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Obituaries for Hamburg, Boston, Eden, Evans, Brant and Farnham for the Week of May 30, 2013



Edward O’Connell

A Memorial Mass will be held from Immaculate Conception Church, 8791 S. Main St., Eden, on Monday (June 24) at 3:30 p.m. for Edward O’Connell, of Eden, who died on Wednesday, May 15, 2013.

He is survived by his children, Marsha and Matt and daughter-in-law, Mari.

Mr. O’Connell was predeceased by his wife, Doris (Kellogg) O’Connell.

Despite working from an early age to help his family out he found time to get his Eagle Scout badge at the age of 15, and stayed active in scouting for the next 30 years, mostly as a troop leader. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and served his country for four years in World War II, being stationed mostly in Germany and France.

After returning from the war, he attended the University of Buffalo on the GI Bill, receiving a bachelor of art’s degree in American history. While there he also met and married a young pharmacy student named Doris Kellogg.

He found his true calling as a teacher in the Buffalo school district where he taught fourth and sixth grade students. He finished his master’s degree during night school, while teaching during the day. He taught for almost 30 years before retiring. A number of his students toward the end of his career were the second or third generation of children he had taught earlier in his career. Many former students who were now parents used to tell him they were glad their kids were in his class; that they had specifically asked to have their kids in Mr. O’Connell’s class. They remembered him not because he helped them understand social studies or math but because he helped them become better people.

He was very active in the Catholic Church in Eden, where he lived since 1970. For approximately eight years he was head of CCD classes (aka Sunday school) at Immaculate Conception Church. In the mid-1970s the diocese introduced the first permanent deaconate and he was accepted as part of its inaugural class. He served as a deacon in the church for the next 20 years. During that time he was involved in a wide range of charitable activities including a program at Cradle Beach which provided severely disabled children with an opportunity to play in the sun and be involved in outside activities near Lake Erie. He loved those kids and they loved him. To them, he was simply Deacon Ed.

After he retired from teaching, he and his wife spent time driving around the country. Mrs. O’Connell passed in 2003 and he stayed home in Eden for the next 7 years. In the final couple of years, he moved into Elderwood at Rosewood, an assisted living facility, and then late last year into the skilled nursing facility at Elderwood at Lakewood. He enjoyed the time he spent at both Rosewood and Lakewood. He was a proud Buffalonian. He loved the area, its history, and its people.

Following the Mass will be a wake at the Four Corner’s Cafe, 8571 N. Main St., Eden at 4:30 p.m.

Arrangements were made through the Laing Funeral Home.



Gail A. Kish

Funeral services were held from Faith United Church of Christ on Friday (May 24) for Gail A. (Safe) Kish, of North Boston, who died on Tuesday, May 21, 2013.

She is survived by her husband, David Z. Kish; children, Scot, David C. and Philip (Melissa) Kish; siblings, Madonna (James) Juliano, Richard (Claire) Safe and Shirley (Joseph) McGuire; grandchildren, Zolton, Morgan and Evan Kish; sister-in-law, Christine Michalski and nieces and nephews.

Mrs. Kish was predeceased by her parents, Charles and Annabel Safe and siblings, Esther (Joseph) Angelo, Patricia (Fred) Williams, Charles (Betty) and John (Ann) Safe.

She was a member of the Southtowns Women’s Friendship Club.



Claire L. Thounhurst


A memorial service was held from Donald M. Demmerley Funeral Home on Saturday (May 25) for Claire L. (Irvin) Thounhurst, 76, of Hamburg, who died on Tuesday, May 21, 2013.

She is survived by her husband, James Thounhurst; children, J. Scott (Wendy) Thounhurst, Jamie (David) Smith and Jennifer (Joseph) Salemi; siblings, Winifred, James, Judy, Penelope, Roger, Patricia, David and Beverly; six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

She worked at Quo Vadis in quality control and was a member of Grace Lutheran Church and the Southtowns Women’s Club.

Memorials may be made to the Hospice Foundation.

Woodrow F. Christ

A memorial service was held from The Tabernacle Church on Saturday (May 18) for Woodrow F. “Woodie” Christ, of Hamburg, who died on Tuesday, May 14, 2013.

He is survived by his wife, Gertrude C. Christ; children, Frances and Walter (Tammy) Christ; brother, John Christ; grandchildren, Joshua (Joy) Luce and Zachary Christ and two great-grandchildren.

Arrangements were made through the Lombardo Funeral Home.

William F. Graci

A Mass of Christian Burial was held from St. Anthony’s RC Church on Wednesday (May 29) for William F. Graci, 89, of Farnham, who died on Thursday, May 23, 2013.

He is survived by his children, Donna Cox, William (Cindy) and Michael (Linda) Graci; sister, Laura Austin; seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Interment with military honors was in St. Anthony’s Cemetery.

Arrangements were made through the Addison Funeral Home.

Mary A. Cureo

A Mass of Christian Burial was held from St. Anthony’s RC Church on Wednesday (May 29) for Mary A. (Muscato) Cureo, 95, of Farnham, who died on Thursday, May 23, 2013.

She is survived by her children, Joyce Cureo and Jeri (George) Hill; three grandchildren; three great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Mrs. Cureo was predeceased by her husband, Salvatore “Sam” Cureo; daughter, Judith Butryn and siblings, Josephine Kensy, Joseph, Frank, Charlie, Herman and Russell Muscato.

She loved sports and enjoyed watching baseball (go Yankees), football (go Bills), hockey (go Sabres), golf, bowling and tennis. She also loved to bake, crochet, do puzzles and help her family.

Interment was in St. Anthony’s Cemetery.

Arrangements were made through the Addison Funeral Home.
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