David (Sally) Goris, Valerie (Randy) Downey, Cheryl (Keith) Kloesz, Daniel (Kim), Jeffrey (Tina) and Michael (Jennifer) Goris, and Jacqueline (Patrick) Foote; cherished grandmother of Eric, Kimberly, Melissa, Kevin, Stephanie, Jennifer, Kelly, Robert, Amanda, Laura, Danielle, Michaela, Heather, Kelsey, Trevor, Matthew, Morgan, Jeffrey and the late Michael David; also survived by 14 great-grandchildren; sister of Joan Frey. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Tuesday, January 12th at 11 AM at St. Stephen's Church, 2100 Baseline Rd., Grand Island. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Alzheimer's Association. Share condolences at kaiserfuneral.com.
Robert W. Pickel, Sr. - Age 84, of Grand Island, died peacefully January 7, 2021. Robert retired as the Senior Vice President of Finance for the Buffalo Sabres. He was a US Marine Corps Veteran. He served as the President of the Board of Directors for Summer Bay Resorts in Orlando, FL. Robert was a respected youth coach and mentor.
Beloved husband of Lorraine (Balsdon) Pickel for over 64 years; father of Robert W. (Kathleen) Pickel Jr., Michael G. (Ann) Pickel, Jeffrey D. (Debbie) Pickel, Lori N. Collignon, and the late Karen L. Coomber; grandfather of Jacob (Margie), Rachel, Alexander, Jeffrey Jr. (Emily), and Shannon Pickel, Courtney, McKenna, and Cameron Collignon, Ashley L. (Greg) McQuiggan, Ranier Kahn, and the late B.C. Coomber; great-grandfather of five great-grandchildren; brother of Cheryl Angell. Friends may call at the FRETTHOLD & HAMP FUNERAL HOME, 37 Adam St., in Tonawanda, on Monday, January 11th from 4-8 PM. Funeral services will be held at the funeral home on Tuesday at 11 AM, interment in Elmlawn Cemetery. Flowers gratefully declined, if so desired memorials may be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, or the Nickel City Canine Rescue, 5635 Harris Hill Rd., Williamsville, NY 14221. Condolences shared at FrettholdandHamp.com.