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Margaret Villano, artist and retired teacher

April 20, 1917, to Aug. 9, 2010


Published:August 15 2010, 12:00 AM

Updated: August 15, 2010, 6:47 AM

Margaret Villano, an accomplished painter, retired art teacher and longtime Grand Island resident, died Monday at the Riverwood Nursing Home on Grand Island. She was 93.

Born in New York City, the former Margaret Livingston grew up in New Haven, Conn., and graduated from the Yale Art School in 1938 and from Sarah Lawrence College in 1940.

She married Louis Villano in 1942, and the couple moved to Grand Island in 1954 where they enjoyed gardening, cross-country skiing, swimming and canoeing. They also traveled extensively.

Mrs. Villano got her master’s degree in art education from Buffalo State College in 1963 and taught art at the elementary level in Lewiston-Porter from 1964 to 1967 and at the elementary and junior high level at Niagara- Wheatfield from 1967 to 1984.

A painter, sculptor and craftswoman, she exhibited her work at area art shows and galleries and was a charter member and former president of the Grand Island Art Society and a supporter of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Burchfield Penney Art Center, the Carnegie Art Center, Kenan Center, Studio Arena Theatre and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.

She and her husband shared a concern for peace efforts and the environment and were active in the Western New York Peace Center and the environmental group Quality Quest of Grand Island, which gave them its community stewardship award in 1997.

Her lifelong interest in dance extended from study with Martha Graham at Sarah Lawrence to teaching classes in fitness and dance at the YWCA to taking tap lessons at the Grand Island Senior Citizens Center in her 70s.

Her husband, a longtime copy editor at several newspapers including The Buffalo Evening News and more than 20 years at the Niagara Falls Gazette, died in 2000. Mrs. Villano outlived three of her four children—sons Perron and Loren and daughter Dr. Jeremi, who died in May.

Mrs. Villano is survived by a daughter, Nadina.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.